UMG Reaches New Deal To Restore Artists’ Songs On TikTok After Music Company Previously Pulled Them From The App Over Unfair Compensation & AI Violations: ‘We Are Committed To Working Together To Drive Value’

UMG Reaches New Deal To Restore Artists’ Songs On TikTok After Music Company Previously Pulled Them From The App Over Unfair Compensation & AI Violations: ‘We Are Committed To Working Together To Drive Value’

TikTok users found themselves at a crossroads when it was announced that Universal Music Group (UMG) would remove its catalog from the app earlier this year. From upset artists to muted videos, many weren’t too fond of Universal Music Group’s decision.

Fortunately, it’s a new dawn and day for TikTok and Universal Music Group, as they’ve just found common ground and entered a new agreement.

Universal Music Group chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge said of the continued partnership:

“I’m very pleased to share the good news that our dispute with TikTok has ended with a decidedly positive outcome: they have agreed to key changes in several critical areas (including artificial intelligence, platform safety, remuneration) and we will once again license our music to them. This agreement marks another significant step we’ve taken to guide the industry’s evolution towards a future where human artistry must be respected, artists and songwriters are treated fairly, and their fans are provided with platforms that better prioritize safety and integrity.”

Lucian Grainge

He noted later in the staff memo,

“Under the new agreement, artist and songwriter compensation will be greater than under our prior TikTok deal, and the total value UMG’s artists and songwriters garner from this partnership will be more closely aligned with other platforms in the social music category.”

TikTok head Shou Chew spoke on the matter,

“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.”

(via Pexels)

Universal Music Group’s extensive archive accounted for a vast majority of TikTok’s song index, as the powerhouse record company is known for housing heavy hitters such as Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, SZA, Drake, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Adele, and Post Malone under their label umbrellas.

According to reports, UMG and TikTok fell into a licensing dispute after the entertainment conglomerates failed to reach fair contractual negotiations.

In an open letter, UMG accused the Chinese-led social network of not properly compensating their talent and exposing their voices to artificial intelligence.

Universal Music Group wrote:

“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”

It furthered,

“[TikTok] makes little effort to deal with the vast amounts of content on its platform that infringe our artists’ music and it has offered no meaningful solutions to the rising tide of content adjacency issues, let alone the tidal wave of hate speech, bigotry, bullying and harassment on the platform.”

(via Pexels)

Additionally, Universal Music Group claimed TikTok “attempted” to intimidate it into accepting “less than the previous deal” and only promoting their “audience-driving global stars” on the virtual phenomenon.

It added:

“TikTok’s tactics are obvious: use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans.”

In response to Universal Music Group, TikTok said in a statement,

“It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters. Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.”

One singer, in particular, who didn’t hold back on expressing her disapproval of the corporation’s untimely move was Muni Long.

At the time, Muni Long’s “Made for Me” was at the top of the short-form platform’s trending list, with thousands of content flaunting the viral sound.

The Grammy Award winner posted her thoughts to her social media with the seemingly sarcastic caption,

“I mean it’s not like [UMG is] refusing to support my music until I prove that it’s valuable by investing my own money and maybe possibly lucking up on a hot TikTok trend or anything like that.”

Muni Long

It’s great to see that TikTok has come to a solution for one of their problems. As for if they’ll be around to solve any others, the future is uncertain.

Last month, President Joe Biden signed a bill to ban the ByteDance-owned app unless they eventually agree to sell it off.

We’re hoping all ends well.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Authored by: Ashley Blackwell