Date: February 21, 2024 1:57 am
There are over 60 big rock + metal artists that may vanish from the popular video platform TikTok if Universal Music Group‘s demands aren’t met.
TikTok has become a massive tool for the music industry, especially aspiring artists who wish to see their music reach larger audiences. The rock and metal genres have certainly benefitted from the app, with bands garnering new generations of fans after their songs went viral, including Metallica, Ghost, Bad Omens, Sleep Token and more.
What Happened Between Universal Music Group + TikTok?
As reported by Rolling Stone, Universal Music Group (UMG), which is home to some of the biggest musical artists in the world, asserted to TikTok that it will pull its entire music catalog from the app if the company doesn’t agree to the label’s new licensing deal.
Their existing contract was set to expire yesterday (Jan. 31).
UMG shared an open letter online on Jan. 30 explaining why they may have to sever ties with TikTok, writing, “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 states that TikTok offered to pay UMG’s artists and songwriters a much lower rate than other major music platforms pay. It also notes that revenue generated from TikTok only makes up about one percent of UMG’s total revenue, despite the massive reach that the platform has.
“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music,” UMG declared. The label further criticized the app for allowing a large amount of AI-generated and enhanced recordings to exist within it — thus “sponsoring artist replacement by AI.”
How Did TikTok Respond to UMG?
UMG said they attempted to address the aforementioned issues, as well as a few others to TikTok, but the company responded “first with indifference, and then with intimidation.”
The label claimed that TikTok removed music from the platform that was composed and performed by UMG’s rising artists, but allowed music by their biggest acts to remain.
“We recognize the challenges that TikTok’s actions will cause and do not underestimate what this will mean to our artists and their fans who, unfortunately, will be among those subjected to the near-term consequences of TikTok’s unwillingness to strike anything close to a market-rate deal and meaningfully address its obligations as a social platform,” UMG continued.
“But we have an overriding responsibility to our artists to fight for a new agreement under which they are appropriately compensated for their work, on a platform that respects human creativity, in an environment that is safe for all, and effectively moderated.”
Which Artists Will Be Removed From TikTok if They Don’t Come to an Agreement?
A lot of your favorite rock and metal bands fall under Universal Music Group’s Umbrella. Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, KISS, Korn, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sleep Token and do many others are either under or associated with the label.
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UMG owns a lot of other labels too, including Republic, Capitol, Geffen, Island, Virgin, Lava, Spinefarm, Mercury and more. This means all artists signed to those may be affected.
You can see UMG’s full list of labels and brands here.
We went to UMG’s website and went through their artists + writers to gather a list of the biggest rock and metal acts that may vanish from TikTok if an agreement isn’t met, so scroll through the gallery below to see them all.
60 of the Biggest Rock + Metal Artists That May Vanish From TikTok If Label Demands Aren’t Met
These Universal Music Group artists’ music may be removed from TikTok.
Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner
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