Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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TikTok Enters The Music Distribution Business With new Platform, SoundOn

All eyes are on the mega video app, TikTok, as the viral social platform has announced that it is launching its own music distribution platform, SoundOn. Owned by parent company, ByteDance, Tik Tok’s SoundOn is described as an “all-in-one platform for music creators”.

Currently live in four markets including the US, UK, Brazil, and Indonesia, SoundOn promises artists the opportunity for them to work with TikTok creators and have their music pitched to Resso’s editorial teams. On top of the direct upload to TikTok, SoundOn will also allow artists’ music to be delivered to the other major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon and more.

TikTok Global Head of Music, Ole Obermann, told Music Business Worldwide;

“In short, we’re making it easier for [independent artists] to get their music on TikTok, and we’re going to work with them to much better understand how to reach their audiences on TikTok.”

He also adds that this additional expanded service on TikTok will make the music ecosystem more holistic as A&R teams can use the platform to source new artists;

“I think that’s going to make it easier for artists to find their fans. And then for labels and publishers to find those artists. The [industry’s] entire A&R process, I think, will become more efficient off the back of it.”

To get the artists’ buy in for the program, TikTok is extending this service free of charge by waiving the transaction fees. According to the SoundOn platform, creators will receive 100% of the royalties of their music for the first year and TikTok will take 10% of that in the subsequent year. Furthermore, artists are guaranteed to have 100% ownership of their music and will get a monthly payment. To entice new sign ups, TikTok also expresses their commitment to elevate its marketing opportunities on the platform for artists who distribute their music via SoundOn. They are tying in their team of experts to help artists grow their fanbases and promote music on the platform.

Obermann emphasizes the dedication of the music team to help elevate the career of aspiring creators;

“Our SoundOn teams will guide creators on their journey to the big stage and bring the expertise and power of TikTok to life for the artist.”

Participating artists will be able to leverage on insights, tools, and dashboards to understand the trends about their music and audiences, with the potential to also enroll in SoundOn+, a program dedicated for exclusive group of artists that are trending on TikTok.  

Some of the artists cited to have successfully enhance their music visibility through SoundOn includes Abby Roberts, Muni Long, Chloe Adams, and Games We Play. Abby Roberts, the makeup sensation on the viral video app, has also recently launched her music career with two singles released this year and an upcoming EP later on in 2022. She backs the SoundOn platform with her experience;

“I’ve always worked with the team at Tik Tok through my whole career and they’ve always been so supportive of me, so I really valued the extra support and help I’ve got from SoundOn launching my music now as well”.

Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has been immensely rising in popularity. According to a report in September 2021, they hit a significant milestone of over 1 billion Monthly Active Users, which continue to grow every day. It is no surprise that creators and new musicians are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon to have their music heard and discover their fan bases.

How the new TikTok offering will affect the music distribution ecosystem remains to be seen. This move is undeniably one of the noteworthy developments in the music space for major players like TuneCore, CD Baby and Distrokid, who will certainly be keeping tabs on the adoption rate of this new initiative. As the TikTok demographic expands to not only skew towards younger Gen Z millennials in recent years, many musicians and creators have found the platform a useful tool to launch their creativity and content ideas. However, it is still too premature to fully ascertain the success of TikTok moving towards the distribution space. What we can mostly agree on is the healthy competition that other players will have, that will keep them striving for improved features, artists-friendly tools, and an enhanced user experience.  

If you are an artist and interested to find out more about SoundOn, registration can be done at https://www.soundon.global/

Words by Sheila Lim

Posted On 3 October, 2022