TikTok has already gained tremendous influence in today’s music industry, sending songs that find popularity on the app at the top of the Billboard charts. Now the company is launching its own music marketing and distribution platform, SoundOn, to help more artists get their music heard. The new platform allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and parent company’s music streaming service ByteDance Resso, as well as global streaming platforms including Tencent’s Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Joox.
This distribution is provided free of charge and all transaction fees have been waived by the platform. TikTok claims that SoundOn will pay 100% royalties to music creators for an unlimited time on ByteDance’s proprietary platforms. This includes distribution on TikTok; plus Resso in Brazil, Indonesia and India; and ByteDance’s video editor app, CapCut.
Even for global streaming services, the payout is 100% in the artist’s first year, but will drop to 90% in the second year and beyond. In comparison, competitor DistroKid charges subscription artists and labels, allowing artists to keep 100% of their earnings. TuneCore, meanwhile, charges for distribution based on song or album, but also promises artists to retain 100% of the streaming revenue.
According to the SoundOn FAQ, artists will retain all rights and royalties, which means they will own their masters as well as receive 100% royalties (or, subsequently, 90%).
In addition to managing music distribution mechanisms, SoundOn offers other promotional tools and support, including audience insights and development, advice from the SoundOn marketing team, access to the TikTok song card (where music is linked to profile pages ), TikTok verification, editorial placements on Resso and CapCut and promotional support through creator marketing on the TikTok platform.
The SoundOn website notes that the release through its platform will get tracks in front of the creators of TikTok.
“The creators of TikTok are the lifeblood of our platform and the reason why sounds become hits,” explains the website. “When you release through our platform, our team will activate several creators to make videos with your track. This helps you broaden your fan base and reach new communities that these creators are a part of. “
The marketing aspect of TikTok in SoundOn’s value proposition could make the service particularly attractive to new and emerging artists, as they understand that getting an extra boost on TikTok can help them emerge and reach a wider audience, thanks to viral trends. by TikTok. Fans then follow the artists on music streaming services, where loyalty is converted into actual dollars and cents.
“New artists and music creators are a vibrant community within TikTok, and SoundOn is designed to support them as they take their first steps in their careers,” said Ole Obermann, TikTok global head of Music, in a statement on the launch. . “Our SoundOn teams will guide creators on their journey to the big stage and bring the experience and power of TikTok to life for the artist. We are incredibly excited about how this will emerge and propel new talent and how SoundOn will contribute to a increasingly diversified and growing global music industry “.
The SoundOn platform has been in beta testing since last fall and is now fully available in the US, UK, Brazil and Indonesia, with an unknown number of artists and creators already using the service, including Muni Long, Games We Play, Abby Roberts and Chloe Adams in the UK
SoundOn isn’t TikTok’s first move in the music distribution space. The company announced in 2020 a deal with UnitedMasters, which became the first music distribution company to be integrated into TikTok.
ByteDance’s expansion into music distribution is not unusual for streaming service operators. Apple invested in UnitedMasters last year, for example, which also has big deals with the NBA and ESPN, as well as TikTok. And Spotify has a small stake in DistroKid, though it sold two-thirds of that stake for $ 167 million last fall.
TikTok says interested artists can now register for SoundOn at us.soundon.global or soundon.global.