TikTok and Universal Music Group today announced a “global alliance” that promises compensation for recording artists and songwriters when their songs are used on the short-form video platform. On top of that, TikTok users will also now be able to incorporate clips from UMG’s full catalog of music.
It’s a move that should be beneficial for both companies. On TikTok’s side, its users will have a wider library of songs to add to their videos, and on UMG’s side, its artists will not only get compensation, but also have the chance to be the next viral sensation. It’s not uncommon for a song to blow up in popularity on TikTok, such as Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road or Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage (There are a lot more examples here).
TikTok has made similar deals with other companies such as Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Merlin, a network of mostly indie labels. It also added Prince’s entire catalog last year. All of this gives TikTok users a massive library of songs of which to use while also avoiding licensing disputes.