Short-form video-sharing giant TikTok has struck a global distribution and marketing deal with Paris-based indie distributor Believe.
TikTok announced the agreement from its London offices today. Under the deal, TikTok’s approximately 800 million worldwide users will have continued access to the Believe library, as well as the library of its digital music distribution subsidiary, TuneCore. TuneCore first inked a contract with TikTok in October of 2019.
A substantial portion of the announcement highlights the marketing potential afforded to Believe and TuneCore artists via TikTok. Specifically, the text indicates that Believe musicians, including The Limba and France’s Petit Biscuit, have benefited tremendously from TikTok – to the tune of 2.5 million fan videos and one billion or so plays for Limba’s “Smoothie” and ample fan growth for Biscuit’s “Sunset Lover,” per the disclosed figures.
Additionally, the document relays that Believe has an “agility mindset built in its DNA,” and that it “ invested in dedicated ‘TikTok audience development’ experts” and “regularly supported its producers with training sessions and webinars in conjunction with TikTok during [the] Covid-19 [pandemic].”
TikTok’s effectiveness as a promotional tool for artists — and possibly a major source of income — is without question. Well-known acts, including Lil Nas X and Benee, have risen to prominence due in large part to success on the video-sharing service, and earlier this month, “Want to Want Me” singer Jason Derulo’s stated that he earns more than $75,000 per TikTok video. Yesterday, TikTok’s second most-followed creator, Addison Rae, secured an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify.
However, TikTok’s future viability – especially in the United States – is unclear. Government officials, advocacy groups, litigants, and others have long cast doubt upon the security of users’ personal information, particularly because the four-year-old platform is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. (In June, a new iOS 14 security feature added to the speculation stemming from TikTok’s allegedly abusing user data.) These concerns have compounded as of late, with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows saying that a TikTok ban could arrive in “weeks, not months.”
Chief Meadows’ words on the subject arrived following similarly firm statements from White House adviser Peter Navarro and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In Congress, 25 lawmakers recently penned a letter to President Trump supporting TikTok’s ban, over the application’s “very real threat to U.S. security.”