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UMG and TikTok settle dispute with a new licensing agreement

Announced on May 1, 2024, TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG) have reached a new licensing agreement that would bring back songs from UMG’s catalog back to the social media platform after three months. It is not clear yet as to when the catalog will be back on the app but the statement about the new license states it will return in “due course” and they are “working expeditiously” to return the music.

Last February, Universal Music removed its songs from TikTok due to the platform refusing to pay for the music and concerns about insufficient grounds on artificial intelligence tools. This pulled out songs from artists such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and more.

This deal aims to improve remuneration for UMG’s artists and songwriters, new promotional and engagement opportunities for their recordings and songs and industry leading protections with respect to generative AI.

Both companies will be working together to realize new monetization opportunities utilizing TikTok’s growing e-commerce services as well as creating campaigns supporting artists from UMG across different genres and countries on a global scale.
Regarding the concern on AI and artist safety, both organizations will work together “to ensure AI development across the music industry will protect human artistry and the economics that flow to those artists and songwriters. TikTok is also committed to working with UMG to remove unauthorized AI-generated music from the platform, as well as tools to improve artist and songwriter attribution.”

UMG’s Chairman and CEO, Lucian Grainge, stated, “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. 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.”

“Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem and we are pleased to have found the path forward with Universal Music Group. 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,” TikTok CEO Shou Chew added.


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