Tag Archives: UMG

TikTok Begins Removing Universal Music Publishing Songs

The bruising battle over royalties between Universal Music Group and TikTok entered a new and more severe stage in the early hours of Tuesday as songs published by UMG began to be removed from the platform, Variety reported.

The standoff, which began earlier this month, initially saw recordings owned or distributed by UMG removed from the platform, but now is extending to a much larger number of songs by including those published by the company.

The situation, accompanied by a bellicose war of words from both sides, pits UMG — the world’s largest music company — against TikTok — the most influential platform for promoting music for the past five years — as they continue to fail to renew their licensing agreement, which expired on Jan. 31.

According to Variety, the reach of this latest move is broad, as it effects a vast number of recordings not issued by a UMG-owned label, and many artists who have collaborated with songwriters under contract to Universal Music Publishing Group. Videos featuring those songs must either be removed from the platform or have the music on them muted.

TechCrunch reported TikTok is losing even more songs over its quarrel with Universal Music Group (UMG), as the social media network is starting to remove songs published by UMG, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Tuesday.

According to TechCrunch, the row between the two companies began last month when UMG announced that it failed to reach a deal with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, over royalties. As a result, TikTok has to remove songs owned or distributed by UMG by January 31. Now, the company has to remove songs that contain compositions controlled by Universal Music Publishing Group.

TikTok says all songs that have been written or co-written by a songwriter signed to UMPG must be removed, and all videos that feature these songs must be muted. Videos that include impacted songs will still remain on the platform, but they won’t have any sound. The company says UMG and UMPG’s catalogue represents anywhere from 20-30% of popular songs on TikTok.

Mashable reported that Universal Music Group is back for more music. The music company will pull even more songs from TiKTok. At the beginning of the month, the deal between UMG and TikTok expired, and negotiations dissolved over royalties resulting in UMG removing all the music it owned or distributed from the platform.

Now, TikTok must take down all the songs controlled by Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), which includes any song that a UMG signed-artist wrote or co-wrote.

According to Mashable, TikTok estimates that UMG and UMPG owns 20 to 30 percent of the popular music on the platform. When a song is removed from TikTok, all the videos previously containing the song go silent — resulting in an eerily quiet FYP.

In my opinion, the lack of music from UMG on TikTok is going to make the platform less engaging. Who wants to watch music videos that have been silenced?

YouTube Shares Principles For Partnering With Music Industry On AI Technology

YouTube Chief Executive Officer, Neal Mohan, posted “Our principles for partnering with the music industry on AI technology”. From the blog post:

Today, AI is moving at a pace faster than ever before. It’s empowering creativity, sparking new ideas, and even transforming industries. At this critical inflection point, it’s clear that we need to boldly embrace this technology with a continued commitment to responsibility. With that in mind, over the past few months I’ve spent time talking with AI experts working across YouTube as well as leaders in one of the most influential and creative forces in the world: the music industry.

For nearly our entire history, YouTube and music have been inextricably linked. As a hosting platform, YouTube connected fans worldwide and quickly became home for iconic music videos and breakout artists. Our deep partnership with the music industry has enabled us to innovate and evolve together – building products, features and experiences, from our YouTube Music and Premium subscription services, to global live-streaming capabilities, that spur originality and bring communities and fans even closer together.

Now, we’re working closely with our music partners, including Universal Music Group, to develop an AI framework to help us work toward our common goals. These three fundamental AI principles serve to enhance music’s unique creative expression while also protecting music artists and the integrity of their work…

Fortune reported that in the world of technology, sixteen years is an eon. That many years ago, Apple launched its first iPhone, and IBM created Watson. YouTube, which had just been acquired by Google, rolled out a groundbreaking tool that could identify copyrighted music within the videos that users uploaded to its site.

Now, in a remarkable indication of how much the world has changed since that time, YouTube has a new mission for its trusty copyright detection tool: to identify an expected deluge of songs composed by artificial intelligence.

According to Fortune, Mohan said the company will embrace AI wholeheartedly but responsibly. It will collaborate with artists and record labels to explore new ways to us AI in music, while also prioritizing protecting the creative works of artists, which includes continuing to develop its Content ID system.

But with so few guidelines and established best practices for the new era of generative AI, YouTube will be in uncharted waters. As it puts its plans into practice, YouTube’s approach to policing AI-generated music on its platform, as well as its success and struggles in the effort, is likely to have an impact that goes well beyond its own website, according to experts.

The Verge wrote that the quick background here is that, in April, a track called “Heart on My Sleeve” from an artist called Ghostwriter977 with the AI-generated voices of Drake and the Weeknd went viral. Drake and the Weeknd are Universal Music Group artists, and UMG was not happy about it, widely issuing statements saying music platforms needed to do the right thing and take the tracks down.

Streaming services like Apple and Spotify, which control their entire catalogs, quickly complied. The problem then (and now) was open platforms like YouTube, which generally don’t take user content down without a policy violation – most often, copyright infringement… So UMG fell back on something simple: the track contained a sample of the Metro Boomin producer tag, which is copywrited, allowing UMG to issue takedown requests to YouTube.

Personally, I am not interested in listening to music that was created by an AI, especially if that music was intentionally scraped from the internet to feed to the AI. I prefer supporting the musicians that make their work easily accessible on Bandcamp.