Universal Music Group cuts off Tik Tok over artists' pay and AI

Universal Music Group is not renewing its licensing deal with Tik Tok, claiming the social media platform tried to "intimidate" it into accepting a bad deal by cutting off its artists and "developing tools to enable, promote and encourage AI music" which rips them off.

UMG also claims that, upon proposing solutions for the above issues, TikTok responded with "indifference, and then with intimidation," allegedly removing the music of some developing UMG artists, while keeping the work of its "audience-driving global stars" on the platform. "TikTok's tactics are obvious," UMG wrote. "Use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans."

Tik Tok, and I will quote it verbatim below, says Universal should do it for the exposure.

It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.

Despite Universal's false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.

A classic "let them fight" scenario, but we must remember that the point of that is to make whichever one wins easier to vanquish afterward.