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

Following a prolonged dispute over royalties, TikTok and Universal Music Group have settled their differences, bringing relief to fans of numerous African artists under the label.

Ghanaian Artiste, Stonebwoy

The conflict arose when TikTok removed all music licensed to Universal Music Group on February 1 due to failed negotiations.

Universal Music Group accused TikTok of unfair royalty practices and expressed concerns about the platform's promotion of AI-generated recordings and music creation tools.

However, a recent announcement indicates that the rift has been resolved, with TikTok agreeing to significant changes, including improved compensation for artists starting in May.


Sir Lucian Grainge, Universal's CEO, highlighted in an email to staff that the new agreement would result in greater compensation for artists and songwriters compared to the previous deal with TikTok.

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 catalogues 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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