Universal Music Group Wants to Focus On Super-Premium Streaming Offerings

On yet another interesting piece of news coming out from our industry this week, Universal Music Group (UMG) presented the information discussed during their past week’s Q1 meeting. There’s plenty to dissect so, buckle up! Joking, we’ve made it easy for you to grasp everything at a glance. Read on.

If there’s one piece of information you should walk out of this post knowing, though, is Universal is coming back to TikTok. After a three-month licensing standoff, the music giant and the short-form video platform are back in business, to the relief of many.

Return To TikTok

The most significant takeaway of the entire meeting, at least to the concern of all of us who don’t really work at UMG? Universal’s music catalogue is making a triumphant return to TikTok. Expect a fresh wave of chart-toppers and classic throwbacks flooding your “For You” page in the coming weeks. According to UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, artists and songwriters can look forward to “greater recompense” under this new agreement. So, all in all, the recent noise made on the internet about fair revenues and royalties might just be starting to see results.

Now, the financial details are still locked inside a vault, but industry insiders are abuzz about the potential for a significant revenue boost for UMG. However, there’s more to this story than just pounds and pence.

AI Agreements And Artist Attribution

UMG also scored some key concessions on the responsibility front. The new deal addresses UMG’s concerns about Artificial-Intelligence-generated music being used on the platform. This seems to be a proper victory for — human — artists who want to ensure their creative contributions are properly recognised in the current enter-a-prompt-and-get-a-song era.

Social Media: A Work in Progress

Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, pointed out social media monetisationis still a work in progress for the entire music industry“. They already have an ongoing deal with Facebook since 2017, and are looking to strengthen rights and laws to protect the intellectual property to their name. Allegedly to pursue better income for UMG’s artists, but I guess that, we’ll have to see with our own eyes.

Superfans: Pay More, Get More

Universal introduced a newborn concept regarding music consumers, and are keen to set sail on a new and potentially lucrative market: superfans. Research suggests that around 20% of music subscribers (roughly one in five) might be willing to pay extra for a super-premium tier with exclusive content and experiences. This could be anything from bonus tracks and artist Q&As to behind-the-scenes access and merchandise bundles. The possibilities are endless.

UMG is exploring partnerships with streaming services to create these “superfan” subscriptions. So this part might just open a slight dystopia for consumers, for content is slowly drifting away from being free as it once was, and we’re getting bits locked behind a paywall little by little. A clear example is Spotify just recently limiting lyrics for their free users.

Final Words

So, there you are, those are the topics discussed and revealed by UMG, in a nutshell. Only time will tell how these points develop, and if other industry giants and not-so-much follow Universal’s steps. Stay tuned to our page for the latest news and views from our Dance industry.

[H/T] Music Business Worldwide