TikTok secures short-term licensing agreements with the major labels
TikTok has just made sure it continues with its great success during these uncertain times by locking down short-term licensing deals with the three main major labels in the music scene: Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music.
The Bytedance owned app was created back in 2016 in China under the name of Douyin. It was first launched in 2017 outside China and 2018 was the year when it took a big step forward by entering the US market after merging with Musical.ly. The application presents a way to create your own lip-syncing 15-second clip videos with the freshest music out there, with the mission of inspiring creativity and bringing joy to its users. With over 1 billion users already, this success has come at a high price, being involved in many copyright infringement lawsuits.
However, after taking on some disputes, the app adopted a new strategy securing short-term licensing deals that will change the game. With these Tiktok licensing deals, the app expands its music library and now they are able to use any song signed under the three major labels by paying out royalties to the artists and publishers whose tracks have been used. Nonetheless, these agreements also represent a big threat for the main streaming platforms; not just for these deals but for their future plans around streaming.
Bytedance presented Resso, a music streaming service that is currently only available in India. Their initial plan is to focus all its efforts on conquering the emerging markets, so they will be rapidly entering the markets in Brazil and countries like Indonesia before chasing bigger goals like entering the US. But all in all, this is something that Spotify or Apple Music will not be too happy about and will not lose sight of as it progresses.