When Universal Music Group (UMG) threatened to take their music off of TikTok, I don’t think any of us thought the label would actually do it. But on Feb. 1, one day after its scathing open letter publicly calling out TikTok for “bullying,” the world woke up to their videos muted.
But it wasn’t just fan edits that were affected. Videos by artists promoting their own music have been muted, too, and according to one artist, this has thrown a lot of music release plans into chaos.
“There’s […] artists who are releasing albums that had full promotional strategies centered around TikTok, and overnight those promotional strategies are just null,” musician Cody Fry told NBC.
The virility of songs, especially in the past few years, has become a key factor in their commercial success. In fact, some artists have claimed that their label didn’t allow them to release their own music unless they had a “viral TikTok moment.”
Clearly, then, it’s the artists who are really suffering amid this tug-of-war between UMG and TikTok.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The bizarre move by the record label has also led to some humorous moments on the app, like this Taylor Swift edit being made with royalty-free music.
But above all, it seems absurd for this measure to be continued. Surely, it can’t last forever, right?