TikTok Gets Rights to Universal Music Group's Catalog

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

TikTok Gets Rights to Universal Music Group's Catalog
Photo by Franck on Unsplash

Universal Music Group has provided TikTok rights to its extensive music catalog in an agreement announced Monday that gives more muscle to the short-form video app that's been selling itself as a tool of music discovery.

One of the world's most popular social media apps, TikTok has catapulted artists like Lil Nas X Olivia Rodrigo into the mainstream. Under the agreement, the company has pledged to work with the UMG to build new features including "A&R insights and models" that will presumably help to identify songs and artists poised to break out.


The news comes days after the music group pulled its entire catalog from Triller, a TikTok competitor, citing Triller's withholding of payments and refusal to negotiate a renewed deal. That means that, at least for now, while TikTok users will be able to make videos with songs by UMG's entire roster of artists – which includes superstars Drake, Eminem and Arianna Grande among numerous others – Triller users will not.

The agreement also has the potential to offer UMG valuable insights into the role social media is playing in promoting its artists. The deal covers songs associated with performing artists from UMG as well as songwriters from Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).

"This alliance sets an industrywide example of social media companies acknowledging, respecting and compensating the music creators whose songs are instrumental to their platforms," said UMPG chief operating officer Marc Cimino in a statement.

David Israelite, head of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA, of which Universal is a member), an advocacy group for music publishers and songwriters, said, "We've been pleased that with TikTok, they've made broad licensing deals with the music community, including an NMPA-brokered deal that involved a settlement looking backward. With Triller, it remains a company that is largely unlicensed as of today."

Triller claimed last week that it didn't need a deal with UMG, but Israelite disagreed.

"Social media companies like TikTok and Triller absolutely need the permission and licenses of the copyright owners of the music that they use to build their businesses," he said. "What's been disappointing among many social media companies is that they will focus on building their business first and worry about licensing their music later, which is not a good way to do it."

https://twitter.com/hisamblake
samblake@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

Motional Links With Uber to Make Robotaxis a Reality

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Motional
Image courtesy of Motional

Motional, a self-driving taxi startup backed by Hyundai, will partner with Uber to bring its robotic taxis to cities throughout the United States within the next decade as part of its push to get people more comfortable with the concept of taking a ride in a driverless electric vehicle.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending