Sony/ATV Music Publishing and TikTok talent agency TalentX have inked a major partnership agreement. But with rumors of an imminent TikTok ban in the U.S., the deal’s long-term implications are unclear.
Sony/ATV and TalentX recently unveiled their global agreement, but haven’t yet addressed the possibility of a TikTok ban. Essentially, the deal affords TalentX’s growing roster of artists access to Sony/ATV’s A&R and publishing services – as well as general career support under the overarching Sony Music banner, complete with jointly owned recording studios and offices.
TalentX describes itself as “the preeminent 360 talent management and entertainment company for the modern digital era,” representing popular TikTok users such as Nessa Barrett, Joe Albanese, and Gabby Murray, per its roster list. On TikTok, Murray has about 6.5 million fans, Barrett boasts approximately 9.3 million fans, and Albanese has a following of roughly 21 million individuals.
Given the sizable role TikTok has played in launching many songs and artists into prominence (and Sony/ATV’s ample resources and TalentX’s promotional success), the deal appeared to make sense for all involved parties. To be sure, in a testament to TikTok’s effectiveness in expanding the reach of music, we reported earlier today that Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” – a TikTok mainstay – was the most-consumed song (in terms of streams, purchases, video views, and more) of 2020’s first six months. Lil Nas X also enjoyed a significant boost from the platform, as did Auckland, New Zealand-based artist Benee.
However, the possibilities of the Sony/ATV-TalentX agreement are increasingly unclear due to the prevalence of rumors concerning an outright TikTok ban in the U.S. These rumors are hardly baseless: earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the government is “certainly looking at” banning the application.
Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok has been the subject of many conversations – and several lawsuits – centering on the security of users’ personal information since its 2016 inception. Earlier this week, we were first to report that ByteDance had predicted $6 billion in losses after India banned TikTok (as well as 58 other apps with Chinese links).
And one week back, Anonymous hackers warned TikTok users to delete the app, calling it “Chinese spyware.” The clear-cut notice arrived after iOS 14 revealed that TikTok was snooping users’ clipboards every few seconds.
At the time of this writing, many social media users were voicing their opinions on TikTok’s potential prohibition, though the Trump administration hadn’t formally announced a decision on the matter.
More as this develops.