TikTok Sparks New Deal With Universal Music Group

After failing to renew its licensing agreement with TikTok, Universal Music Group (UMG) has devised a new deal with the social-media company that will provide label artists with improved payouts and perks.

In February, Universal decided to pull its music from TikTok, including songs by some of the world's most popular artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Drake, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift.

The music corporation said that TikTok was unwilling to pay “fair value for the music,” and for “allowing the platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings” that took away deserved royalties for human artists.

In response, TikTok accused Universal of prioritizing “their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters,” citing the platform's undeniable influence across the globe as a leading music discovery and engagement tool.



According to a TikTok commissioned report published last November, 75% of its users find new artists via TikTok videos.

Per the new agreement, TikTok users will see the return of Universal's recorded music and publishing catalogs, allowing them to create and enjoy original in-app videos featuring songs from their favorite artists on the label.

Both organizations say they will “realize new monetization opportunities” that utilize TikTok's “growing e-commerce capabilities,” while planning to work together to run campaigns supporting Universal's “artists across genres and territories globally.”

TikTok says it will focus on building more artist-centric tools, such as “Add to Music App,” which lets users easily save a song from a video to their music library on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. The social media company also cites integrated ticketing capabilities as a helpful tool for boosting artist revenue.

Finally, TikTok and Universal have agreed to “ensure A.I. development across the music industry will protect human artistry and the economics that flow to those artists and songwriters” by removing unauthorized AI-generated music from TikTok and creating more tools to improve artists and songwriter attribution.

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