The TikTok and UMG Drama Is Over

A black and white handshake to represent a deal. The hands have the UMG and TikTok logos
UMG TikTok Deal Remix by Caterina Rose: Poetra.RH/Shutterstock, RoseRodionova/Shutterstock, Vita Olivko/Shutterstock, AMD Creative/Adobe Stock

The conflict between Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok is finally over, in what has been the most stubborn stand-off the creator economy has seen for a while.

In a joint announcement, the two media giants confirmed that they had struck a deal. The deal will bring UMG music back to TikTok with enhanced AI protections.

ICYMI, Universal Music Group is one of the biggest record labels in the United States. Alongside a roster of indie musicians, it represents some of the most famous artists in the music industry, like Taylor Swift, Drake, Ariana Grande, SZA, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and Coldplay. 

UMG pulled their artists’ music from TikTok on Jan. 31, claiming that TikTok was trying to “bully” UMG into accepting a lower deal. TikTok, on the other hand, accused the label of putting “their own interests” above their portfolio of artists.

What’s next for the UMG and TikTok after the deal?

With UMG artists’ music set to return to the app imminently, the two companies said that they will “deliver improved remuneration for UMG’s songwriters and artists, new promotional and engagement opportunities for their recordings and songs and industry-leading protections with respect to generative AI.”

The companies also said they would collaborate closely with one another. This is in order to realize “new monetization opportunities utilizing TikTok’s growing e-commerce capabilities.” They will also “work together on campaigns supporting UMG’s artists across genres and territories globally.”

“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,” Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of UMG, said in a statement.

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

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