BusinessCompany News


Your favorite artists are coming back to TikTok under new deal with Universal Music Group

The two companies entered into a new licensing agreement that will bring the world's biggest artists back to the platform.
The TikTok logo displayed on a smartphone.
Posted at 5:51 PM, May 02, 2024

No more having to choose between only weird covers or extremely sped-up songs on TikTok: The app is finally bringing back your favorite artists' music.

TikTok and Universal Music Group announcedThursday they've entered into a new licensing agreement, thereby returning the world's largest music company's music to the app after just over three months without it.

The now-over stalemate centered on a dispute between UMG — which represents artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, Adele and more — and TikTok over artist compensation, intellectual property rights and AI protections.

Now under the new licensing agreement, the companies say they'll work together to "realize" new monetization opportunities to support UMG's artists while instating "industry-leading" generative AI protections.

"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," said Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG chairman and CEO. "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."

The deal will also add new tools for artists to better "realize their potential" on the app, including enhanced analytics and "increased ticketing capabilities." TikTok also says it will remove any unauthorized AI-generated music from its app and improve how artists and songwriters are attributed for their work.

The TikTok logo displayed on a smartphone.


New bill would force TikTok to divest from China, or face US ban

Scripps News Staff
3:58 PM, Mar 07, 2024

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

Though presumably a sigh of relief for the two global companies, the artists are probably blowing out an anxious breath, too.

TikTok has become somewhat of a success channel for musicians big and small: For smaller artists, it was a way to promote their songs and gain a wider audience and a place for labels to find them. For bigger artists, it was a place to promote upcoming projects or go viral with new songs, which often translated to a higher spot on the charts.

Because of this, many artists tried to break or find loopholes in the ban. Last month, Taylor Swift's music returned to the platform. It's not clear how she got around the dispute, but she does own her music's copyrights.

TikTok didn't say exactly when all of UMG's other artists' music will return to its platform, but the joint announcement noted the companies are "working expeditiously" to do so.