Months After Expanding Its Ticketmaster Partnership, TikTok Unveils a Global Tie-Up With AXS

tiktok axs deal
  • Save

tiktok axs deal
  • Save
Photo Credit: TikTok

After expanding its Ticketmaster partnership in late 2023, TikTok has finalized a global ticketing pact with AEG’s AXS, enabling users to purchase event passes in-app.

ByteDance-owned TikTok unveiled the AXS tie-up via a formal release today, as it stares down potential litigation from Universal Music Group. Despite this possible DMCA-violations lawsuit and the adjacent industry confrontation that appears to be brewing, TikTok has hardly shied away from music-related deals and initiatives on the year.

Regarding the latest evidence of that point, TikTok disclosed that its AXS integration had already gone live in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Sweden. As described by the Eurovision sponsor, all Certified Artists can now “promote their AXS live dates and connect with fans around the globe” simply by adding the relevant links to videos before publishing.

Fans, for their part, can purchase the involved passes “directly within the TikTok platform in just a few clicks,” the video-sharing app emphasized.

And with the precise value of TikTok’s discovery benefits having proven a hang-up during Universal Music Group licensing talks, global music partnership development lead (and Warner Music Germany vet) Michael Kümmerle took the opportunity to drive home the platform’s ability to “connect millions of users with legendary artists, venues, and festivals.”

“TikTok’s partnership with AXS allows us to connect millions of users with legendary artists, venues, and festivals,” communicated Hamburg-based Kümmerle, “and allows artists to promote their live dates and reach their audience in a whole new way. We are very excited to start this journey with AXS and look forward to supporting the further growth of ticketing on TikTok in the future.”

Building on those ideas – and underscoring the far-reaching market effects that a stateside TikTok ban would have – AXS chief strategy officer Marc Ruxin touted the app as “one of the most important global platforms for music content.”

Notwithstanding the decided significance of a U.S. exit for TikTok – the parent of which reportedly generated a whopping $40 billion in profit during 2023 – it’s worth keeping a close eye on its potentially evolving industry confrontation.

What began as a well-documented licensing-renewal dispute involving TikTok and today’s largest music company has quietly grown into a possible legal battle, as mentioned. Meanwhile, the National Music Publishers’ Association doesn’t intend to renew its TikTok agreement, which is set to expire two weeks from today. (Member companies will have the option of pursuing direct deals, however.)

Furthermore, indie criticism of TikTok is also ramping up, and as we explored in detail, the platform could become exceedingly quiet if independent publishers opt to step away. Nevertheless, TikTok isn’t without positive news in the music sphere. Besides the AXS union, of course, the app just recently re-added the music of Taylor Swift, whose decision to rejoin reportedly caught Universal Music execs by surprise.