TikTok has already started pulling all Universal Music Group tracks

Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, and Drake songs are no longer available on the social media platform

TikTok has already started pulling all Universal Music Group tracks
TikTok logo Photo: Sean Gallup

If your TikTok feed suddenly seems a lot quieter today, it’s not because you finally turned your phone down (your phones are too loud, everyone). It’s because Universal Music Group has made good on its threats from earlier this week to start pulling all of its artists’ songs from the app—including Taylor Swift, Drake, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Adele, and Olivia Rodrigo—meaning new TikTok videos will not be able to use any UMG songs and existing TikTok videos that had UMG songs will be muted until the user who posted it chooses something else.

As we explained previously, this comes from a licensing dispute between TikTok and UMG, with the existing agreement between the two expiring on January 31 and the label expressing concerns about “appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users.” UMG also said that TikTok offered “no meaningful solutions” to issues with “the tidal wave of hate speech, bigotry, bullying, and harassment on the platform” and was pushing generative AI tools that amount to “nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by AI.”

According to The Verge, TikTok has responded by saying it was “disappointing” to see UMG follow through on its threat, saying the label has “chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users” and had put “greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.”

From that, it sounds like both sides are pretty deeply entrenched and have no interest in budging, so TikTok users should probably get used to picking different soundtracks for their morning facial care routines, sub-Vine comedy gags, and whatever other things people are doing on TikTok. Or maybe it’s time to jump to some other social media platform? We’ve heard good things about “X.” (Just kidding.)

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