Photo: Steve Jurvetson

Taylor Swift Returns To TikTok

After Universal Music Group (UMG) removed her music from the streaming music platform in January, citing unfair compensation for artists and the damaging usage of A.I., Taylor Swift’s music has returned to TikTok.

According to Variety, thanks to the 34-year-old Grammy winner regaining ownership of her master recordings, Swift’s catalogue is now available to the video-sharing platform while fellow UMG artist repertoire by Drake, Billie Eilish, Adele, Coldplay, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Bad Bunny’s music remains absent.

Due to the Tik Tok’s proposed deal, the label’s licensing agreement with the streaming platform expired on 31 January, and talks to renew the contract have since fallen through.

In a statement posted on their website, the record label wrote:

“With respect to the issue of artist and songwriter compensation, TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay. ” “Today, as an indication of how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue and increasing reliance on music-based content, TikTok accounts for only about one per cent of our total revenue.” “Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.” “On A.I., TikTok is allowing the platform to be flooded with A.I.-generated recordings—as well as developing tools to enable, promote and encourage A.I. music creation on the platform itself – and then demanding a contractual right which would allow this content to massively dilute the royalty pool for human artists, in a move that is nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by A.I.”

Alleging that TikTok attempted to “bully” UMG into a deal worth less than their previous one, the recording company added:

“As our negotiations continued, TikTok attempted to bully us into accepting a deal worth less than the previous deal, far less than fair market value and not reflective of their exponential growth.” “How did it try to intimidate us? By selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars.” “TikTok’s tactics are obvious: 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. We will never do that.”

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Steve Jurvetson