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TikTok, Universal Music settle royalties dispute

May 2, 2024

TikTok will restore millions of Universal Music tracks to its social media platform after the two companes settling a dispute over royalties.

In an email to staff published the BBC, Universal’s boss Sir Lucian Grainge said TikTok had agreed to “key changes”, adding “under the new agreement, artist and songwriter compensation will be greater than under our prior TikTok deal”.

The firms said they were “working expeditiously” to return Universal’s music to TikTok, which should take less than two weeks. This will include restoring the audio to videos which were previously muted during the dispute.

Taylor Swift, perhaps the label’s biggest artist, had already separately agreed to return her music to TikTok – a deal she could make as she owns the copyright to her songs. Other Universal Music artists include Billie Eilish, Drake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Bad Bunny.

“Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem and we are pleased to have found a path forward with Universal Music Group,” added TikTok head Shou Zi Chew.

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