Jungkook's Hit 'Seven' Disappears from TikTok Amid UMG Licensing Dispute | Be Korea-savvy

Jungkook’s Hit ‘Seven’ Disappears from TikTok Amid UMG Licensing Dispute

Jungkook's 'Seven' silenced (Captured image from Tiktok)

Jungkook’s ‘Seven’ silenced (Captured image from Tiktok)

SEOUL, Mar. 1 (Korea Bizwire) –The online video platform TikTok is currently embroiled in a licensing fee dispute with Universal Music Group (UMG), which has led to the disappearance of BTS member Jungkook’s popular track “Seven” from the platform.

Users attempting to access the song on the group’s official account are met with a notification stating, “This song is unavailable,” accompanied by silence instead of music.

This development, reported on March 1, indicates the growing impact of the UMG-TikTok disagreement on K-pop content. Since February 27, TikTok has ceased to offer not only Jungkook’s “Seven” but also a number of other songs from well-known K-pop artists.

The issue stems from the breakdown in license renewal negotiations between TikTok and UMG, with UMG ending its contract with TikTok at the end of January over alleged non-payment of fair content fees.

Since February 1, TikTok has been muting music associated with UMG artists and, more recently, tracks by writers under the Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).

The effect of this dispute has been particularly felt within the K-pop industry due to its frequent collaborations with global artists, leading to the unexpected removal of songs.

The involvement of UMPG-affiliated producer Cirkut in the production of Jungkook’s affected tracks and UMG’s role in distributing BTS’s international albums highlight the interconnectedness of the industry.

The situation has caused confusion and concern among entertainment companies, with many K-pop songs still being serviced normally in South Korea despite partnerships with UMG labels.

TikTok Korea has not officially commented on the music blockade. However, international reports suggest that up to 30% of popular songs could be affected by the ban, with some estimates going as high as 80%.

Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge downplayed TikTok’s influence in a recent earnings call, while TikTok expressed commitment to reaching a fair agreement, acknowledging the broader impact on artists and composers not directly affiliated with Universal.
Lina Jang (linajang@koreabizwire.com)

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