TikTok and Sony Music deal to unlock thousands of song clips

3 Nov 2020

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Under a new licensing agreement, TikTok users will get access to songs from Sony artists such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Outkast and more.

A new licensing agreement will see songs from thousands of Sony artists become available on TikTok. .

The partnership will allow TikTok users to access sound clips from Sony Music Entertainment’s catalogue of artists for use in their videos. The company’s labels include musicians such as Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Alicia Keys, Outkast, Mariah Carey, Leonard Cohen and Doja Cat.

The deal will cover every genre of music, TikTok and Sony said, and will include everything from “cutting-edge new releases” to “iconic classics”. Sony is the world’s second-largest record label group, according to Bloomberg. The contract’s value is not known but Bloomberg understands it is a “significant increase” over previous negotiations between the companies.

The new agreement will see Sony-signed artists benefit from awareness across the TikTok platform, while TikTok will actively promote Sony musicians to its users.

TikTok is increasingly being used by artists to showcase their music and connect with fans, and the app has made a significant impact on recent music trends. A raft of user-generated videos featuring Old Town Road by rapper Lil Nas X helped the song shoot to the top of the Billboard charts last year.

Earlier this year, TikTok also teamed up with UnitedMasters to allow artists to distribute their songs directly from the platform to streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.

Sony Music Entertainment’s president of global digital business and US sales, Dennis Kooker, said that short-form video clips represent a new space in which artists can grow their music and fans can experience it. “TikTok is a leader in this space and we are pleased to be partnering with them to drive music discovery, expand opportunities for creativity and support artist careers.”

TikTok’s global head of music, Ole Obermann, joined the company late last year after a decade at Sony Music and a few years as Warner Music’s chief digital officer. Obermann added that the partnership comes at an important moment when artists are being challenged with finding new ways to reach their fans.

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021