Tiktok tunes terminated?

A breakdown of the recent Tiktok music audio removal
Photo illustration created by Nyla Kërr using Canva.
Photo illustration created by Nyla Kërr using Canva.

TikTok, an app used by at least one billion people, is facing a large removal of their catalog of music and sounds. Fan-favorite artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, and Bad Bunny are among those whose music has been removed from the app. The removal of some of the sounds on Tiktok has caused a number of users to complain about restricting the ways that the app is used since the audios for many TikToks are being muted. 

One of the world’s largest record labels, Universal Music Group is the one pulling the strings in this situation. The decision to cut Tiktok’s catalog was the result of not being able to come to an agreement for a contract renewal after the licensing between TikTok and UMG expired on Jan. 31 this year . The causes for the licensing disagreement primarily stemmed from issues with properly compensating artists and the use of artificial intelligence to make music. 

According to PBS, the process of removing music tied to Universal Music Group will not happen all in one day, but it definitely is underway. 

“I go to do a Drake song, [to] make a TikTok to a Drake song [and] it’s gone. I go to make a TikTok to a Taylor Swift song [and it’s] gone,” Mikaylah Harrison said. Harrison is a freshman and Tiktok user.

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 The long-term effects of the decision to remove all audio licensed under Universal Music Group have yet to be seen, but the current muting of various audios can give TikTok users an idea of what their platform could look like moving forward.

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About the Contributor
Nyla Kërr
Nyla Kërr, Staff
Nyla Kërr is spending her first year on the McIntosh Trail staff for the 23-24 school year. She has always been passionate about writing and has been honing her craft for the past five years. Kërr received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence and competed in and won a speech and debate competition at both the school and county levels. Now, her top priority is surviving this school year and further developing her personal writing skills through journalism. Outside of school, she enjoys drawing, hanging out with friends and fighting to learn how to ride her low-quality, fixer-upper skateboard. The skateboard wins most days.
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