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Universal Music starts pulling songs from TikTok over licensing negotiations

A video posted by a Nigerian influencer featuring a hit track from Burna Boy, was suddenly silent, with a message that read, "This sound isn't available."

Burna Boy is signed to Universal Music

In a recent showdown between the global music giant and the popular social media platform, TikTok is now left with a deafening silence as UMG's music began to vanish from the app on Thursday morning.

The drama unfolded just a day before UMG's licensing contract with TikTok was set to expire. UMG didn't hold back, and they made their dissatisfaction public with a fiery open letter. They accused TikTok of not offering fair compensation for their music and allowing AI-generated tunes to flood the platform, which, in turn, diminished the earnings of real, hardworking musicians.

TikTok didn't take this lying down and responded with strong words, accusing UMG of prioritising their own greed over the interests of their artists and songwriters. They pointed out that UMG decided to walk away from a platform with well over a billion users, a platform that had been instrumental in promoting and discovering their talent for free.

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The fallout was swift and brutal. Recordings by UMG artists vanished from TikTok's music library, and existing videos using UMG tracks had their audio silenced entirely. Users were left frustrated, unable to add Universal songs to their new videos.

For example, a video posted by a Nigerian influencer featuring a hit track from Burna Boy, a UMG artist, was suddenly silent, with a message that read, "This sound isn't available." Similar messages popped up on countless other videos, all citing "sound removed due to copyright restrictions."

Even the official profiles of UMG artists like Burna Boy saw their music options reduced to a mere handful of brief snippets, leaving fans disappointed and confused.

As of now, it's unclear how many videos have been affected by this showdown, but the Nigerian TikTok community is feeling the impact. Some videos with UMG music remain unaffected, but the tension between UMG and TikTok lingers.

Representatives from both UMG and TikTok have remained tight-lipped about their negotiations or the reasons behind this music withdrawal. However, one thing is certain: UMG's bold move has sent shockwaves through the music industry. TikTok, with its massive user base, has become an essential platform for music promotion in Nigeria, helping emerging and established artists alike.

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The battle between UMG and TikTok is far from over, and music lovers in Nigeria will be watching closely to see how this drama unfolds in the coming days.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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