TikTok Launches SoundOn To Help Music Artists Monetize Songs on the App

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

TikTok Launches SoundOn To Help Music Artists Monetize Songs on the App

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Social media giant TikTok has turned little-known musicians into mainstream stars by boosting the popularity of their songs. Now, the Culver City-based company is giving artists a new way to monetize their music through the video-sharing app.

On Wednesday, TikTok unveiled SoundOn, a platform that lets artists directly upload their music to TikTok and earn royalties when their songs are used in videos. SoundOn also lets artists distribute their music on Resso—a streaming service owned by TikTok parent company ByteDance—as well as major streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify.

“We're incredibly excited about how this will surface and propel new talent and how SoundOn will contribute to an increasingly diverse and growing global music industry,” Ole Obermann, Tiktok’s global head of music, said in a statement.

SoundOn will pay 100% royalties to artists for music used on ByteDance-owned platforms for an “unlimited time,” according to its website. For music used on other platforms, artists will receive 100% royalties during the first year and 90% after that. SoundOn is currently not charging any distribution fees, it said.

TikTok said the platform is aimed at building the careers of new or unknown artists. The video-sharing app has become a hub for music discovery, with songs both organically gaining popularity and becoming hits through influencer-driven marketing campaigns.

“TikTok creators are the lifeblood of our platform and the reason sounds become hits,” SoundOn’s website notes. “If all goes well, your track might even become a viral trend on TikTok and beyond.”

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S.C. Stuart is a foreign correspondent (ELLE China, Esquire Latin America), Contributing Writer at Ziff Davis PCMag, and consults as a futurist for Hollywood Studios. Previously, S.C. was the head of digital at Hearst Magazines International while serving as a Non-Executive Director, UK Trade & Investment (US) and Digital Advisor at The Smithsonian.
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