Nearly 85% of TikTok Videos Contain Music, Study Finds — More Than YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook

tiktok music study
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tiktok music study
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A new report has found that close to 85% of TikTok videos contain music, a larger share than on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Photo Credit: Mariia Shalabaieva

According to a new report, almost 85% of TikTok videos contained music as of 2023’s end – a particularly significant figure given the current absence of Universal Music’s catalog from the platform.

Decade-old content-identification and data company Pex pinpointed the sizable percentage (and other noteworthy data) in a just-published analysis. Per the LA-based business’s AI-powered calculations, covering all TikTok’s publicly available videos, a full 84.63% of clips contained music as of December 31st.

Of course, owing to the mass-muting that occurred after Universal Music and the ByteDance-developed app failed to ink an extended deal – besides the adjacent unavailability of UMG tracks for use in fresh posts – that number has likely decreased during the past 10 or so days.

And with no current indications of a near-term resolution, it’ll be interesting to monitor both the usership implications of UMG’s exit from the app as well as the potential for the situation to evolve into a broader industry-versus-TikTok confrontation.

Returning to the share of TikTok videos containing music, 2023’s 84.63% increased by over 15% from 2019 and close to 5% from 2021, per the breakdown.

The points are especially important in light of UMG’s claim that TikTok proposed an agreement “worth less than the previous deal.”

And for additional reference, 84% of YouTube videos contained music as of December 31st, compared to 58% on Instagram and 49% on Facebook, MLC-partnered Pex found. Furthermore, relatively difficult-to-track (and difficult-to-monetize) speed- and/or pitch-modified songs made up 31% of audio matches on TikTok, the resource shows, against 19.81% on Instagram, 18.52% on YouTube, and 18.17% on Facebook.

Lastly, in terms of key takeaways, approximately 5% of TikTok videos generated 89% of overall views during 2023, per the text. While that figure is actually higher than those of YouTube (where 0.77% of videos captured 82.83% of views), Instagram (3% of videos scored 83.7% of views), and Facebook (2% of videos with 86% of views), it’s telling given the nature of TikTok’s licensing deals.

As described by expert panelists during our missing-payments mini-conference, TikTok is obligated to pay rightsholders based on the number of videos in which protected music is present, regardless of how many watchers each relevant clip manages to attract. In this way, it’s financially beneficial to have tracks appear in a large number of videos as opposed to a smaller collection of much-viewed uploads, which nevertheless seem to be commanding the lion’s share of on-platform attention.