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Why is all the music being muted on TikTok? And what does this mean for your TikTok and Reels strategy?


If a bunch of your videos have recently been muted on TikTok, you’re not alone (just ask Taylor Swift). Just over two weeks ago, Universal Music Group unexpectedly terminated its licensing agreement with TikTok, resulting in the removal of licensed music from artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Drake, and even TikTok-darling Noah Kahan. One morning, creators awoke to seeing their entire feed plastered with muted labels —the so-called “Day the Music Died (on TikTok).” RIP.  

So how should brands and creators respond to this new hurdle? First, this setback is likely temporary and it is likely that the two parties will eventually strike an agreement — just as Peloton, Spotify, and other big streaming players have successfully navigated with record labels in the past.

In the meantime, we’re seeing two major strategic pivots. Unsurprisingly, creators and brands are already swiftly adapting their strategies from TikTok to Reels, where our favorite artists’ music remains safe for use.The concerns largely arise regarding creators on the platform who heavily depend on music for their content: dancers, singers, songwriters — the list goes on. Additionally, we also see a growing trend in the use of remixes, covers, original compositions, and potentially even AI-generated music as individuals on the app adjust to this new landscape.  

So for now — try getting creative with original sounds, expand your platform strategy, and if all else fails, there’s always the Warner Music Group — hey there Dua Lipa!