What is SoundOn? All you need to know about TikTok's new music distribution platform

Tiktok launches SoundOn (Image via TikTok)
Tiktok launches SoundOn (Image via TikTok)

SoundOn, TikTok's in-house music distribution and marketing platform, debuted. With huge international platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, and Tencent's Joox, artists can publish their music directly on the TikTok app.

Music has always been a significant factor in TikTok and many of the app's most renowned sounds, which are brief audio parts that can be reused in videos, are well-known songs.

The app has also been found to be completely effective at initiating the careers of smaller artists, with previously unrecognized artists storming the rankings after one of their songs went viral on the platform.

TikTok has now officially launched a new distribution platform that claims to help artists make a career and fans.

All about TikTok's new music distribution platform SoundOn

The company claims that all transaction fees will be agreed to be waived, so music distribution through this new platform is free for now.

On ByteDance platforms like TikTok and Resso, artists can get a 100 percent royalty for an indefinite period. On non-ByteDance platforms, they'll get a 100 percent royalty for the first year and then a 90 percent royalty for the subsequent years.

This would include an allocation to TikTok, plus Resso in Brazil, Indonesia, India, and ByteDance’s video editor app, CapCut.

The new platform users will also be able to, according to reports,

“Gain insights about your audience and fans with advanced dashboards,” and have, “opportunities to work with TikTok creators to vivify your music.”

Other promotional tools and support offered by SoundOn include audience insights and development, assistance from the new platform's marketing team, full rights to TikTok's song tab where music is linked to profile pages, TikTok verification, editorial placements on Resso and CapCut, and promotional support through TikTok's platform through creator marketing.

According to the SoundOn website, releasing music via their platform puts songs in front of TikTok creators.

They can also use SoundOn Plus, the exclusive A&R service.

The new platform, which has been in beta since fall 2021, has become entirely available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Indonesia, with artists such as Hrs and Hrs singer Muni Long.

As a leading company, it's reasonable to think that other platforms will pursue TikTok and its affiliated brand leads. The more unrestricted allocation service offered to artists implies more resources to allot elsewhere.

Artists can join the new platform by going to SoundOn's official website.

More about SoundOn and its Business Model

To assist more artists in getting their music heard, the company has launched its music marketing and distribution platform.

DistroKid, on the other hand, charges artists and labels on a subscription model and allows them to keep 100% of their revenues. Meanwhile, TuneCore costs a per-song or per-album fee for allocation but guarantees that artists will keep 100% of streaming earnings.

The company's marketing element of SoundOn's value creation may resonate with newly emerging artists. They recognize that being given an additional boost on TikTok can help artists break out and increase their reach, given TikTok's viral trends. Audiences then follow artists on music streaming services, transforming their loyalty into real money.

The new platform isn't TikTok's first exploration into the music industry. UnitedMasters, the first music distribution company to be incorporated into TikTok, revealed a deal with the company in 2020.

The expansion of ByteDance into music distribution is not uncommon for streaming service providers. Last year, Apple invested UnitedMasters, which, in addition to TikTok, has large deals with the NBA and ESPN.

Spotify also owns a small stake in DistroKid, although it sold two-thirds of it for $167 million last fall.

It's only natural that the new platform would broaden its services to creators, given that the platform was useful in the early success of artists like Bella Poarch, Olivia Rodrigo, and Lil Nas X.

The company said artists will be paid as much for their music used in TikTok content, but it did not specify how much it will compensate per listen.

Quick Links

Edited by Srijan Sen