Millions of popular songs are set to be removed from TikTok

Universal Music looks set to take all its songs off TikTok after a breakdown in talks over the social media site’s licensing agreement.

Millions of songs are set to be removed from the platform after Universal Music Group (UMG) revealed that its agreement with TikTok has not been renewed.

The change means that tracks from hugely popular artists including Taylor Swfit, The Weeknd, and Drake will no longer be available.

TikTok has called the news ‘sad and disappointing’, and claims that UMG has ‘put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.’

In an open letter, the group accused TikTok of ‘bullying’, adding that they only wanted to pay a ‘fraction’ of the rate offered by other platforms for the catalogue of millions of songs, however, the Chinese-owned social media called this a ‘false narrative’.

While Universal claims the social media platform, with more than one billion users, accounts for just one per cent of their revenue, the move will result in many of TikTok users’ favourite artists and sounds being removed.

Artists signed to the world’s biggest label include Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Drake and many more.

Seven of 2023’s top 10 most-streamed artists worldwide on Spotify are leaving TikTok as a result of Universal Music Group (UMG) pulling songs.

They are headlined by Taylor Swift, with the world’s most-streamed artist of the last year to be no longer be accessible to TikTok users from February 1.

Bad Bunny, The Weeknd and Drake completed the top-four, and they are also all signed to Universal companies – which include Republic and Virgin Music.

Those not signed to the label who made the top 10 were Peso Pluma, Feid and Travis Scott.

However, the remaining SZA, KAROL G and Lana Del Rey are all also set to leave the platform.

The streaming giant’s top songs were also dominated by Universal artists, with Miley Cyrus sitting at number one with Flowers.

Harry Styles’ As It Was will also be pulled.

Other huge artists signed to the company’s labels include some the industry’s biggest names both today and historically.

To name a fraction, they include: The Beatles, Elton John, Ariana Grande, BTS, Billie Eilish, Post Malone and Bob Dylan.

And on top of that, many of TikTok’s most popular songs which do not, perhaps, come from the world’s biggest performers will also be axed, such as Murder On The Dance Floor, by Sophie Ellis-Bextor.