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Following a long-standing dispute, TikTok and Universal Music Group have resolved their differences, bringing relief to many fans of African artists under the Universal label.

The dispute arose when TikTok removed all music licensed by Universal Music Group on February 1 due to unsuccessful negotiations.

Universal Music Group accused TikTok of unfair business practices and expressed concerns about the platform's promotion of AI-generated record sounds 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, CEO of Universal, highlighted in an email to employees that the new agreement will result in substantial compensation for artists and songwriters compared to TikTok's original plan.

While both companies work quickly to restore Universal's music to TikTok, the process, which involves reinstating sound to previously muted videos, is expected to take about two weeks.


Universal Music Group, known for owning some of the world's largest music catalogs, including subsidiaries, has expanded its presence in the African music industry.

The return of artists like Stonebwoy, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Sauti Sol, Techno, Nasty C, Vanessa Mdee, Youssou N'Dour, and others to TikTok signals a crucial moment for the African music industry.

Moreover, the resolution also signifies the revival of African music affected by bans, such as the official song for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), 'Akwaba.