Universal Music Group (UMG) have pulled their catalog from Triller, alleging that the platform withheld payments to artists, a claim that Triller has vehemently denied. UMG has now announced a deal with TikTok, Triller’s largest social media rival.
Triller is an app that allows users to create visual content such as music videos, skits and lip-synching shorts similar to TikTok, with a variety of backgrounds and filters. The company has currently faced some public criticism due to past statements made by company representatives regarding Triller.
“We will not work with platforms that do not value artists. Triller has shamefully withheld payments owed to our artists and refuses to negotiate a license going forward,” UMG said in a statement obtained by Music Business Worldwide. “We have no alternative except to remove our music from Triller, effective immediately.”
Universal’s move follows Triller’s allegation that they do not need a deal with UMG, as the label’s artists are already allegedly shareholders. The company alleges that their contract with UMG expired one week ago and that they have been negotiating a renewal, as a “formality and courtesy,” as UMG is allegedly a Triller shareholder. They also alleged that UMG “us(es) their artist names as a front” to receive their artist’s payments for themselves. They went on to allege that this happened with TikTok, despite the new deal between both of the companies.
“We categorically deny we have withheld any artist payments (our deal has only been one week expired) and if anything, it is UMG using their artist names as a front to extract ridiculous and non-sustainable payments for themselves and not their artists. They did this exact same thing to TikTok For [sic] two years and virtually every other social network,” Triller explained.