UMG responds to TikTok’s ‘greed’ accusation, ‘free promotion’ claim [Full Text]
As TikTok’s forced takedown and muting of UMG and UMG Publishing Group-related music began Thursday, the war of words between the two giants took a turn for the worse.
After TikTok accused UMG of “greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters” by taking music off “a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent,” the world’s largest music group responded with strong words of their own.
Calling out TikTok’s” woefully outdated view,” UMG wrote that, “TikTok still argues that artists should be grateful for the ‘free promotion’ and that music companies are ‘greedy’ for expecting them to simply compensate artists and songwriters appropriately and on similar levels as other social media platforms currently do.”
Music from UMG artists currently being removed in three phases from TikTok include Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, SZA, Drake, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Adele, U2, Elton John, J Balvin, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Post Malone and thousands more.
Addressing TikTok’s accusations point by point. UMG issued this statement:
“Our agreements with TikTok have expired because of TikTok’s unwillingness to appropriately compensate artists and songwriters, protect human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and address online safety issues for TikTok’s users (more on that here).
In fact, TikTok’s own statement perfectly sums up its woefully outdated view: Even though TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) has built one of the world’s largest and most valuable social media platforms off the backs of artists and songwriters, TikTok still argues that artists should be grateful for the “free promotion” and that music companies are “greedy” for expecting them to simply compensate artists and songwriters appropriately, and on similar levels as other social media platforms currently do.
TikTok didn’t even attempt to address the other issues we raised regarding harmful AI and platform safety. It’s no surprise that artist rights advocates are speaking out in support of our action.”