Nine days ahead of its potential stateside ban, TikTok has inked a massive licensing deal with Sony Music.
TikTok recently unveiled the agreement, which will make songs from Sony Music artists “widely available” on the video-sharing app. And aside from enabling creators to feature their favorite music in posts, the comprehensive deal will see Sony Music and TikTok “work together to support greater levels of TikTok user personalization and creativity on the platform.”
Sony Music and its roster, including acts from Shakira to Tones and I and Kane Brown to BTS, will be able to “create greater awareness for their music and further enhance artist careers” under the partnership. Also worth noting is that Sony/ATV Music Publishing and TikTok talent agency TalentX closed a major partnership of their own, complete with co-owned recording studios and artist support via the Sony Music banner, this summer.
It’s unclear exactly how TikTok and Sony Music will coordinate as part of their joint effort. However, the label’s president of global digital business and U.S. sales, Dennis Kooker, said in a statement that he’s “pleased” to partner with the ByteDance-owned platform to “drive music discovery” and “expand opportunities for creativity.”
More than a few examples attest to the promotional potential of TikTok, which boasts over 100 million users in the U.S. Lil Nas X (who’s signed to Sony’s Columbia Music) rose to prominence after his “Old Town Road” track caught fire on the app. And last month, Fleetwood Mac wholeheartedly embraced the viral video that spread its 1977 “Dreams” hit across the video-sharing app – nabbing millions of new fans in the process.
In spite of these points and its still-formidable presence in the social-media space, TikTok has grappled with – and continues to face – a number of challenges in 2020. Outside of a possible U.S. ban, the Indian government outlawed the controversial app in June, citing national security concerns. ByteDance subsequently predicted that it would suffer a $6 billion loss due to the prohibition, and rival platform Triller promptly began making high-profile moves in the nation of about 1.4 billion residents.
Separately, Triller tagged TikTok with a patent-infringement lawsuit – one of several such complaints to make their way into the courts this year – and a May class-action suit alleged that TikTok had violated an Illinois privacy law. Plus, an iOS 14 security feature revealed that TikTok was snooping on users’ clipboards every few seconds, and CEO Kevin Mayer exited the company after just three months on the job.