TikTok has been working on some details for several months, TikTok’s new licensing deal with Sony Music Entertainment which was announced today will enable creators to include a wide range of popular songs in their TikTok clips.
In light of TikTok’s new licensing deal with Sony Music Entertainment, TikTok explains: “With this deal, the TikTok creator community will have access to sound clips from Sony Music’s massive catalog of current hits, cutting edge new releases, emerging favorites, iconic classics and deep cuts from every genre of music for use in their TikTok content. TikTok and Sony Music will work together to support greater levels of TikTok user personalization and creativity on the platform, and drive new and forward-looking opportunities for fan engagement with SME’s artists and music.”
However, TikTok users have always been able to use music from a wide range of artists in their videos, anyhow, this agreement with Sony Music Entertainment joins TikTok’s offering, ensuring that there are no possible concerns around misuse, not only that but also it provides a cut of music usage to Sony Music.
Of course, and like all social media platforms, TikTok has been working to secure music licensing agreements in order to keep everything above board. Moreover, back in January, the social media platform also signed an agreement with Merlin, it is an agency that represents a range of independent music artists and labels.
Considering that TikTok has become a springboard for several musicians in reaching a wider audience, it makes sense for both parties to come to an agreement, while the new viral accomplishment of a clip from user ‘Doggface’, in which he rode his skateboard to a soundtrack from Fleetwood Mac, moreover underlined the social media platform’s connection to the music industry.
That particular clip saw Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album ‘Rumors’ return to the top 10 on the Billboard chart, also while Fleetwood Mac’s back catalog is not owned by Sony, you can see the useful value for both parties.
Despite TikTok’s new licensing deal with Sony Music, there are still restrictions around brand use of music. Moreover, back in May TikTok updated its rules about commercial usage of popular music, and this has stopped verified brands from using popular music tracks in their TikTok clips.
However, brands, instead, are referred to TikTok’s royalty-free “Commercial Music Library” of sounds, which are available free for business use.
Moreover, TikTok doesn’t have business accounts, of course, but it has a system in place in order to identify brand profiles, which it then stops from using commercial tracks: “When your account has been identified as a promotional or official brand account, you will only be able to use tracks from the Commercial Music Library. This is to avoid issues that arise from using copyrighted material for promotional purposes.”
Looks like at this stage at least, that those restrictions will remain, regarding TikTok’s new licensing deal with SonyMusic. That makes sense but is worth noting for wider context.
Nevertheless, even so, with TikTok more looking like it will continue to grow, and continue to work in the US, deals like TikTok’s new licensing deal with Sony Music will play a critical role in keeping everything on track, besides maintaining a connection with the music industry.