TikTok and Universal Music Group sign global licensing deal

TikTok now has fresh worldwide licensing deals in place with all three major record companies.


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After announcing deals with Sony Music in November and Warner Music Group in December, the ByteDance-owned video app revealed today (February 8) that it has struck an “expanded” global licensing agreement with Universal Music Group.

Coincidentally, the timing of the announcement comes just days after UMG pulled its catalog from TikTok’s biggest rival, Triller, with Universal accusing that platform of withholding payments to UMG artists.

According to a statement, the new global agreement between UMG and TikTok “delivers equitable compensation for recording artists and songwriters and significantly expands and enhances the companies’ existing relationship”.

The deal covers recorded music from artists at UMG’s labels and songwriters with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). TikTok and UMG have additionally pledged “to experiment with exciting new features”.

As a result, TikTok users will now be able to incorporate clips from UMG’s full catalog of music.

Ole Obermann TikTok

“We are excited to enter this new era with UMG and UMPG to continue supporting artists and songwriters, by working together to help reach music fans on TikTok.”

Ole Obermann, TikTok

Ole Obermann, Global Head of Music for TikTok, said: “We are excited to enter this new era with UMG and UMPG to continue supporting artists and songwriters, by working together to help reach music fans on TikTok.

“Our platform has been a driver in creating chart hits and licensing the world’s biggest catalog of tracks will continue to inspire our community.

“In turn, we are proud to partner with UMG and UMPG to be a source to help new talent emerge and to re-introduce legacy acts to a new audience.”

Michael Nash Universal Music Group

“UMG and TikTok will now work more closely than ever to promote ambitious experimentation, innovation and collaboration.”

Michael Nash, UMG

Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at UMG, added: “UMG and TikTok will now work more closely than ever to promote ambitious experimentation, innovation and collaboration — with the shared objective of developing new music experiences and features.

“Driving new and deeper connections with fans, this agreement delivers equitable compensation to our recording artists and songwriters, as well as a commitment to develop industry-leading tools, A&R insights and models necessary to advance their careers.”

Marc Cimino, Chief Operating Officer of UMPG, said: “This alliance sets an industrywide example of social media companies acknowledging, respecting and compensating the music creators whose songs are instrumental to their platforms. We appreciate Tik Tok’s partnership and look forward to working together to provide support and opportunities to our songwriters.”

Last year, TikTok inked deals with Merlin and Paris-based Believe, plus Pan-European licensing hub ICE and Dutch Collecting Society Buma/Stemra.


TikTok published its first ever US Music report in December, in which it revealed that over 70 artists that broke on the platform in the past 12 months went on to sign major label deals.

The platform also reported that over 176 different songs surpassed 1 billion video views as TikTok sounds in 2020.

In July, the Bytedance-owned platform also announced a deal with a range of music publishers, via an agreement with the US-based National Music Publishers Association.Music Business Worldwide

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