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After three months off the platform, Universal Music Group have signed a deal to bring their music back to TikTok.

In January, major label Universal Music Group (UMG) kicked up a huge fuss about TikTok. As their deal came to an end, UMG removed all of their music from TikTok’s content library in a public conflict over a new licensing agreement.

TikTok and UMG have now announced a new licensing agreement. This deal marks the return of UMG’s massive music catalogue to TikTok’s billion-strong user base. UMG artists and songs will be returning to TikTok videos and will be back in their music library for use in new content.

Their new agreement isn’t simply a restoration of UMGs content but sees a new deal between the label and TikTok. TikTok announce that they will “deliver improved remuneration for UMG’s songwriter and artists”. This suggests that they will be paid more for their use in videos. If this is true, then UMG may be seen as getting special treatment, inciting backlash from other labels and licensors.

TikTok reveal that their new deal also sees “new promotional and engagement opportunities” for UMG music. They don’t cite what this will look like, nor do they specify exactly how much UMG artists will be remunerated in comparison to others.

UMG Chairman and CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge, who led the original conflict writes: “This new chapter in our relationship with TikTok focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artists and the welfare of the creative community. We look forward to collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interested of our artist and songwriters and drive innovation in fan engagement while advancing social music monetization.”

TikTok claim that they will be continuing to invest “significant resources into building artist-centric tools”. They cite their “Add to Music App” feature as an example of the moves they are making to improve the position of music on their platform.

The news came out today, so we will need to see how the industry responds to TikTok’s suggestion that UMG artists be remunerated more. TikTok are “working expeditiously” to return UMG music to their platform and the full catalogue should be available soon.

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