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- What Creators Told Us About TikTok vs. UMG👂
What Creators Told Us About TikTok vs. UMG👂
UMG pulls thousands of songs from TikTok
Good morning. Wildlife filmmaker Carlos “The Malibu Artist” Guana may have captured the first video of a newborn great white shark. If experts confirm as much from the drone footage Guana released on his YouTube channel this week, “this is legitimately the most important marine biology video shot since the first live giant squid feeding nearly 20 years ago,” one fan commented. YouTube really never gets old.
Creators Pivot After UMG Pulls Music From TikTok
Many TikTok creators woke up yesterday morning to their videos playing on mute. It’s a casualty of Universal Music Group (UMG) pulling its vast artist catalog (which includes big names like Taylor Swift and Drake) from TikTok after the two failed to reach an agreement to extend UMG’s licensing.
The details: UMG alleges TikTok doesn’t fairly compensate artists, protect them against AI-generated content, or adequately remove bootleg content subject to copyright infringement. TikTok has accused UMG of putting “their own greed above the interests of singers and songwriters.”
Read the room: TikTok and UMG’s disagreement is part of an ongoing conflict between tech platforms and the music industry, which has grappled for control and compensation as tech changes rapidly. It’s unclear how long it’ll take for TikTok and UMG to reach an agreement, but some say a TikTok yield will set a precedent for other labels to voice similar demands.
Creators are getting pulled into the fray: Music creator and producer Kato On The Track told us smaller artists under the UMG label are suffering most.
For example, UMG-signed singer-songwriter Cody Fry had a chart-topping song in China after going viral on TikTok. Fans will no longer be able to use Fry’s audio in their TikToks.
Kato’s most viral song, “So Pretty,” which he made with artist Reyanna Maria, got pulled from TikTok because she signed to a UMG-owned label after the song went viral.
The creator POV: Some creators like ’80s music dancer Jordan Rumsey are considering leaving TikTok and funneling their audience to YouTube. Kato, though, said he plans to stay on TikTok for its discoverability.
“I think it’s important to diversify where your music is,” Kato said. “Make sure you also have an Instagram presence and are on YouTube. Make sure that you’re as visible on as many different platforms as you can.”
Deestroying Signs with Professional Football Team
Deestroying signs with the San Antonio Brahmas in the third installment of his “Project NFL” series / Deestroying
Sports creator Donald “Deestroying” De La Haye, Jr. has signed to play football with the San Antonio Brahmas of the United Football League (UFL), he announced in a video Tuesday.
Context: The announcement comes as part of De La Haye’s “Project NFL” series. The former college football kicker is documenting his training journey to try and play at football’s highest level.
And his new deal is a win-win for both De La Haye and the UFL.
For De La Haye: He’ll play in the UFL (a new alternative football league) in games watched by hundreds of thousands of fans.
For the UFL: De La Haye brings his 5.7 million YouTube subscribers who may be new to the upstart league.
FYI: When Deestroying joined the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts and kicked in a 2019 preseason game, his gameday vlog topped 2 million views, and the team’s Instagram account increased from 44,000 followers to over 100,000 in two months.
“Part of our core strategy is to continue creating meaningful connections with younger audiences, and Deestroying is an integral part of this effort,” the NFL said in a statement after partnering with De La Haye last summer.
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YouTube Music and Premium announces passing 100 million subscribers on Thursday / YouTube
YouTube passed 100 million subscribers for its paid music and video subscription tiers, the company announced Thursday.
Why it matters: While YouTube trails Spotify in paid subscriptions, it remains the No. 1 music streaming platform globally.
Worth noting: The majority of YouTube’s business runs on advertising revenue—which increased 15.5% annually to $9.2 billion in Q4 of 2023.
🔥 Press Worthy
Josh Richards starts a sketch comedy video series.
Kajabi releases a report studying creators who make over six figures.
Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast is no longer exclusive to Spotify.
Yes Theory starts a series of meetups via Yes Theory Hostels.
Mark Zuckerberg and other tech CEOs face emotional hearing on Capitol Hill.
Kick opens its Creator Incentive Program to all streamers, giving 95% of subscription earnings to creators.
📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish
The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.
Read: Writer Kyle Chayka shares an excerpt from his book Filterworld in The Guardian, exploring how local coffee shops reflect social platform algorithms.
Watch: NYC-based Indoor Kat muses on starting a YouTube channel at 37 and the difficulties of following through on creative projects.
Listen: Comedian Larry David joins The Bill Simmons Podcast to talk about 25 years of Curb Your Enthusiasm ahead of the hit show’s final season.
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