TikTok lures artists with exclusive deals

TikTok may create a closed ecosystem where artists can both stream and promote their music.

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The Future. TikTok is hoping to cement itself as the new mover and shaker in music by locking up artists on the platform in long-term exclusive deals. The move would allow TikTok to cut out major labels and work with artists individually. And with the company tinkering with a launch of TikTok Music worldwide to compete with Spotify and Apple Music, TikTok may create a closed ecosystem where artists can both stream and promote their music to the masses.

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If being consistently featured on TikTok’s For You page is your wish as a musician, the platform is here to likely grant it.

  • TikTok is offering exclusive deals to artists to distribute their work exclusively through ByteDance’s SoundOn — a platform that places music on streaming platforms and handles royalties.
  • Reported deals are asking artists to license their music to TikTok for 10 years in exchange for an upfront advance and 50% of the split of all ancillary revenues.
  • TikTok is also expanding its A&R team — tasked with finding new writers — to help give artists guidance on how to best grow their music on the platform by leveraging app data.

Allegedly, TikTok is also toying with the idea of starting its own label, although the company publicly denies it. That, coupled with the artist deals, could put TikTok in conflict with the major labels… just as both parties are going head-to-head on how music is licensed for the service.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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