TikTok’s US-Based ‘Music Content Investment Team’ Is Suddenly Beefing Up — With an Eye Towards ‘Acquiring and Managing Music Content’

TikTok's music content investment team
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TikTok's music content investment team
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Photo Credit: Eyestetix Studio

TikTok looks to acquire and manage music content as it starts beefing up its Music Content Investment Team, even in the face of a potential US ban.

Now that TikTok has become the de facto place for musicians to go viral and turn a hobby into a full-blown career, the ByteDance owned platform is setting its sights on acquiring and managing music content. The company is forming an in-house Music Content Investment Team focusing on “partnership or acquisition opportunities in the music content space on a global level.”

The news comes two years after TikTok started hiring for A&R executives with record label experience, in addition to the platform entering the music distribution market with its SoundOn service for artists. Now the company is taking that move to the next stage with a plan to move into the competitive music acquisition and management market.

The Music Content Investment Team will operate out of Los Angeles, New York, and San Jose — at least according to the posts now surfacing. New job ads posted by the company indicate that the investment team will focus on copyrights in addition to music companies. Among the roles for which TikTok is hiring is a Music Content Investment Manager, Music Content Investment Lead, and Music Copyright Product Manager.

TikTok’s new team will work alongside the platform’s music content strategy team and operations teams to evaluate market opportunities, execute partnership or acquisition projects, and “perform detailed financial analysis and valuations of music content and related assets that would help shape the future of TikTok music businesses.”

The strategy makes sense as an evolution of the platform’s SoundOn service, which distributes independent artists on TikTok and to other services. Rather than helping an artist go viral only to hand them off to a record label and Spotify, perhaps TikTok wants to taste a bigger piece of the pie and enable itself to handle artists’ blossoming careers in-house.

But if TikTok starts to acquire music copyrights or long-term licenses thereof, will it set the tone for competing platforms to do the same? Though Meta’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube have a lot more experience in the social media game, TikTok is rapidly eating their lunch — so a strategic shift in focus for other platforms might not be in the cards.

And then there’s still the elephant in the room: TikTok may still face a ban in the United States. But the push into the music business by growing its teams in its US-based offices seems to imply that the company isn’t too worried about that.