Music

Universal Music Group & TikTok Reach New Licensing Agreement

The decision was made three months following the removal of UMG's music from the platform due to unsuccessful negotiations towards a new agreement between the companies.

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Universal Music Group and TikTok have reached an agreement on licensing settling their dispute and allowing UMG’s music collection to make a comeback on the popular short video platform.

In January UMG had communicated through a letter that they hadn’t come to terms with TikTok due to compensation rates and concerns regarding AI generated music. Although specific financial terms were not revealed the new deal ensures “improved remuneration” for UMGs artists and songwriters. The collaboration will also involve efforts in AI advancement. Exploring new revenue streams through TikTok’s E Commerce initiatives.

“This new chapter in our relationship with TikTok focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artistry and the welfare of the creative community,” UMG CEO Lucian Grainge said in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interests of our artists and songwriters and drive innovation in fan engagement while advancing social music monetization.”

UMG took down all its recorded music from TikTok in February after which UMPG followed suit by removing its publishing catalog a month.
This decision has led to differing opinions, among artists at UMG. Some are unhappy about not being consulted while others believe that TikTok should pay more for the music featured on their platform, which many artists use for promoting their songs.

Taylor Swift, who owns the rights to her music parted ways with her record label in April. Turned to TikTok to promote her album, The Tortured Poets Department. It is anticipated that other UMG artists will follow suit and leverage TikTok for music promotion.

“Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem and we are pleased to have found a path forward with Universal Music Group,” TikTok CEO Shou Chew said in a statement. “We are committed to working together to drive value, discovery and promotion for all of UMG’s amazing artists and songwriters, and deepen their ability to grow, connect and engage with the TikTok community.”

While resolving the UMG matter TikTok now faces a challenge due to banishment, in the US unless its Chinese parent company sells off within a year. Chew mentioned in a video last week that TikTok intends to challenge this ban in court.