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TikTok and Universal resolve feud, putting Taylor Swift, other artists back on video platform


Ariana Grande, Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna are just some of the artists returning to TikTok — where Taylor Swift’s music recently reappeared — with Universal Music Group and TikTok announcing a licensing deal ending a months-long spat.

TikTok’s more than one billion users will soon be able once again to use music recorded by UMG artists in their videos, and existing videos with music that had been muted due to copyright violations will be unmuted “in due course,” the companies said Wednesday in a joint statement.

The agreement ends a public rift between the two companies over royalties paid by TikTok to UMG artists, which led to the recording giant to pull the entire collection of songs from its lineup of artists off of the platform at the end of January.

Indications that the standoff might be put to rest came in April, when it was disclosed that Taylor Swift’s music was back on the platform before the release of her double album “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

“By harnessing TikTok’s best-in-class technology, marketing and promotional capabilities, UMG and TikTok 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 stated.

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

Part of the new deal includes UMG and TikTok working together to find new monetization opportunities. They will also will work together on campaigns supporting UMG’s artists across genres and territories globally.

In addition, the companies will put their combined efforts toward ensuring that AI development across the music industry will protect human artistry and payments for artists and songwriters. TikTok will also work with UMG to remove unauthorized AI-generated music from the platform, as well as on tools to improve artist and songwriter attribution.

TikTok plans to continue investing in building artist-centric tools that will help UMG artists realize their potential on the platform. Some include “Add to Music App,” enhanced data and analytics, and integrated ticketing capabilities.

“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,” Michael Nash, chief digital officer and executive vice president, Universal Music Group, stated.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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