How TikTok Continues to Support the Music Ecosystem

Edition #63: A roundup of TikTok’s newest music initiatives and programs

Today’s Edition

  • A roundup of TikTok’s newest music initiatives and programs

  • More details emerge about Instagram's upcoming Twitter competitor

  • YouTube announces new details for NFL Sunday Ticket partnership

A Roundup of TikTok's Newest Music Initiatives and Programs

Source: TikTok

In recent weeks, TikTok has launched a series of music-related initiatives and programs, that bring together artists, listeners, creators, and brands.

Here's a look at what's new and the significance of them:


#NewMusic is a dedicated music hub where users can discover new and trending music from emerging and established artists. Users can search #NewMusic in the app to access the hub, which offers videos with music by categories such as Featured, Trending, and Discover. TikTok launched the hub with support from the Jonas Brothers and Miguel, whose music is highlighted in playlists, challenges, and more.

What it means and why it matters: TikTok has become a powerful music discovery engine, helping users find new hits and old classics by artists of all levels. This hub creates a central location for users to take advantage of its music discovery capabilities, which also benefit artists looking to reach music-hungry fans. If TikTok can consistently surface music that users enjoy and creators want to include in their videos, it could start to rival Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. It could also be a place for TikTok to offer advertising space to artists and labels to promote new releases.

Artist Impact Program

The Artist Impact Program (AIP) is a new program to bring more music from artists across the globe to the platform and help brands and artists connect. Through global distribution partnerships with Believe, DistroKid, and Vydia, artists can monetize their music by allowing brands to find their music in the Commercial Music Library (CML) and use it in organic and paid content.

What it means and why it matters: Since its launch in 2020, the CML has grown stronger, boasting a library of over a million songs. The addition of the AIP will build on this momentum by streamlining the process for artists to add their music to the CML for brand use. This can create a new revenue stream for artists, especially those without the team or support to get their music placed in ads, films, or television. Additionally, it provides advertisers with more options for leveraging music to reach consumers.

Work with Artists

Through the Work with Artists program, creators can participate in challenge-based campaigns. They can create a video featuring a song from an artist with the potential to receive cash payments based on the number of likes, shares, and views their video receives. Creators can access available campaigns through Creator Next, where they can view a list of campaigns with details such as the cash reward (current payments go up to $120 per person), campaign description, duration, requirements (such as hashtags, video language, and effects), video references, a place to access the song, and submit their videos.

What it means and why it matters: Work with Artists looks to be an iteration of Branded Mission, which enables brands to release challenges and crowdsource content based on different prompts, but with artists taking on the role of brands. By participating in this initiative, artists can benefit from user-generated content featuring their music in exchange for compensating the creators of the top-performing videos based on a reward system. This can help artists expand their listener base and encourage others to use their music in their own videos. As music is a crucial part of many creators' videos, creators have the potential to monetize these videos, although payouts are pretty low for most creators.

SoundOn Exclusive Distribution Deals

According to reports, TikTok is testing exclusive deals with artists through SoundOn. These deals offer artists more control over their music, direct distribution to TikTok and other streaming services, full ownership of their music, and royalties. Earlier this year, TikTok and Snoop Dogg collaborated to re-release the Death Row Records catalog through SoundOn exclusively on TikTok

What it means and why it matters: Signing artists to distribution deals appears to strike the right balance between working more directly with artists and starting its own record label. Starting a label would require significant resources and could impact TikTok’s relationship with music publishers. Due to the power of TikTok and the direct access to fans it provides, artists will see SoundOn as a viable alternative to signing a traditional deal. This would allow them to tap into all of TikTok's distribution tools while retaining ownership and control, which are typically lost when artists sign with big labels. Additionally, SoundOn can enable artists to distribute songs specifically built for TikTok, which are typically hook-focused and sped up, allowing them a more strategic approach to music distribution for social consumption.

Supporting the Entire Music Ecosystem

TikTok continues to support the entire music ecosystem. These updates make it easier for creators to discover and incorporate music into their content, while also providing artists with increased visibility, opportunities for discovery, and avenues for monetization. This not only benefits artists by expanding their reach and potential fanbase but also offers advertisers stronger marketing capabilities without the burden of copyright concerns.

A Prediction for What May Be Next

One thing that is still missing, and which I believe, will be available in the future, is the ability for brands to directly license popular and trending songs from major artists through TikTok in partnership with major labels. Although the CML continues to improve, many brands want to use the latest viral songs from the likes of Lizzo or Drake. However, licensing these songs on their own can often be complex, long, and expensive for brands. Look for TikTok to develop an offering that makes it easier, faster, and more cost-efficient for brands, whether through a marketplace-type experience or managed services.

More Details Emerge About Instagram's Upcoming Twitter Competitor

Source: Lia Haberman/Instagram

More details about Instagram's upcoming text-based app, which has been referred to by different names including P92 and Barcelona, have emerged. In March, the first details were revealed, indicating that users would be able to log into the app using their Instagram credentials and that there would be decentralized components.

