TikTok is officially paying musicians and songwriters in South Africa for the on-platform use of songs.
The short-form video-sharing app announced today that it had inked multi-year licensing deals with the Johannesburg-based Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO), which bills itself as “South Africa’s music rights champion,” as well as the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO).
Seven-year-old CAPASSO is also headquartered in the African nation’s largest city, and local outlets have noted that the entity’s numerous partnerships mean that the TikTok agreement will extend to 58 territories (besides South Africa) throughout the continent.
60-year-old SAMRO represents some 12,000 creators, according to its website, and the PRO lists the IFPI, CISAC, and several others as partners. Moreover, SAMRO states that it “provides a valuable service to over three million music creators worldwide” via these international partnerships.
Addressing his organization’s TikTok licensing deal in a statement, CAPASSO COO Wiseman Qinani Ngubo touched upon the rapid growth – with an emphasis on international expansion – that the African music industry is experiencing in the digital age.
“As a social music platform, TikTok has revolutionised how we engage and consume music. TikTok allows fans to co-create, contextualise and re-interpret their favourite songs alongside their favourite artists and drives engagement and a deeper appreciation of songs in an era when music consumption is increasingly divorced from context,” said Ngubo, who joined COPASSO as a legal assistant in 2015.
“With the increasing spotlight on African music, more African songwriters are poised to reach global superstar status and TikTok will play a major role in showcasing their talents to the world,” he finished.
Worth noting here is that the controversial TikTok closed a number of other licensing deals in the latter quarter of 2020, including agreements with STIM, GEMA, and PRS, Sony Music, and Dutch collecting society Buma/Stemra. Moreover, TikTok competitor Triller last month quietly licensed the largest music publishers in the world.
Furthermore, the TikTok-SAMRO/CAPASSO deal arrives as music industries in emerging markets, including multiple states across Africa and the Middle East, continue to record significant growth. The IFPI indicated in its 2020 yearend report that Africa and the Middle East had enjoyed an 8.4 percent year-over-year revenue boost – including a noteworthy 37.8 percent bump in North Africa and the Middle East specifically.
Regional streaming platforms like Anghami and Boomplay are competing with international players such as Spotify and Deezer on the continent of about 1.3 billion persons, whereas each of the Big Three labels has taken steps to establish a presence in Africa.