Music Business

TikTok and Distrokid cut a deal that is great for indie music

Distrokid announces a deal made to make indie music available on TikTok Music. Here’s what that means for indie artists and influencers…

by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Much to the dismay of music business types, TikTok is still one of the best ways for users to discover new music. While there’s no sure way to have music go viral on the TikTok video platform, labels are hoping that might be different with the service’s new music-only platform called TikTok Music. To get in front of other distributors, Distrokid announced a deal to make indie music available on TikTok Music, CapCut, and in TikTok’s Commercial Music Library.

CapCut is a free editor that’s owned by TikTok parent company Bytedance, and the Commercial Music Library makes it easy to integrate music into a user’s video.

TikTok Music may be a big deal in the future, but for now it’s only available in Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Singapore. One of the reasons why it hasn’t been launched world-wide yet is because the three major labels have not signed on, although Universal Music Group‘s music is available in Brazil and Indonesia.

Regardless, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until that happens, and when it does launch world-wide it could prove to be a formidable competitor to Spotify

DIstrokid claims that it’s the largest distributor of independent music, with a market share of 30 to 40%. It’s already been working with TikTok since 2019 to make it easier for indie artists to get their music on the platform, but as we all know, just having your music there doesn’t mean that anyone will get to hear it.

As a matter of fact, TikTok continues to confound labels, managers, artists and music consultants as to how to best market on the platform. Many will privately tell you that they’ve all but given up since the service’s algorithm seems to outsmart all marketing efforts.

That’s actually good news for indie artists in that the playing field between labels and indies has been leveled for once, but it doesn’t get you any closer to viral success. 

That said, the deal with Distrokid let’s us make a couple of predictions. The first is that more distributors will jump on board soon, and the second is that TikTok Music is a platform that’s worth being on when it finally launches world-wide.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author, blogger, podcaster, and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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