In some ways, here is an example of a conflict that has played out repeatedly in the media business over the last couple of decades, in which the innovations of tech companies - and, sometimes, the creativity of rule-skirting-users - has run up against the music industry's demands for control and fair compensation.

This tension has been a driving force in the music industry, from Napster and YouTube to Pandora and, now, TikTok.

Universal's concerns reflect some of the most urgent challenges in the music business today : artists need to make a decent living, the parameters of modern licensing contracts and the role of artificial intelligence.

And in recent years music companies have begun to adjust to the reality that music fans' attention is not solely focused on juke-box type streaming outlets like Spotify or Apple Music, but also on an array of social platforms, like TikTok, where music may be just one attraction.

For TikTok, as with any social media company, the issue may involve how much leverage it is willing to relinquish to any single content partner.

As important as music is on TikTok - in the past the company has said '' music is at the heart of the TikTok experience '' - it does not represent the entirety of the experience on the app; as any TikTok user knows, a song could simply be the audio wallpaper for a makeup tutorial or a plumbing how-to guide.

The World Students Society thanks author Ben Sisario.


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