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TikTok and Universal Music Group Announce New Licensing Deal

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TikTok and Universal Music Group Announce New Licensing Deal

In a press release, Universal Music Group and TikTok announced a new multi-dimensional licensing agreement that will improve artists' conditions. The deal comes after a dispute between the two companies, during which UMG pulled all of its music from TikTok.

TikTok and Universal Music Group: new agreement

At the beginning of the year, Universal Music Group cut ties with TikTok over a major dispute involving TikTok's obligations as a social platform, its excessive tolerance of AI-generated content, and discussions on how much artists should get paid for their music streams. As a result, TikTok videos containing music by Universal artists became quiet, while all their songs were deleted from the app’s library.

Until recently, it was still unclear if and when the two companies would reconcile. A new press release now answers the question: UMG and TikTok will continue working together within the scope of a new joint agreement. The licensing deal comes with improved conditions for UMG artists, including higher remuneration, marketing, and engagement opportunities, as well as better protection from generative AI.

According to Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, the agreement “focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artistry and the welfare of the creative community. 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.” Meanwhile, TikTok CEO Show Chew said that the platform is “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.”

Moreover, TikTok will continue investing in building artist-centric tools, including data and analytics, ticketing options, AI-related attribution and removal tools, and online safety. Ole Obermann, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Business Development, said that the companies “will work together to make sure that AI tools are developed responsibly to enable a new era of musical creativity and fan engagement while protecting human creativity.”

When exactly the music of UMG artists will return to TikTok is still unclear, but the two companies are working together to bring it back soon.

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