TikTok Users Just Lost Access to Music From Taylor Swift, Rihanna and More Amid an AI-Inflamed Clash — Here's What Happened Universal Music Group has not renewed its licensing agreement with TikTok, citing insufficient compensation for artists and songwriters.

By Amanda Breen

entrepreneur daily

Music from some of the biggest artists in the world has been pulled from TikTok.

Universal Music Group withdrew TikTok's access to its extensive music catalog, which includes songs from Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and more, following the expiration of a licensing agreement and failure to secure "appropriate compensation," the company said in a statement.

Image Credit: Buda Mendes/TAS23 | Getty Images

Related: TikTok Is Reportedly in Talks to Expand Its Music-Streaming, Could Take on Spotify

The decision, which goes into effect today, impacts TikTok's user base of more than 1 billion, CNN Business reported. According to Universal, the offer from TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, was a "fraction" compared to what other social-media platforms provide in terms of royalty fees.

TikTok accused Universal of prioritizing its "own greed" in the matter. "TikTok has been able to reach 'artist-first' agreements with every other label and publisher," the company said in a statement. "Clearly, Universal's self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans."

Universal's move highlights the ongoing tension over fair revenue distribution in the digital age — and the controversial escalation of AI-generated music.

Universal claims that artists and songwriters suffer from TikTok's increased reliance on such content, and it has accused the platform of being indifferent to both the online safety of users and the protection of musicians from AI's "harmful effects," per the statement.

Related: Twitter Slammed With Lawsuit Over Copyright Infringement

AI-generated renditions of popular artists singing each other's songs have gone viral on the platform — with faux versions of Drake covering singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, Michael Jackson covering The Weeknd, and Pop Smoke covering Ice Spice's "In Ha Mood" garnering tens of millions of views, The Verge reported.

TikTok's user guidelines require creators to flag when content is made using AI tools.

According to Universal, despite TikTok's "massive and growing user base" and "rapidly rising advertising revenue," the social-media platform makes up just about 1% of its total revenue.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Science & Technology

Save Nearly $400 on This 13-Course Excel, VBA, and Data Science Bundle

Pick up this e-learning bundle for $35, this week only.

Growing a Business

How to Regain Your Passion for Your Business — And How to Keep It Alive

Is your passion fading? Here's how to create a business model centered around keeping your passion alive and well.

Science & Technology

4 Reasons Why Your Customer Service Is About to Get a Whole Lot Better in 2024

As the technology powering AI customer support jumps to the next level, the quality of service will greatly improve.


The 4 Pros and Cons of Being a Part-Time CEO

The idea of a part-time CEO is gaining traction. But before you make the switch, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Business News

Want to Start a Billion-Dollar Business? Look to These Two Industries, Which Have the Most Unicorn Growth

During a tough fundraising year overall last year, the value of cybersecurity and AI unicorns saw double-digit growth.

Business News

'I Want a Free Month': Thousands of Customers Furious at AT&T After Widespread Outages

The carrier has not yet disclosed the root cause of the issue.