Are your TikTok videos suddenly missing the music track? Here’s why

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TikTok logo on the phone

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TikTok has quickly become a music discovery platform, with songs that go viral on the app becoming fan favorites and topping the charts. According to MRC Data Research, 75% of TikTok users say they discover new artists through TikTok, with 63% of them listening to new songs they’ve never heard before on the app. That may change soon.

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You may have noticed, in the last 24 hours, that some of your favorite music from existing TikTok videos has been muted. If you try to shoot a TikTok video, you will also find that the most viral and popular songs are no longer available. Here’s why and what you can expect.

Background: Universal Music Group and TikTok’s failed contract renewal

On Tuesday Universal Music Group (UMG) released a open letter It is understood that its music will be removed from TikTok due to its failure to reach a partnership with the social media app that will fairly compensate artists and songwriters signed to the label.

The terms of the agreement between UMG and TikTok expire on January 31, 2024. Ahead of the expiration, contract renewal talks were held in which UMG pushed for three points: fair compensation for artists and songwriters, protection of artists from AI and safety for TikTok users, according to an online open letter.

A favorable decision was not met. UMG said in the open letter that TikTok’s proposal included a compensation rate that was “a fraction of the rates offered by similarly positioned major social platforms” and did not provide adequate protections for AI-generated music on the app.

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Additionally, UMG shared that TikTok tried to “rape” them into accepting the deal by “selectively removing the music of some of our developing artists while keeping our audience-driven global stars on the platform.”

TikTok has its own response the letter, which shared that UMG was to blame for not reaching a deal, “putting their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.” The social media app also slammed UMG’s claim, calling it a “false narrative and rhetoric”.

What do you mean by this?

In contact with ZDNET, TikTok confirmed that Universal Music Group’s music has now been removed from the app. This means that videos that used music from UMG artists in the past will now be muted, which you’ve already noticed on your page for you, and no new content can be created with that music.

UMG currently has some of the biggest artists signed to their label, including Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, SZA, The Weeknd, Drake, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Adele to name a few. .

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As a result, users are already feeling the absence of music from its artists on the app as they are responsible for some of the highest charting songs of our time. Both the artist And devotee Sharing their frustrations on the app, the removal surprised many, even artists.

I had to check for myself and when I saw that Taylor Swift’s entire music catalog had been deleted, the videos on her own account had been muted.

Downloading TikTok Taylor Swift music

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

In the open letter, UMG referred to the app shutdown as a “time out” period, so it is unlikely to be permanent. Rather, both parties will be forced to reach favorable terms due to pressure from fans and artists who will mutually benefit from having UMG’s music on the app.

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