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Your TikTok Edits are Muted, Here’s Why

Monty+Gojo+mourns+the+loss+of+TikTok+audios.+The+removal+of+songs+has+particularly+upset+the+editing+community.
Jazmin Parada Figueroa
Monty Gojo mourns the loss of TikTok audios. The removal of songs has particularly upset the editing community.

On January 30, 2024, Universal Music Group (UMG) released a public letter announcing that their contract with TikTok permitting UMG’s artists’ music to be on the app would not be renewed. The letter revealed claims of TikTok’s mistreatment toward UMG music artists and concerns over the app’s regulations.

The same day, TikTok responded, expressing disappointment over UMG putting “their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.” The company asserted that UMG was spreading a “false narrative and rhetoric” that neglects the free promotion provided by their app. Soon enough, songs under UMG music artists such as Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and SZA began vanishing from TikTok, leaving millions of videos indefinitely muted.

One major concern of the contract’s end is the loss of publicity that TikTok provided for artists. In the past, songs like “golden hour” by JVKE and “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo have gone viral thanks to the platform.

According to UMG’s public letter, renewal had been a struggle because of three major issues: unsatisfactory compensation for UMG artists, lack of AI restrictions, and concerns over the cybersafety of  TikTok users. UMG mentioned that while their other social media partners had met their conditions and compromises, TikTok had refused to do so by offering deals that do injustice to artists’ efforts. 

While UMG acknowledges how the situation could negatively affect their artists and fans, they insist upon fulfilling the duty of valuing their artists. As one of the largest music companies in the world, with business in over 60 countries, UMG’s “core mission” is to ensure the artists’ rightful compensation for the music they produce.

“It doesn’t really affect me. However, it’s kind of annoying/weird that videos no longer have audios to them. It would suck for smaller musicians too, they might have a hard time getting streams if that affects them as well” said Mt. Eden junior Mariangel Martin when asked about how she feels about UMG removing songs from TikTok.

As of March 6, 2023, songs are still being removed from TikTok. It is uncertain whether or not the companies will renew their contract any time soon.

 

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About the Contributors
Catherine Escoto, Co-Editor
Hello! My name is Catherine Escoto and I am a Co-Editor for The Monarch Times for the 2023-24 school year. This is my first year in the class and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I was born and raised in Hayward, California. I love writing during my free time and working with young kids at my job. I can be contacted through my Instagram or my email. Please sit back and enjoy my articles!
Kaylyn Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I’m Kaylyn Nguyen, founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Monarch Times. I started The Monarch Times to provide a source of information for students and bring the Mt. Eden and Hayward community closer together. Outside of writing, I’m involved in various clubs and enjoy photography, reading, and playing video games. Please look forward to more content from The Monarch Times for years to come!  
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