In recent years, TikTok has become one of the go-to social media platforms for the discovery and promotion of new music, but while it’s been helpful in generating hits for the likes of Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, and more, for newer artists using the app to drive interest in their songs, the experience can be … let’s say a little “chaotic” — to say nothing of the labels who are trying to use the app to market artists and being hopelessly stonewalled by the cryptic algorithm and ever-evolving tastes on the app.
However, that may soon change as TikTok launches SoundOn, a new tool designed to help independent artists find their way on the platform, with a music-specific dashboard offering analytics, marketing advice, and even a team of employees to help A&R collaborations among artists. Most importantly, SoundOn will also help artists get paid — both directly through the app and via DSPs. Artists who upload music directly through SoundOn would get paid similarly to how a record deal works but with a “flexible exit clause” to allow them to withdraw rights should they decide to actually sign to a label.
The beta test of the new service has already generated its first major success in Muni Long’s “Hrs & Hrs,” which hit more than 1 million video creations and 1.6 billion views of the song, driving it to No. 16 peak on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, plans for the future include a creator marketplace that will help match TikTok-ers with promotional partners, again helping them generate revenue outside of the traditional label system. It’s certainly another interesting innovation that may spark the next, artist-friendly phase for the music industry.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.