TikTok Rival Triller: We don't need Universal Music Group To Run Our Business TikTok Rival Triller We Dont Need UMG MBW broke the news that Universal Music Group was pulling its music catalog off TikTok rival Triller. Universal accused Triller of "not valu artists", suggesting that the platform had "shamefully withheld payments owed to our artists" and was "refus to negotiate a license going forward". Adding intrigue to the story: Triller announced a licensing deal with Universal back in 2018, which was presumed to have expired. TikTok Rival Triller We Dont Need UMG Now Triller has fired back at Universal. A spokesperson for the short-form video company just sent a statement which reads as follows: "We can confirm our deal with UMG expired approximately one week ago. We have been negotiating since then in an attempt to renew. The renewal however was just a formality and a courtesy to UMG, as a shareholder of Triller. "Triller does not need a deal with UMG to continue operating as it has been since the relevant artists are already shareholders or partners on Triller, and thus can authorize their usage directly. Triller has no use for a licensing deal with UMG." Triller's statement continues: "We categorically deny we have withheld any artist payments (our deal has only been one week expired) and if anything, it is UMG using their artist names as a front to extract ridiculous and non-sustainable payments for themselves and not their artists. They did this exact same thing to TikTok For two years and virtually every other social network. "It is unfortunate UMG decided to use the press as it's 'negotiating leverage' when they realized we aren't going to be held hostage. UMG is well aware any agreement was just out of respect and courtesy, not necessity. We have been operating without it and there has been no change in our business." Asked for comment, Triller provided the following statement from CEO Mike Lu: “This has to be a bad ‘Punk’d’ episode. I’m waiting for Ashton to jump out of my closet. Our relationship with UMG is solid. Its biggest artists are investors and partners in Triller and Universal owns part of Triller. We find it hard to believe UMG wouldn’t give us any warning or notice but just tell us via press.” Triller’s prior agreement with UMG expired about a week ago but the company says it has not withheld payments from artists. Triller also said they are prepared to do an end-run around UMG and license directly from artists. “Triller does not need a deal with UMG to continue operating as it has been since the relevant artists are already shareholders or partners on Triller, and thus can authorize their usage directly,” the company said in a statement provided to the Times. The L.A.-based Triller seeks to challenge the dominant short form social media video sharing app Tik Tok and allows users to post short videos and automatically sync them to background music through the use of A.I. The app was released in 2015 and as of October, has 100 million monthly active users, according to CEO Mike Lu. The company gained new prominence in August when U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok, Triller’s largest competitor and later joined Triller himself, posting his first video on August 15th.