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UMG Did Small Artists A Favor With Its Takedowns- Here's Why

Updated: Feb 8

If you haven't heard the news, Universal Music Group, the label of many big name artists including Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Bad Bunny, Ariana Grande, SZA, Drake, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Justin Bieber, and many more, has taken down much of their artists' music from TikTok. This has sparked a lot of debate and anger specifically from fans of these artists. TikTok users have found that videos from the artists themselves and those who have used their songs are now completely silent, only the lip syncing, dancing, or video itself remains, void of any kind of sound.

Everyone on the internet seems to be pretty upset over this, and I can understand why. UMG has said that there is three reasons that their connection with TikTok has soured, the reasons being, "Appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok's users."(ABC7Chicago) Apparently the two companies were not able to come to a new agreement, and for that, UMG removed their clients' music off of the app.

I can understand why people are upset, but I can say it's a relief to not have to hear some of these artists all the time. For a while, I was getting quite sick of having Olivia Rodrigo's entire Guts album shoved down my throat, and same with Taylor Swift. I believe people are looking at this from a very close-minded perspective, but this takedown brings a new opportunity to the table for smaller artists of all genres to showcase themselves and actually be heard. My hope for this is that people will find alternatives to their obsessive using of Taylor Swift songs and choose to branch out and find artists that aren't part of the mainstream. This gives everyone a chance to find new music, and possibly encourage a wave of new artists to come to the surface. Most of the artists under UMG have long solidified their place in pop history, so maybe it's time to move on from them.

Now I know that this takedown won't last forever, but for the time being, it could be a really excellent thing for the music industry. It gives users a chance to discover new music and artists to use in their videos, and the artists themselves to break the overwhelming barriers that some of those popstars created on TikTok. I don't believe this affects Instagram reels or Youtube shorts, just TikTok for now, although I wouldn't be surprised if something happens between UMG and Meta too, so I guess we'll see.


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