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Stonebwoy, others songs back on TikTok after its new agreement with Universal Music Group

Stonebwoy and other African musicians signed to the label are relieved that TikTok and Universal Music Group have settled a protracted legal battle over payments.

After failed negotiations, TikTok withdrew all songs licensed to Universal Songs Group on February 1. This was the beginning of the conflict.

Universal Music Group voiced concerns over TikTok’s promotion of AI-generated recordings and music creation tools, accusing the platform of unethical royalty practices.

Stonebwoy, others songs back on TikTok after its new agreement with Universal Music Group

Nevertheless, a recent statement suggests that the disagreement has been settled, with TikTok consenting to important adjustments, such as increased artist compensation beginning in May.

In a staff email, Universal CEO Sir Lucian Grainge emphasized that artists and composers will receive more money under the new agreement than the prior one with TikTok.

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While both companies are working swiftly to reinstate Universal’s music on TikTok, the process, which involves restoring audio to previously muted videos, is expected to take approximately two weeks.

Universal Music Group, renowned for owning some of the largest music catalogs globally, including subsidiaries, has notably expanded its presence in the African music industry, with signings like Stonebwoy.

The return of artists like Stonebwoy, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Sauti Sol, Techno, Nasty C, Vanessa Mdee, Youssou N’Dour, and others to TikTok signifies a significant moment for Africa’s music industry. Notably, the resolution also means the revival of African music impacted by the ban, such as the official song for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), ‘Akwaba.

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