Lewis Capaldi and Taylor Swift music included in TikTok removal

The Scottish pop artist's 8.5 million followers have been met with an error message on the app.

Music from Lewis Capaldi, Taylor Swift and other major artists has been removed from TikTok.

The social media giant made the changes after a license between the app and Universal Music Group (UMG) expired.

The likes of pop sensations The Weeknd, Olivia Rodrigo and Ariana Grande have all had songs removed from their official accounts.

All videos which have UMG music attached to them will be muted and any new videos uploaded cannot be created with the songs affected.

Capaldi’s 8.5 million followers can no longer view his songs in the music tab of his profile, with some videos having no audio.

Swift is one of UMG’s most powerful artists after signing a deal with the company in 2018 which gave her ownership of her masters.

The music of Lewis Capaldi and Taylor Swift is met with a ‘currently available’ error message. Photo: STV News.

Music companies earn royalty payments when their songs are played on streaming and social media platforms, but Universal said TikTok wanted to pay a “fraction” of the rate other social media sites do for access to its vast catalogue.

A statement written as “an open letter to the artist and songwriter community” said: “TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay.

“Today, as an indication of how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue and increasing reliance on music-based content, TikTok accounts for only about 1% of our total revenue.

“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”

The Scottish pop sensation has over 8.5million followers on the platform. Photo: Getty Images.

The open letter also said TikTok allows the platform to be “flooded with AI-generated recordings”, and also develops tools to “enable, promote and encourage AI music creation on the platform itself”.

It accuses TikTok of “demanding a contractual right which would allow this content to massively dilute the royalty pool for human artists, in a move that is nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by AI”.

The letter also criticises the platform for making “little effort to deal with the vast amounts of content on its platform that infringe our artists’ music and it has offered no meaningful solutions to the rising tide of content adjacency issues, let alone the tidal wave of hate speech, bigotry, bullying and harassment on the platform”.

A statement from TikTok said: “It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.

“Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.

“TikTok has been able to reach ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code