TikTok gets Tay and Billie back with new UMG content licensing deal

Users on TikTok can once again create music clips using tracks from UMG’s catalog, a list featuring some of the biggest names in music today: Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Ariana Grande. That’s because, after months of fighting, the social media platform and Universal Music Group (UMG) have finally called a truce with a new content licensing agreement. The companies didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The move is coming at a critical moment for the company. TikTok is facing yet more threats of being banned in key markets, including the U.S. So scoring this win with UMG is important not just to beef up its content, but to amp up its profile with consumers that TikTok is counting on to rally for it. While the company has decided to fight the threat of a ban in the U.S. in the courts, it could use positive news like this.

The catalog will be available for video creation in one or two weeks. That also means that existing videos using UMG music, which had been muted, will be unmuted once the catalog is available.

“Fans on TikTok can look forward to the return of UMG’s recorded music and publishing catalogs and once again enjoy creating videos using music from some of the world’s biggest artists and songwriters as well as exciting emerging talent,” TikTok said in a post.

The deal comes after a selection of Taylor Swift’s music returned to TikTok last month — largely because she owns the masters of some of her albums.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew said that the company is glad that it has “found a path forward” with UMG after its spat.

“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,” He said.

Earlier this year, UMG pulled its catalog from the short video platform after refusing to renew its agreement with TikTok. Separately, UMG signed a new deal with Spotify for music videos.


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