TikTok and Universal Music reach a deal, restoring artists to platform from Mashable


Some of the world’s favorite artists will be returning soon to TikTok.

TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG) have reached a “multi-dimensional” deal that will restore the music of UMG’s vast client roster – including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, and Drake – to the app.

In February, UMG began pulling their catalogue from TikTok after soured negotiations between the two powerhouses. The music group called out TikTok on key issues like protecting artists from the threat of AI, ensuring online safety, and delivering appropriate compensation for artists and songwriters.

The joint agreement, reached on May 1, includes new stipulations between UMG and TikTok, and is being described as “a new era of strategic collaboration between the two organizations”, according to a press release.

As well as the music catalogue making a return, TikTok has said it will invest in enhanced data analytics and ticketing capabilities for artists. Notably, the agreement also touches upon AI: TikTok will work alongside UMG to remove any unauthorized, AI-generated music from the platform.

The two companies said they are “working expeditiously” to return the music of UMG artists to the app. Of course, Taylor Swift had already made a comeback to the app ahead of the promotion of her album The Tortured Poets Department, becoming the only UMG artist to do so before the new deal was inked.

This will be major news for both creators and users who have encountered a certain kind of silence on the app since February: After all, UMG and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) own an estimated 20 to 30 percent of popular music on TikTok.

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