Last March, TikTok officially entered the music distribution business with its SoundOn distro service.
SoundOn lets artists upload their music directly to TikTok and Resso, and it can also distribute artists’ music to platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
The platform is live in the UK, US, Brazil and Indonesia, and as of last week, Australia.
Following the initial launch, TikTok confirmed to MBW that Believe-owned digital distribution platform TuneCore had been picked as its distribution partner for SoundOn.
In short, this meant that artists who uploaded their music to TikTok SoundOn then had that music distributed to other platforms (Spotify, Apple Music etc.) via TuneCore.
TuneCore had also been the service’s distribution partner, we’re told, since SoundOn quietly launched in beta in September 2021.
But now, TikTok has a new distribution partner: Amsterdam-based B2B tech and services company, FUGA, which was acquired by Downtown Music Holdings in January 2020.
TikTok has confirmed to MBW that its deal with TuneCore has ended and that it has had a partnership in place with FUGA since September.
This means that artists who upload their music to TikTok’s SoundOn will now have their music distributed to streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music etc. via FUGA’s tech. (TikTok says that SoundOn handles distribution to ByteDance products itself).
Before SoundOn existed, TikTok had a different distribution partner: independent artist distribution platform UnitedMasters, which struck a deal with TikTok in August 2020.
UnitedMasters was picked as one of TikTok’s six ‘certified Sound Partners’. As revealed in October 2021, this ‘Sound Partner’ agreement lets brands leverage music distributed by UnitedMasters for mini-syncs on the TikTok platform.
TikTok describes its SoundOn platform as “an all-in-one platform for music marketing and distribution”, and says that it was designed “to empower new and undiscovered artists”.
The SoundOn service pays out 100% royalties to music creators in the first year and 90% after that and provides a range of promotional tools and support.
Artists will be able to “obtain 100% royalty for an unlimited time” for In-Bytedance platforms including TikTok and Resso.
According to SoundOn’s FAQs, “by signing with SoundOn, [artists] get to release music to TikTok and CapCut worldwide, and Resso in Brazil, Indonesia, and India”.
TikTok’s SoundOn service has been making headlines over the past two weeks.
Just this week, TikTok revealed that it has partnered with superstar artist Snoop Dogg and Death Row Records to bring the record label’s catalog to the platform via SoundOn.
The Death Row catalog is available to stream exclusively on TikTok this week, “in advance of its wider release next week” according to TikTok.
The distro service also rolled out in Australia last week, just days after news arrived that TikTok has been limiting access to major label music in the market as part of a test with a subset of users.Music Business Worldwide