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As Universal Music-TikTok Fight Continues, Company Sets Expansion Of Strategic Relationship With Spotify

As its public dispute with TikTok continues, Universal Music Group has set an expanded strategic relationship with Spotify.

The new agreement will “further amplify music discovery and social interaction and enhance fan experiences,” the companies said in a joint announcement.

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Under the deal, Spotify will deploy new promotional and social features aimed at helping drive interest in new releases. Universal artists will be able to share teasers of upcoming music on Spotify to increase consumer awareness. Spotify is also gaining the right to distribute music videos in the U.S.

Universal Music pulled its songs from TikTok earlier this year, citing financial terms and concerns about inadequate restrictions on artificial intelligence tools. The catalog of 4 million songs includes tracks from Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Adele and many others.

Separately, TikTok has been under increased scrutiny in recent weeks due to ongoing concerns about China’s role in overseeing the platform. TikTok parent ByteDance was founded in China. The company has repeatedly maintained that it has put in place many safeguards aimed at preventing U.S. user information to be used by Chinese government officials. Those lobbying efforts have not prevented a bipartisan bill to ban the app from reaching the U.S. Senate.

TikTok was not mentioned in the announcement. UMG CEO Lucian Grainge said the company is “always striving to expand opportunities for UMG artists and songwriters to elevate engagement with their fans.” Spotify, he added, has been a “committed partner” in those efforts, and the deal helps to create “an environment where innovation, artist compensation and next-generation fan experiences can coexist and move the industry forward.”

Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek said the new features rolling out under the team-up “will put more power in the hands of artists and their teams to help them authentically express themselves, efficiently promote their work, and better monetize their art.”

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