April 18, 2024

UMG Changes the Way TikTok Sounds

By Bailey Peters

TikTok has been known to introduce new ideas, music and trends to their users as people show their talents for views and followers. People use music from their favorite singers for an additional sound for their posts. As of January 31, Universal Music Group (UMG) has removed all of their artists’ music from the app which has become a huge topic online. 

TikTok is a very popular social media app that allows many young adults to post videos filled with comedic, dance and lip-syncing short-clipped videos. It is filled with trends that users see and respond with their own take. The platform has skyrocketed especially since COVID. TikTok works with the use of a “For You” page and this is how videos become viral and gain views. Essentially Tik Tok has a guide to boost user videos and allows for the users to find what is best suited for themselves.

Like every social media platform, influencers use this space to create content for their followers but they also promote products through partnerships. Influencers can range from comedy creators to dancers or singers. Overall, these are artists who are gaining followers and usually make money and use TikTok as a profession. 

UMG is taking off all music they own from Tik Tok. The recording studio claimed to do this to protect their artists and the license between TikTok and UMG had expired. Also, UMG has stated that TikTok is not giving the compensation that their artists deserve. This is a way that artists can get their music to a larger audience without paying as much. This is hard for artists that are lower level singers because TikTok is a free way to advertise music which now isn’t an option.  Some of the artists that no longer have music on the platform include Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish. 

Specifics on artists that will no longer have music on the TikTok streaming platform. Video credits to Billboard.

Artists like Noah Kahan and Meghan Trainor have posted videos about this change. Trainor doesn’t record under UMG so people can still use her music for TikTok sounds. Kahan announced this change for his fans and shared that he “would not be able to promote my music on TikTok anymore,” (Kahan). 

It looks like Universal Music Group will not be relicensing the relationship with TikTik because UMG is focused on respecting their artists and what they deserve for their works. Now TikTok users will have to adjust to other music sounds for their videos and UMG artists will have to post acoustic versions of their songs to get promotion on the platform.

External Link for Billboard UMG announcement Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ3vK3_dtMY

Bailey’s Personal WordPress: BPeters PR (publicrelations74.wordpress.com)

5 thoughts on “UMG Changes the Way TikTok Sounds

  1. Hi Bailey, I enjoyed reading your blog post! I have seen many users on my TikTok “For You” page become affected by this change as they now have to change their content from lipsyncing videos to talking videos. Some users have even made jokes about this change by featuring their acapella version or using a cover of the original song. Although these videos are funny, it is unfortunate that many of my favorite artists’ songs will not be on the app anymore. It will be interesting to see how this change will affect artists’ streams as many songs on TikTok become popular. In addition, I wonder if there will be a rise in emerging artists because of this removal.

  2. Hi Bailey! I loved reading your post. One thing I find particularly interesting about this shift is the way that it has inspired new trends. I’ve seen multiple people online miming trend videos without their usual sound to collectively lament the loss of their favorite songs on their favorite platform.

  3. Hi,

    I really enjoyed reading your post as I have seen this on my for you page on TikTok. People are fustrated about this. I have seen people using their own sounds to mimic the artist that they have liked because they’ can’t use the sound .It will be interesting to see how this will affect the current artist since it has been around for a while.

  4. Hi Bailey! Your post is really insightful and provides good insight about how this change affects not only bigger artists, like Noah Khan, but smaller artists as well. I was really surprised and honestly upset to see UMG pull their music off of TikTok as they are one of the largest music companies, so it’s a big hit for the app. I’m curious to see how it will change the way artists promote their music and how this will affect people creating TikToks, as a large portion of audios have been removed from pre-existing posts and/or are unavailable for future posts.

  5. Great article, Bailey. I think that with this new change, it will definitely become more difficult for artists to earn money and promote their careers affordably. A large portion of artists income comes from Tik Tok sounds, especially when those sounds are trending. I’m curious to see how artists will approach their strategies now that UMG has withdrawn their music.

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