The music will stop for TikTok if a new licensing deal with Universal Music Group isn’t reached by January 31. Universal says it will pull its songs from the viral video giant as the existing deal expires.

Variety reports that Universal Music Group is accusing TikTok of bullying UMG into a deal worth less than its previous arrangement. Artist compensation and AI are also issues getting in the way of a new deal. If the deal actually expires on Wednesday, UMG will pull its library from TikTok and make a huge catalog of music unavailable on the service.

UMG said that its agreement with TikTok is set to expire on Jan. 31. “The companies have not agreed to terms for a new agreement and upon expiration of the current agreement, Universal Music Group, including Universal Music Publishing Group, will cease licensing content to TikTok and TikTok Music services,” the company said in a statement. […]

Artists on Universal Music Group labels include Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Sting, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, SZA, Steve Lacy, Drake, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Adele, U2, Elton John, J Balvin, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan and Post Malone.

TikTok relies heavily on its licensing deals with record labels since the social network is rooted in viral videos that use popular music.

TikTok provided no comment to Variety when asked. Universal Music Group provided a lengthy case against TikTok and what it basically views as a shakedown. Read the full report here.


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