Is TikTok becoming a record company?

People within the music industry often mock the idea of TikTok being a record label, but it does seem to be heading that way. They’ve introduced their own distribution service, allowing artists to upload to TikTok, RESSO, Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram and more.

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TikTok created SoundOn which they describe as “an all-in-one platform for music marketing and distribution” – their aim is to discover new artists. SoundOn allows artists to distribute to various stores. It aims to be a one-stop-shop and make the process much easier on beginners. When the platform was first created, the company wanted to make things easier for artists to find fans. This is where they became a platform that could take on everything, or so it seems. Being able to be discovered and then distribute through their sister company should in theory make things easier for all artists.

The process from start to finish should in theory be covered. You can distribute through them, and then have labels and publishers find your work. Their aim was to be as efficient as possible. TikTok have said their SoundOn platform provides additional advantages for all musicians. Those who have started their career through TikTok have then managed to sign record labels through their partner platform. Their partner platform offers the chance to be discovered by labels, and therefore is it necessary for TikTok themselves to become a label? Would that not just take away from what they’ve created? It seems there are arguments for both sides.

Everything from marketing, distribution and discovery is covered through TikTok. This is where many will claim TikTok is well on their way to becoming a record label. After all, they saw what they believed to be a gap in the market, and they took it. TikTok has already proved itself useful for multiple artists. With 1 billion active monthly users on their platform, once you’ve been discovered, it should snowball into bigger and better things. However, it’s still quite surprising that TikTok and the music community are so adamant a record label won’t stem from this. Would it really be a bad thing? Isn’t there room for more within the industry?

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