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Universal Music and TikTok Fail To Reach New Licensing Agreement and Part Ways!


The biggest record label in the world will be pulling music off TikTok. They simply couldn't agree on the right payment terms for artists. Let's expand on this...


This is shocking news, mainly because it has come at a time when sonic branding is on a major rise 📈, and this news is essentially leaving the back door open for original (independent) music creators. There is a lot to unpack with this big news, but the main thing to note before reading further is that TikTok and Universal simply could not agree on a fair rate for payment of their artists. 🤷🏾‍♂️


Universal holds license to some of the biggest names out there. Taylor Swift (seen below), Drake, The Weeknd, The Beatles and even the re-ignited Sophie Ellis-Bextor! Artists (and music companies) get paid royalties from the songs that are used, and despite TikTok having over 1 BILLION users, they contribute to less than 1% of UMG's revenue. Something is off... TikTok ain't playing fair... or should we say... paying fair. 💰 🚫


Universal stated in an open letter - "ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music".


TikTok responded with - "It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters...."


I mean, it's a negotiation... and clearly they were not aligned. And if Universal gets paid, the artists get paid. It's business.


But..what does this mean for brands and businesses wanting to use music to promote? Well, obviously there will be less music from the charts to use... however... this is a wake up call. 🔔


There is power in ownership. Brands that create original and bespoke sound will not only be able to shape their own sonic identity, they will own the sonic assets and not have the risk of losing anything. Audiences will also be able to connect with something that is truly original.


Say for example, your audience connected with you because you used Drake on your videos, and now you are unable to, next to a competitor brand that seemingly produces original sounds... The consistency of the competitor brand will play out through loyalty and psychological trust that brands rely on when marketing on social.


If you are a brand owner, strategist, creative director or marketer, now is the time to have a proper think about how you use sound in your branding efforts and OWN YOUR SOUND to allow for a deeper. more authentic connection with your audience. At Acre Green we allow brands to truly take control of their brand sound and understand how important it is to do so!


We won't get into the science, but brands and businesses need to wake up. Brand identity is fragile. The more control you have, the safer the brand identity. Sonic brand identity is BIG part of that.


Those who understand this will move ahead. Those who ignore it... well.. you get it...

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