Downtown, Hipgnosis and NMPA rally behind Common Music Group in its combat with TikTok


Universal Music Group‘s dispute with TikTok – primarily over the sum of money the video service pays for music licensing – continues to be the discuss of Grammy Week. Now a number of different vital music firms are throwing their weight behind UMG’s mission.

Yesterday (February 1), Primary Wave publicly backed Common’s place, which has seen UMG decline to agree phrases with TikTok over a brand new licensing settlement. In consequence, recordings represented by UMG have already started to develop into unavailable in TikTok’s pre-cleared music library.

(Common’s music publishing library – which spans to roughly 4 million songs – is predicted to develop into absolutely unlicensed on TikTok on the finish of February, as a result of a 30-day grace interval in UMPG’s settlement with the platform.)

Main Wave represents music written by icons together with Bob Marley, Stevie Nicks, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, and Prince. It mentioned in a press release: “Because the world’s main unbiased writer of iconic and legendary music, we applaud Common Music Group for standing as much as TikTok and its blatant disregard for artists and songwriters. The notion that TikTok would attempt to rationalize willfully underpaying artists as a result of, the platform says, it affords artists ‘promotion’ is a decades-old canard that has no place in any trendy music enterprise.

“Artists and songwriters have to be compensated appropriately for his or her work and protected against unethical makes use of of AI.  Interval.  We’re proud to face alongside UMG and the artist advocates which have referred to as upon TikTok to appropriately pay and defend the songwriters and artists who’re important to the expansion and cultural relevance of the platform.”

Right this moment (February 2), extra vital music companies have publicly backed UMG’s place.

Andrew Bergman is CEO of Downtown Music Holdings, which – throughout publishing administration, recorded music distribution, neighboring rights, and different providers – represents greater than 5,000 enterprise purchasers and over 4 million particular person creators. In consequence, Downtown claims to be “the most important pure-play service supplier within the world music trade”. (One key example: Downtown now administers the publishing catalog of Spirit Music Group, which owns over 100,000 songs.)

“It’s time to recalibrate the partnership between the music trade and TikTok to re-balance the ledger.”

Andrew Bergman, Downtown Music Holdings

In a press release issued to MBW in response to the Common/TikTok information, Bergman mentioned: “We attempt at Downtown to make sure that artists, songwriters and rights holders are equitably compensated for his or her inventive endeavors.

“During the last a number of years, regardless of the meteoric success of the platform, this has not been the case with TikTok. It’s time to recalibrate the partnership between the music trade and TikTok to re-balance the ledger.”

Elsewhere, the Nationwide Music Publishers Affiliation (NMPA) has additionally reacted to UMG’s dispute with TikTok – particularly the ByteDance platform’s claim that it affords “highly effective help” to artists by serving “as a free promotional and discovery car for his or her expertise”.

NMPA President/CEO David Israelite mentioned at this time: “Music is a driving pressure behind TikTok’s success and this can be very unlucky that TikTok doesn’t appear to worth the music creators that gas its enterprise. We consider songwriters must be valued and compensated pretty, and we consider synthetic intelligence ought to by no means be used to dilute the worth of human creativity.

“Music is a driving pressure behind TikTok’s success and this can be very unlucky that TikTok doesn’t appear to worth the music creators that gas its enterprise.”

David Israelite, NMPA

“We now have seen different social-media platforms make the error of claiming promotion ought to substitute for honest compensation. It’s a dropping argument and it’s incorrect.”

(The NMPA has its personal fascinating historical past with TikTok, after all. The org signed a multi-year licensing settlement, on behalf of its members, with TikTok/ByteDance in 2020, after publicly threatening to sue the platform for copyright infringement.)

The music biz’s big news from earlier at this time? Merck Mercuriadis is shifting as much as Chairman at Hipgnosis Track Administration, and is being succeeded as CEO on the firm by Ben Katovsky.

Following that announcement, MBW spoke to Mercuriadis, who made clear in an interview – which will likely be printed on MBW  within the coming days – that his “dedication to Hipgnosis Track Administration has by no means been stronger”.

However we additionally clearly needed to ask him for his tackle the story of the week: UMG vs. TikTok.

“Each digital music and social media service has to acknowledge the worth of music. Common has achieved the appropriate factor right here.”

Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis

Mercuriadis mentioned: “TikTok has confirmed itself to be an incredible catalyst for the consumption of music. Have a look at Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, on which Hipgnosis is delighted and privileged to symbolize the Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie [songwriting cuts]. Rumours has been a top-selling album in recent times, and TikTok has had an enormous function to play in that story.

“However Hipgnosis has, for the reason that starting, been a large advocate for the truth that we have to change the place the songwriter sits within the financial equation. Ought to TikTok be paying increased charges? Completely. Each digital music and social media service has to acknowledge the worth of music.

TikTok has the power to be a pressure for good within the consumption of music. Common has achieved the appropriate factor right here, from the attitude of creating positive that the ‘900 pound gorilla’ of our enterprise is setting a tone that isn’t solely in the most effective curiosity of music rights-owners, however songwriters particularly.”Music Enterprise Worldwide

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