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Posted on January 9, 2023 | By Shawn Spence

Big Takeaways Around TikTok And Music In 2023

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We’re chiming in with an article on the Tik and the Tok of today. Yes, TikTok was always in the news in the music industry in 2022, for better or worse. Swipe up, read, and enjoy as we examine the major talking topics here!

Prominent Artists Are Still Joining But Others Feel Pressured

Any platform that can get Beyoncé and Dolly Parton to sign up is obviously special, following a trend that has seen a number of well-known musicians join TikTok in an effort to capture its culture. Both of these acts and more recent, up-and-coming musicians who are already familiar with the site can succeed on TikTok.

Unfortunately for the app, it wasn’t actually THE story this year regarding musicians and TikTok. Stories of musicians feeling pressured by their labels to use TikTok and, to use a phrase, “make their music go viral” abounded in late April.

TikTok isn’t to blame per such; it’s just the popular platform right now. The primary issue is how the music biz responds to it; pressuring musicians to use it and make it popular is the wrong course of action.

Music Rightsholders Are Rumbling Over Royalties

2022 also came under some of its own criticism around music consumption, in particular, how it compensates record labels and publishers for the music played in its app. TikTok does have a number of license agreements, although they are often rather short-term and must be renewed every few years. This subsequent round of renewals is… challenging.

In November, news of the secret talks broke into the open, making it obvious that major labels wanted TikTok to get much higher royalties. Labels want a portion of TikTok’s advertising profits, not simply upfront flat-fee payments, according to a different reliable report.

Due to the importance of both TikTok and music, new agreements will be reached. It would be fascinating to watch how the specifics of its new accords are communicated to the larger industry and artists in light of the current discussions about the lack of transparency around such agreements.

TikTok Is In The Music Livestreaming Game

The ability to broadcast live content on TikTok is nothing new, but in 2022 it solidified its position as a venue for pre-recorded concerts and music live streams, frequently with a sprinkle of innovative technology.

A rising number of musicians are going live on TikTok in more casual ways between these staged events to promote albums and tours or to just respond to fan inquiries.

TikTok Could Power The Next Big Music-Streaming Service

Let’s get to the bottom of why TikTok is causing concern among reputable streaming providers, why its agreements with rightsholders are risky, and why there is a larger pattern to its expanding aspirations in the music industry. TikTok could be the foundation of the next major disruptive music streaming by this time next year.

It’s a well-kept secret. In the US, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has applied for a trademark for “TikTok Music.” Two Wall Street Journal articles, published in October and December, made clear that the plans may involve a global expansion of ByteDance’s current Resso streaming service, but with a close integration with TikTok.

TikTok’s In-App Spending Is Bigger Than You Thought

The persistent work of app analytics has revealed the development of TikTok’s in-app spending, despite the misconception that the app is free and earns its money through advertising.

We’re referring to TikTok customers shelling out cash for the app’s digital “coins,” which they can then use to tip producers and ad videos. It’s crucial to realize that TikTok users do more than just view videos for free. Why? Because of the potential for some of the features to be used by artists in the future: from tips in live streams to subscriptions at the creator level.

TikTok Is Just Getting Started With Advertising

But let’s not forget about advertising, which is also expanding quickly for TikTok. These are only estimates, of course; no one predicted the Covid-19 pandemic, and we fear to imagine what other unknowns could surface between now and 2027. 

But predictions can have a big impact. They have an influence on big labels’ demands during negotiations for a portion of these advertising earnings as part of new licensing agreements, for instance. Additionally, they impact the strategy of long-standing competitors that perceive a danger.

Coming next: AR, Shopping, Avatars, Games…

TikTok must continue to innovate if it is to maintain its position as a cultural icon for as long as feasible. There is a lot happening at the firm outside of the core music functions, and many of these additional technologies could be helpful to musicians as well.

Stay connected with MusicPromoToday to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments. Visit the MPT Blog to find out more about what’s going on in the music industry and what’s to come.


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