Short videos app Triller is in the doghouse with Universal Music Group, in a big way. UMG has pulled its music from the app and slammed the company in a statement sent to journalists.

“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. We have no alternative except to remove our music from Triller, effective immediately,” said the major label.

UMG hasn’t given more details on the ructions behind this move, and Triller has yet to comment publicly: we’ll bring you any statements from the company by tomorrow morning’s bulletin.

Disputes between rightsholders and UGC platforms are nothing new, but this is an unusually blunt public statement from UMG, clearly reflecting a complete breakdown in negotiations between the company and Triller.

It’s the latest controversy for the latter, which in 2020 was criticised by publishing industry bodies over licensing – and sued by Wixen Music Publishing – while also being scrutinised over its claimed user numbers.

With Triller having talked regularly about its plans to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, music rightsholders patience has been strained at what they perceive to be a sluggishness in pursuing licensing deals for the music on its platform.

UMG’s announcement this morning takes the tension levels up several notches. We’ll bring you news on how other labels and publishers react, not to mention Triller, as it breaks.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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