Music from Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and others returns to TikTok thanks to new UMG deal

  • Universal Music Group and TikTok have reached a new deal that will bring the publisher’s music back to TikTok.
  • TikTok and UMG will work together to remove unauthorised AI music from the platform.
  • Artists and songwriters will benefit from improved earnings from TikTok.

At the end of January, Universal Music Group (UMG) pulled its music catalogue from TikTok leading to millions of videos that utilised music from the publisher’s stable being put on mute.

Today UMG announced that it had reached a new deal with TikTok that would see music from the likes of Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish returning to the platform.

One of the reasons UMG removed its music in the first place was that TikTok was allowing unauthorised music generated by artificial intelligence from UMG artists on the platform. Per a press release, TikTok will now work with UMG to remove this music from its platform. In addition, UMG says that under this new deal remuneration for songwriters and artists will be better than it was and labelling of music will be better.

“Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem and we are pleased to have found a 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 chief executive officer, Shou Chew said.

UMG says it is working to bring its music catalogue back to TikTok. According to Music Business Worldwide, there are between 3 and 4 million songs in the catalogue so this process could take a week or two. Hopefully this means that videos which contained songs from the publisher before it removed its catalogue will be unmuted.

“Developing transformational partnerships with important innovators is critical to UMG’s commitment to promoting an environment in which artists and songwriters prosper. We’re gratified to renew our relationship with TikTok predicated on significant advancements in commercial and marketing opportunities as well as protections provided to our industry-leading roster on their platform. With the constantly evolving ways that social interaction, fan engagement, music discovery and artistic ingenuity converge on TikTok, we see great potential in our collaboration going forward,” chief digital officer and executive vice president at UMG, Michael Nash said in a statement.

With this new deal UMG expects new monetisation opportunities to open up on TikTok that leverage TikTok’s ecommerce capabilities. These include ticketing capabilities, “Add to Music App” tools as well as better data and analytics.

We’ll be interested to see how this affects the income creators on TikTok earn as it sounds as if TikTok is making many bold promises to UMG and that likely means there will be fewer Dollars to share with creators.

What wasn’t mentioned is how this deal would be affected should TikTok be banned in the US. The platform appears to be resistant to the idea of selling to another entity and as such may just leave the US altogether. That would mean a loss of an estimated 170 million users and 25 percent of its revenue and with this deal in place, TikTok is going to need every bit of revenue it can get from other territories.

[Image – antonbe from Pixabay]


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