TikTok secures short-term licensing agreements with the major labels

The popular app now has agreements with Universal, Sony and Warner, but some publishers are discussing a lawsuit.
TikTok has struck short-term licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, multiple sources tell Billboard, as the rapidly growing video-making app continues to establish itself in the music industry. This means there won’t be any disruptions from the major labels pulling content in the near future, which is crucial for its growth at a time when more people are looking for ways to pass the time while the coronavirus pandemic has much of the world staying home. But in the long-term TikTok still has a ways to go.

Sources close to the situation say the deals with major labels are notably shorter than the 18-24 month agreements that labels usually strike with technology companies — in part so that the rapidly developing social network and the major labels can continue to negotiate the finer points of longer-term deals. The deals give TikTok the rights to use 30-second clips of any of the record labels’ songs. Record label executives are also eager to watch how the platform develops before making long-term commitments, as Billboard reports.


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