UMPG songs are now being removed from TikTok

UMPG songs are now being removed from TikTok

Universal Music Publishing Group songs are now being removed from TikTok.

As previously reported, the publisher’s controlled compositions were always set to join the removal of recordings of Universal Music Group by the end of February.

The major has been embroiled in a war of words with TikTok, as they failed to reach a new licensing agreement.

It has prompted industry reaction from a fellow major as well as the independent sector. The removal of UMPG repertoire will have a wider industry impact as it affects recording artists signed to non-UMG labels, as well as artists who have collaborated with UMPG songwriters.

Licensed music recordings that contain compositions controlled by UMPG will now be removed from the general music library, meaning that any TikTok creator videos featuring that music will be muted. It will cover songs written or co-written by a songwriter signed to UMPG, whatever the contribution made to that work. 

However, while UMPG-controlled songs are starrting to come down this week, there is no single expiry date for all the publisher's repertoire globally on TikTok. The focus of the directly licensed UMPG catalogue being removed is Anglo-American repertoire.

Music Week understands that UMPG’s catalogue represents between 20% and 30% of popular songs on TikTok, depending on the territory. 

UMPG is widely acknowledged as the No.2 music publisher globally and it represents a vast catalogue of songs, including artists and songwriters such as Adele, Jack Antonoff, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Lana Del Rey, Kid Harpoon, Ice Spice, Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Lorde, Demi Lovato, Metallica, Metro Boomin, Miguel, Britney Spears, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, SZA, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, and many more.

UMG is set to issue an earnings report this week and could update investors on the impact of the TikTok scenario.

While TikTok has not issued any data since the removal of UMG’s repertoire, it is understood that there has been no significant loss of users on the platform.

Update (February 28):

In a statement, TikTok said: "We are in the process of carrying out Universal Music Group's requirement to remove all songs that have been written (or co-written) by a songwriter signed to Universal Music Publishing Group, based on information they have provided. Their actions not only affect the songwriters and artists that they represent, but now also impact many artists and songwriters not signed to Universal.

"We remain committed to reaching an equitable agreement with Universal Music Group. In the meantime, music lovers can continue to enjoy, discover and share millions of tracks from artists, songwriters and labels on TikTok, and we will continue to connect all artists - including those whose music is not currently available on our platform - with their fans.


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