Based on leaked marketing materials and details shared by Lia Haberman, here is what can be expected:

  • Creators will be able to share text (up to 500 characters), links, photos, and videos (up to five minutes long) with engagement in the form of likes, replies, and reposts.

  • Creators will also have the ability to set safety controls, leveraging their current settings on Instagram to limit who can reply to them and mention them. Instagram's current Community Guidelines will also apply.

  • The app will be compatible with other apps like Mastodon, with the ability for users on these apps to search for, follow, and interact with creators on the forthcoming app.

With the circus that Twitter continues to be under Elon Musk's leadership, a Twitter alternative is welcomed by most. Platforms like Bluesky and Post have gained traction from people looking for a similar Twitter experience but in a more positive environment. However, no one has really been able to compete with Twitter in a significant way.

With the foundation and resources that Instagram has, Instagram's app is almost guaranteed to be a much better competitor than existing options. By having a direct tie-in to Instagram, it will also appeal to creators and celebrities with already established presences who won't need to worry too much about starting from scratch. The app could be available as soon as June, which will create an interesting storyline as Twitter's new CEO, former NBCUniversal exec Linda Yaccarino, starts.

YouTube Announces New Details for NFL Sunday Ticket Partnership

Source: YouTube

During YouTube's Brandcast event, it unveiled its latest efforts to attract advertisers and media buyers. One significant focus was its NFL Sunday Ticket deal. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined the event to share more details about the partnership including the role creators will play. Notables include:

  • YouTube is granting creators including MrBeast from various content categories, including fashion and food, first-of-its-kind access to games and players for behind-the-scenes content.

  • Through a new Shorts-focused series called "NFL Creator of the Week," YouTube will showcase creators presenting weekly game highlights and commentary.

  • Viewers will get a chance to hear their favorite players mic'd up on the sidelines through original programming like "Game Day Access."

  • Advertisers will have access to a wide range of advertising solutions across NFL content, including live games on YouTube TV and Primetime Channels. They can also leverage ads in highlights, post-game commentary, and other related content to engage their target audience.

Since the initial announcement, YouTube and the NFL have actively promoted their partnership by announcing new product features, such as multi-game viewing and live chat, as well as by sending creators to NFL-related events like last month's NFL Draft. With the latest announcement, we see YouTube creators playing an always-on role in helping to spread the NFL to more audiences, advertisers gaining new touchpoints to reach consumers, and viewers having a more interactive way to consume NFL content.

Instagram Adds Collaborators for Broadcast Channels

Source: Instagram

Instagram has added Collaborators for Broadcast Channels, its one-to-many messaging feature. Creators can now invite up to five other participants as guests to their channels, where they can post messages through text, voice notes, photos, and links, like admins.

This addition enables creators to connect and engage with others in the presence of their communities. For example, they can invite fellow creators for interviews and casual chats, include fans for interactive Q&A sessions, or bring in brand partners to announce new product launches.

Instagram is also working on Collaboration Status, a feature that allows creators to display their interest in collaborations. By toggling on "Open to collaboration," creators can show their status on their profile, in direct messages, and in search results.

Collaborations have proven to be an effective strategy for creators to grow their following, so features like these further support that. If and when Instagram releases Collaboration Status, adding functionality that provides creators with recommendations on whom they should specifically collaborate with based on inputs and data such as follower count, vertical, collaboration type, and goals, would make it even more helpful.

TikTok Introduces Effect Creator Rewards Program to Incentivize Creators to Develop AR Effects

Source: TikTok

TikTok introduced the Effect Creator Rewards program, a $6 million fund that compensates creators for developing augmented reality (AR) effects. The program is currently available to creators in select countries, and payments are based on their effects' performance. Creators can receive $700 for every 500k unique videos featuring their effects within 90 days of release. They also can earn $140 for every additional 100k videos that use their effect. Creators can earn up to $14,000 for a single effect and up to $50,000 per month across all payments for effects.

The program joins the TikTok Creator Fund and Creativity Beta Program as ways for creators to directly monetize on the platform. It also expands on the March launch of Branded Effects, where brands can partner with creators to create customized effects to be promoted through paid advertising.

Incentivizing creators to produce more effects benefits not only the creators themselves, but also TikTok. Effects like makeup try-ons lower the barrier for users to create content, especially content that can follow trends and be more interactive. This drives up engagement and watch time. Additionally, TikTok is expanding its pool of effects creators, which will assist its Branded Effects advertising business by increasing the likelihood that brands can find the right creators and allocate funds for custom effects.

What I’m Reading

  • Why Montana’s TikTok ban may not work (CNN)

  • Why Black creators say relationships with platforms remain strained (Digiday)

  • NBC has new Olympic sport: Helping athletes gain social-media traction before Paris Games (Variety)

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