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After spat with TikTok, UMG expands Spotify partnership to cover music videos and more

Universal Music Group (UMG) is doubling down on its efforts to strike a deal with Spotify after a public spat with TikTok earlier this year that saw the company pull its entire catalog from the video app. On Thursday, UMG announced an expanded strategic relationship with the streaming music service, focusing on “music discovery and social engagement” as well as enhanced fan experiences.Among these new features in the US is the addition of music videos

Spotify recently announced plans to support music videos, saying in March that it would be testing the option in beta in 11 select markets (excluding the U.S. at the time). Instead, the feature would be available in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, the company said. , Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, Poland, the Philippines, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Through the deal with UMG, US users will also have the option to watch music videos instead of just streaming audio. The companies did not say which parts of Universal Music Group’s catalog will be available as videos, or which high-profile artists’ videos will be included.

However, Universal Music Publishing Group includes many popular artists such as Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, SZA, Drake, Harry Styles Elsewhere, Kendrick Lamar, Adele and more. The catalog of 4 million songs was also removed from TikTok after UMG failed to renew its agreement with TikTok.

To watch videos, Spotify users can access a new “Switch to Video” option from the app’s Now Playing screen. Also, if you rotate your phone to landscape mode, you can watch the video in full screen.

As part of the new deal, Spotify will launch new promotional and social features to help artists build excitement for their new albums. For example, UMG artists will be able to share trailers for upcoming songs, and users will be able to pre-save music before new releases are released.

UMG said in a statement that the two companies will explore collaboration on other features over time, with more details still to be announced.

Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement: “UMG has always been a progressive partner on behalf of artists and songwriters, contributing to product development efforts on our experimental tools and adopting them early to help artists. Stand out.” “Upcoming features will empower artists and their teams, helping them express themselves authentically, effectively promote their work, and better monetize their art,” he added.

Of course, the timing of this deal is noteworthy given the drama surrounding TikTok. In addition to facing a possible U.S. ban, the short-form video app and Universal Music Group have been unable to reach an agreement over TikTok’s use of Universal Music Group’s music. Therefore, TikTok has until January 31, 2024 to remove approximately 3 million songs owned or distributed by UMG. Subsequently, it must also remove further songs containing UMG-controlled works, that is, songs written or co-written by UMG. Songwriter signed to Universal Music Publishing Group.

By partnering with Spotify, UMG still has a way to promote its music to fans, even as its artists lose the ability to market themselves on TikTok. The loss of UMG Music would have been a bigger blow to TikTok in previous years, but considering the app’s shift away from lip-syncing and dance videos toward more vlogs and long-form content, not to mention its controversial nature The impact of e-commerce promotion may not be so far-reaching.

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