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TikTok And UMG Declare Truce New Revenue Streams Or Controversial ‘Primacy Of Human Artistry’


TikTok And UMG Declare Truce: New Revenue Streams Or Controversial ‘Primacy Of Human Artistry’?

Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok have announced a new licensing agreement, ending their months-long dispute that led to the removal of UMG’s entire catalog from the short-form video platform. 

In a joint statement, UMG CEO Lucian Grainge and TikTok CEO Shou Chew express their commitment to “the value of music, the primacy of human artistry, and the welfare of the creative community.” They also hint at exciting prospects, such as collaboration on AI development and the exploration of “new monetization opportunities” through TikTok’s e-commerce business.

“We look forward to collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interests of our artists and songwriters, drive innovation in fan engagement, and advance social music monetization,” Grainge said in the statement.

Chew echoed the UMG head’s opinion: “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.”

The disagreement began in late January when UMG sent an open letter citing concerns over low payment rates and using AI-generated music on TikTok. The music corporation’s recorded catalog was removed from the platform in February, followed by the publishing catalog a month later. The move proved divisive among UMG artists, with some voicing frustration at not being consulted and others supporting the label’s stance for better compensation.

Taylor Swift, who owns her masters and publishing, temporarily broke from UMG to bring her music back to TikTok in April, promoting her latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” With the new agreement in place, the rest of UMG’s roster – comprising artists such as Drake, The Weekend, and Billie Eilish – is expected to resume TikTok campaigns for their music.

While resolving the UMG dispute, TikTok faces a potential ban in the United States unless its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, divests within the next year. Chew stated that TikTok would go to court to fight the ban.

The truce between TikTok and UMG comes after a high-profile conflict over music licensing and emerging technologies like AI. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but the companies state they will provide “improved remuneration” for UMG artists and songwriters.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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