TikTok and Universal Music Group have reached a new licensing deal, ending a three-month stalemate that had blocked songs from some of pop’s biggest stars from the influential social media platform.

In a joint announcement early Thursday, the two companies said that they had agreed to a “multi-dimensional” new deal that included “improved remuneration” for Universal’s roster of artists and songwriters, and would address the label’s concerns over the growth of A.I.-generated content on the app.

In statements that accompanied the announcement, Shou Chew, the chief executive of TikTok, called music “an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem.” Lucian Grainge, the chief executive of Universal — the world’s biggest music company, with a roster of artists including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Drake and U2 — called the deal a “new chapter in our relationship with TikTok” that “focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artistry and the welfare of the creative community.”

In an internal email to Universal employees, a copy of which was seen by The New York Times, Grainge said that under the new agreement, “artist and songwriter compensation will be greater than under our prior TikTok deal.”

The agreement ends the music industry’s biggest and most contentious dispute with a tech platform in years. Both companies hurled public accusations at each other, and artists from across the spectrum worried about whether their careers would be hurt by the absence of their music from TikTok, which has become a vital promotional platform and boasts more than 170 million users in the United States alone.


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