The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


TikTok Removes Universal Music Group Artists From Their Catalog

Anthony Fajardo
Amidst disagreements between TikTok and Universal Music Group in contract extensions, TikTok has removed a significant portion of “trendy” audios from their site.

In the evolving landscape of social media, TikTok has become a global sensation, captivating users with its short-form videos and creativity. However, TikTok’s recent decision to remove music from Universal Music Group raises eyebrows and sparks concerns about the platform’s future, as well as the future of the music industry.

TikTok, a platform known for its dance challenges and viral trends, has thrived on the integration of popular music. UMG, one of the world’s largest music labels, has been a crucial partner in providing a vast catalog of songs that has fueled the app’s success. With UMG’s music suddenly absent, TikTok risks losing its heartbeat and alienating its massive user base.

“TikTok is supposed to be a funny and entertaining platform. With that comes the freedom to use whatever sounds we want on the videos that we watch. By taking these sounds off, there is a noticeable transformation in this aspect of TikTok,” senior Diego Lopez said.

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The removal of UMG music comes as a result of failed negotiations between the two parties over compensation and protection rights. According to documents released by UMG, they argued that TikTok did not provide enough financial compensation for artists, and that it encouraged the use of artificial intelligence in music. While TikTok argues that this was an act of greed by the music label, it leaves users questioning the platform’s commitment to fostering creativity and supporting artists.

“I have definitely noticed a shift in the sorts of TikToks that I have been seeing. Looking back at my reposts and favorite videos, a good amount of them are missing sounds because of this UMG situation. It is very unfortunate that these iconic songs are being taken off for such a petty reason,” senior Alexander Moncada said.

One of TikTok’s unique features has been its ability to turn relatively unknown songs into chart-topping hits. UMG, while being known for managing major artists like Drake and Taylor Swift, controls much of the underground scene in the music industry. Without a new contract, music by upcoming artists distributed or written by UMG will be muted and copyrighted on TikTok. By removing UMG’s extensive music library, the platform risks stifling the organic growth of new artists and limiting the diversity of content available to users. 

“The underground scene in the music industry is setting up the future of music for generations. TikTok is supposed to be a platform for them, just like SoundCloud was for artists beforehand. It is not fair to these young artists to have to face such an obstacle in their marketing because of financial greed,” senior Jorge Cornejo said.

The removal of UMG’s music not only affects individual creators but also undermines TikTok’s appeal as a marketing platform for artists and record labels. The platform has become a powerful tool for promoting new releases and building fan engagement. By limiting access to UMG’s extensive catalog, TikTok risks alienating a significant portion of its user base while depriving artists of valuable exposure to a global audience. Ultimately, this could drive creators and audiences to alternative platforms where they feel that their voices may be heard.

TikTok’s move also highlights the challenges of negotiating fair compensation for artists and creators in the digital age. The music industry has long grappled with issues of fair compensation, and the removal of UMG music on TikTok provides another example of the ongoing struggle between platforms and content providers to find a middle ground that benefits all parties involved. By removing UMG instead of providing proper compensation, it demonstrates how media platforms place little value on the creators and artists which bring them success.

“As someone who practically lives on TikTok, losing UMG’s music feels like someone muted a part of our collective heartbeat. Music isn’t just background noise; it’s what fuels our creativity and connects us in society,” senior Luis Mora said.

Ultimately, TikTok’s decision to remove UMG music is a risky move that threatens to compromise the very essence of what makes the platform popular. The absence of a significant portion of the music catalog diminishes TikTok’s appeal to their audience. As negotiations between the two parties continue, it remains to be seen whether a resolution can be reached. Until then, TikTok’s future hangs in the balance, and users are left wondering if the platform will truly ever be the same.


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About the Contributor
Anthony Fajardo
Anthony Fajardo, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Anthony Fajardo, a junior in the International Baccalaureate magnet program at Coral Gables Senior High School, is gearing up for his third year as a writer for CavsConnect. With a strong passion for journalism, Anthony is excited to continue contributing to the school's publication. Beyond his writing pursuits, he is an active member of various clubs including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society, National Honor Society, Interact and Future Business Leaders of America. He is always looking to help those around him to the best of his ability. An ardent sports and music enthusiast, Anthony finds joy in supporting his Miami teams and is also a fan of FC Barcelona. As Anthony enters this new school year, he is ready to give it his all and bring positivity to those around him.
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