TikTok recently started a new beta music distribution platform “SoundOn” that they rolled out for all thus able to catapult more popular songs on the app straight to the top of the Billboard charts. SoundOn will now allow artists to upload their music directly to TikTok, and to the parent company “ByteDance’s” own music streaming service “Resso” and others.
Tik-Tok claims their distribution is free of charge and that all fees are being waived by Tik-Tok, for now. For global streaming services, the payout is also 100% in the artist’s first year, but will drop to 90% in year two and possibly more.
Distribution competitor DistroKid charges their artists and labels on a subscription basis, while allowing artists to keep 100% of their earnings and TuneCore, meanwhile, charges their artists and labels distribution on a per-song or per-album basis, and also let’s artists keep 100% of streaming revenues.
However, SoundOn has a little asterisk (*) on their site which states “Detailed platforms and royalty rates are subject to final confirmation”.
Image Credits: TikTok
According to SoundOn’s FAQ on their website, artists will retain 100% rights and royalties, meaning they’ll own their masters. As for other marketing and promotions and support and analytics, Tik-Tok verification, editorial placements on Resso and CapCut, artists may have to fork-up fees for these additional opportunities.
This could be great for the no name independent upcoming artists, but not so much for a seasoned artist. Real distributors never take on independents, so at some point the intersection between getting signed to a label or staying independent will come to a crossroad. Apple invested in United Masters last year in 2021, but then sold nearly all of its shares, showing that they are interested in the money, not so much in the artists.
TikTok says artists can now register for SoundOn at us.soundon.global or soundon.global.