The presence of TikTok has led to a lot of artists’ music going viral and gaining more traction. From artists like Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and SZA to lesser-known artists who had trending songs- thanks to TikTok have now been removed from the platform.
After both organizations made their statements, artists have now started to speak up about the feud. Here’s what Conan Gray said.
Conan Gray Reacts To His Music Being Removed From TikTok
The artist behind the viral ‘3rd December’ TikTok trend- Conan Gray has had a few of his songs blow up thanks to Tiktok. The artist’s songs ‘Heather’, ‘Memories’ have both been trending audios on TikTok and have led to various viral trends and edits.
However, because of UMG’s decision to take away all of their artists’ music from TikTok, you might not be hearing any more of Conan Gray on the app.
Reacting to the removal, Gray said jokingly, “My career is over, for sure. I’m never gonna have a hit song again at this rate.”
Conan Gray talks to Rolling Stone about UMG pulling its music from TikTok:— Pop Society (@itspopsociety) February 3, 2024
“My career is over, for sure. I’m never gonna have a hit song again at this rate. No, no, it’s fine. TikTok has its ups and downs, and I guess we’ll see what happens. I guess we’ll be creative." pic.twitter.com/x1OZ4Uhzhh
He then added and said, “No, no, it’s fine. TikTok has its ups and downs, and I guess we’ll see what happens. I guess we’ll be creative. There’s gonna be a lot of interesting acappella covers happening from UMG artists until this is settled.”
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UMG’s Decision To Remove Their Artists’ Music From TikTok
Almost every big name in music is owned by UMG. From Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, The Weeknd, Olivia Rodrigo- you name it- every other artist is under UMG.
The presence of TikTok’s influence has served as free promotion of many artists’ music as users on the platform use these audios to make viral content which gains traction and boosts sales for the artists.
UMG wrote a fiery letter addressing the issue, part of which reads, “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 1% of our total revenue. Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”
Also addressing the issue of AI covers of artists’ songs flooding on the platform, the letter says, “On AI, TikTok is allowing the platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings—as well as developing tools to enable, promote and encourage AI 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 AI”.
TikTok’s statement says, “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.
The statement further read, “TikTok has been able to reach ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.”
As of now, videos on TikTok are muted and the songs are removed.
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