More Songs May Vanish From TikTok After NMPA Reveals Plans Not to Renew Licensing Deal

TikTok has been dealt another blow after the National Music Publishers Association sent a letter to its members informing them that the organization does “not anticipate” to renew its licensing deal, Billboard reports.

That means a lot more music may disappear from TikTok after millions of songs were removed when Universal Music Group severed ties with the social media giant following a contentious contract dispute. The NMPA, the largest music publishing trade body in the nation, now plans to follow suit.

“Recently, the press has highlighted concerns around TikTok’s licensing practices, concerns that NMPA has heard directly from many of our members,” the letter reads. “At this time, we do not anticipate that there will be an option to renew or extend the current NMPA licenses or participate in a new license with TikTok through NMPA.”

Whether or not more indie publishers join UMG’s boycott remains to be seen, but the platform’s latest musical death knell doesn’t bode well. The NMPA’s license is due to expire on April 30th, leaving many wondering what the future of TikTok looks like as the threat of more songs vanishing en masse looms.

Elsewhere in the NMPA’s letter, the organization said the onus to negotiate a new license is now on publishers, who must engage directly with TikTok after the deal lapses on April 30th. Prior to its impending expiration, the association offered its members the option to negotiate TikTok licenses on their behalf.

The letter arrives after biting comments from the NPMA’s CEO, David Israelite, who said he believes TikTok’s business model falls short of fairly compensating musicians.

“It is exposing a massive bias that exists in the music industry, with licensees like TikTok and even with the press in terms of somehow not thinking that songwriter rights are equal to the artist rights,” Israelite told Music Ally this week. “That bothers me.”

“With regard to TikTok, there’s a general feeling that the amount of money paid for music overall is not enough,” he added. “Then it’s a separate question of how that money gets divided between the songwriter contribution versus the recording artist contribution.”

You can read the NMPA’s full letter below.

If you are receiving this Member Alert you are currently participating in a license with TikTok through NMPA’s 2022 model license opt-in.

NMPA is notifying all participants that these two-year licenses are set to expire on April 30, 2024.

Recently, the press has highlighted concerns around TikTok’s licensing practices, concerns that NMPA has heard directly from many of our members.

At this time, we do not anticipate that there will be an option to renew or extend the current NMPA licenses or participate in a new license with TikTok through NMPA.

NMPA members should make their own business determination whether to engage directly with TikTok to negotiate a license beyond April 30, 2024.

It is important that all NMPA members understand that without a license in place, TikTok should not be using your musical works on its platform.

Starting May 1, 2024, any members who are not licensed with TikTok and would like to discuss enforcement options can contact attorneys at NMPA.

If circumstances change prior to the expiration of the current TikTok licenses, NMPA will promptly notify members.

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