Many hit songs were removed from TikTok this morning (Feb. 1), making them unavailable for fans to use. Karol G, Kali Uchis, Feid, Xavi, and J Balvin are among the Latine artists whose music is no longer available on the popular app.
The decision to take their music off the social media platform goes beyond the artists themselves. After failed contract negotiations between Universal Music Group and TikTok, the label threatened to remove all of its artists’ music from the platform on Jan. 30. Karol G, Kali Uchis, Feid, Xavi, J Balvin, and many others fall under the UMG. In an open letter published that day, UMG accused TikTok of not paying artists and songwriters on its roster fairly. The label also added that TikTok was not taking its concern of AI-generated content seriously.
“TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay,” UMG stated in the letter. “Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”
TikTok denied the claims by UMG in a statement of its own. The video app accused UMG of “put[ting] their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.” The company called the label’s threat to remove its catalog from the platform “self-serving.”
With UMG’s previous contract with TikTok ending on Jan. 31, the label removed the music of its artists from the platform. Songs by artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, Ariana Grande, Ice Spice, and Olivia Rodrigo are no longer available on the social media platform. Feid belongs to Universal Music Latin with acts like J Balvin, Jhayco, Anitta, and Danna Paola. Karol G joined Interscope last year, which also includes Kali Uchis, Gabito Ballesteros, and rising Mexican-American singer Xavi. TikTok was especially instrumental in turning Xavi’s songs “La Diabla” and “La Víctima” into global hits.
Any videos that previously used those songs have now been muted with a “copyright infringement” message. TikTok has not yet responded to the loss of UMG’s catalog on its platform.