TikTok strikes global deal with DistroKid for indie artists to upload music to TikTok Music and CapCut

TikTok and DistroKid have struck a new global deal that they say will create “new revenue opportunities for independent artists”.

The deal will see music distributed by DistroKid available across TikTok Music, CapCut, and in TikTok’s Commercial Music Library.

In the media statement announcing the news, DistroKid and TikTok say that the deal “will unlock new opportunities for independent artists to promote their music, build an audience, and make their music accessible to the platform’s millions of video creators and music listeners”.

DistroKid claims to be the world’s largest distributor of independent music. The company estimates that it distributes “30-40% of all the world’s music”.

DistroKid and TikTok have been working together since 2019 when DistroKid signed on as a distributor for independent artists to get their music uploaded to TikTok.

Since then, music from DistroKid artists has also been available in TikTok’s Commercial Music Library (CML), which offers a catalog of artist-driven music for brands to use in their advertising on TikTok.

Back in May, TikTok inked global distribution deals with Believe, DistroKid, Vydia and more to “fuel the pipeline of talent and artist-driven music” on its Commercial Music Library.

Now, the new agreement between TikTok and DistroKid means that for the first time, music from artists distributed by DistroKid will also be available on TikTok Music, the platform’s new premium-only music streaming service, which is available in five countries (Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia).

TikTok and DistroKid also say that, as part of their ongoing partnership, they plan to seek out “new opportunities to make the most of the platform for indie creators”.

DistroKid’s deal with TikTok follows July’s news of Warner Music Group‘s own multi-product licensing deal with TikTok.

WMG’s multi-year deal licensed the repertoire of Warner Recorded Music and Warner Chappell Music to TikTok, TikTok Music, CapCut, and TikTok’s Commercial Music Library.

“Independent music from around the world fuels creativity on TikTok in such a powerful way.”

Tracy Gardner, TikTok

Commenting on today’s news, Tracy Gardner, Global Head of Label Licensing & Partnerships at TikTok, said: “Independent music from around the world fuels creativity on TikTok in such a powerful way.

“Having DistroKid’s vast catalog of music available on TikTok Music, CapCut and in the Commercial Music Library is a great opportunity for our community, a huge asset to brands, and is an unparalleled means of music discovery for these indie artists around the world.”

“TikTok is one of the most powerful music discovery platforms in the world.”

Philip Kaplan, DistroKid

Philip Kaplan, Founder and CEO of DistroKid added: “TikTok is one of the most powerful music discovery platforms in the world.

“The expansion of this partnership to include CapCut and the Commercial Music Library makes it super easy for millions of musicians to make their music available in even more places, while TikTok’s new music streaming service provides further reach as it becomes available in more countries.”

Earlier this month, the TikTok Music streaming service rolled out publicly in AustraliaSingapore and Mexico, following an initial beta roll-out in those three markets in July. TikTok officially launched the service in Brazil and Indonesia that same month.

MBW broke the news that TikTok Music’s public launch in its latest three markets (Australia, Singapore and Mexico) took place without the recorded music catalog of Universal Music Group. (UMG’s recorded music catalog is available on TikTok Music in Brazil and Indonesia).

We noted at the time that a question many in the music business would be asking is, why didn’t TikTok Music wait until it had all three majors on board before expanding the new service out of beta in Australia, Singapore and Mexico?

And could UMG’s hold-off from the service in these three territories have something to do with ongoing global negotiations to license UMG’s catalog to multiple TikTok products in the future?

Elsewhere, TikTok and DistroKid cite a couple of case studies of emerging artists’ success with TikTok’s Commercial Music Library. One such artist is INJI, who added her viral hit Gaslight onto TikTok’s CML last year via DistroKid and saw “an immediate jump in usage when several brands included her song in their campaigns”.

By the end of last year, the track had more than 14 billion views and over 3 million videos created. Accoridng to TikTok and DistroKid, the activity on TikTok helped to fuel more than 1.3 million monthly listeners for INJI on Spotify, “showing the strong connection between music discovery on TikTok and audience building on other platforms”.

“Having the ability to distribute my music to TikTok Music will be a game changer for me as I continue to build my fan base around the world.”


Houston-based R&B singer Jaylon Ashaum, meanwhile, saw their track good with me used via TikTok’s commercial music library by such brands as The Ryder Cup, Jack In The Box, Cosmo, Lane Bryant, NFL On CBS, Major League Baseball and others.

“TikTok is where the magic happens,” said Jaylon Ashaum.

Ashaum added: “TikTok has been huge in helping me build a solid fanbase that follows me everywhere from Instagram to Spotify.

“I’ve seen it first-hand when great music and great content come together, it’s a domino effect that keeps audiences engaged and in sync with my tunes across the board. With my songs now on TikTok Music, it’s only going to keep things growing.”

Said DistroKid artist INJI: “TikTok has been such an incredible platform for my music, and I know that firsthand through my experience with the Commercial Music Library.

“Having the ability to distribute my music to TikTok Music will be a game changer for me as I continue to build my fan base around the world.”Music Business Worldwide

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