Taylor Swift’s music disappeared, and you won’t believe what happened next

Taylor Swift is hands down the biggest star in the music industry.

Swift’s legions of “Swifties” helped her stage the first billion dollar concert tour with the “Eras Tour.”

But Taylor Swift’s music disappeared, and you won’t believe what happened next.

Universal Music Group protests terms of their deal with TikTok

Universal Music Group represents artists like Drake, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift.

The group revealed that of January 31, its licensing agreement with Communist Chinese spy app TikTok expired.

In an open letter, Universal Music Group revealed songs from stars like Swift would disappear until it could come to an agreement on royalties and protection against artificial intelligence.

“The terms of our relationship with TikTok are set by contract, which expires January 31, 2024. In our contract renewal discussions, we have been pressing them on three critical issues—appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users,” the letter read.

Universal Music Group revealed royalties from TikTok amounted to a pittance of artists’ overall income.

“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,” the letter continued.

And the group worried about TikTok getting “flooded with AI-generated recordings” and apps that “enable, promote and encourage AI music creation on the platform itself.”  

TikTok calls Swift and others greedy

TikTok fired back, claiming the artists who didn’t want AI tools creating deep fakes of their music and diluting their work were “greedy.”

“It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters,” a statement from TikTok read.

TikTok sought to turn the masses of artists against the superstars by saying that TikTok now serves as the number one platform for record labels to discover new talent.

“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,” TikTok also claimed.

A deal reached

Swifts’ and other top star’s music disappeared from TikTok on February 1 when the licensing agreement expired.

But Swift’s music wasn’t gone from TikTok for long.

Swift’s songs reappeared on the platform on April 11, one week ahead of the debut of her “Tortured Poets Department” album.

Variety reported that Swift was able to strike a separate deal because of her unique ownership of her material.

“However, it seems likely that the platform reached a separate deal with Swift, who owns her masters and presumably would have the ability to strike her own arrangement, even though her music is distributed by UMG and she signed with the company’s publishing division in 2020,” Variety reported.

Universal Music Group soon followed with its own deal that changed the royalty structure and added new protections to remove AI generated deep fakes of artists.

Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge announced that “collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interests of our artists and songwriters and drive innovation in fan engagement while advancing social music monetization.” 

*Renewed Right Official Polling*

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