TikTok has announced a new partnership with Warner Music, which will see TikTok gain license to Warner’s full music library for use on TikTok, TikTok Music, CapCut, and in TikTok’s Commercial Music Library, in varying form.
TikTok has been negotiating with major music labels for months, amid ongoing dispute over the value of music usage for the app. Warner, Universal, and Sony have been pushing for TikTok to share more of its ad revenue with them, and increase the royalties that it pays for their music rights, which has left negotiations at a standstill for some time.
But now, TikTok has made a breakthrough, with Warner at least, which will help to cement its position as a key music promotion partner for Warner artists.
As explained by TikTok:
“As part of the deal, Warner Music Group and TikTok will find new ways to harness TikTok's revenue generation and promotional capabilities, as well as a wealth of insights. In addition, artists and songwriters will have access to new ways of working with TikTok's vibrant brand partners, as well as to new fandom development and monetization features, like merchandise, ticketing, and digital goods and services, among other opportunities. Further, the deal will see the joint development of additional and alternative economic models.”
TikTok has become a major platform for music promotion, with several labels now specifically looking to angle their artists’ tracks to align with evolving TikTok trends. Some have even gone so far as to change the names of tracks in line with TikTok usage, and with the app driving billions in record sales through viral trends, it makes sense for the labels to be paying attention, and trying to work with such shifts.
Now, through this deal, Warner will have more capacity to do just that, which will also secure the future usage of Warner music for users and brands alike. TikTok has been experimenting with removing commercial tracks entirely, as part of its negotiations with labels, but now, with this deal, that may no longer be a necessary pathway for the app to consider.
It’s a big deal, which will have a range of implications. And with Warner coming to the party, you can expect the other major labels will soon follow suit.
TikTok will announce further developments stemming from this new arrangement in the coming months.