If a handful of TikTok‘s most recent job postings are to be believed, the app is looking to further its ambitions in the music industry. Music Business Worldwide has spotted openings in Los Angeles, London, Sao Paulo, and Jakarta, where TikTok and parent company ByteDance are looking to hire A&R Managers.
A&R, short for Artists & Repertoire, is the division at a traditional label that deals with talent scouting and development. By expanding into that area, TikTok is looking to bring artists to its music distribution service SoundOn, while also challenging existing record companies. SoundOn initially launched in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, and Indonesia, i.e. the four countries where TikTok is now looking to hire A&R Managers.
According to the posting for the L.A. job, TikTok’s A&R Managers will “ensure that artists see ByteDance as the #1 partner for artist development, promotion and monetization.” There are also some details in the description that sound like literal record label functions. Hirees will “supervise the production of records and oversee all aspects of the recording process from writing all the way through delivering final recordings.”
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Given TikTok’s tensions with existing record companies, it’s not surprising that the app wants to build its own. The launch of SoundOn has led music industry insiders to consider whether TikTok is ready to take on all of the responsibility that comes with artist relations. Assembling a dedicated team for those interactions could prevent some headaches as SoundOn continues to grow.
At the same time, TikTok can place a tempting proposition in front of indie artists: Come with us, and you can use all the distribution, monetization, and discovery tools SoundOn has to offer while simultaneously bringing yourself closer to a hotbed of emerging musicians and songwriters. At the most recent Grammy Awards, multiple artists who gained fame on TikTok emerged victorious. The Best New Artist category was full of contenders with ties to TikTok, signaling the platform’s ability to launch careers.
Some of the A&R Manager job openings refer to SoundOn directly, and the one in Sao Paulo peers into the future of the nascent music platform. “SoundOn is currently powered by TikTok (music discovery app) and Resso (music streaming app),” the post reads, “with the plan to integrate more ByteDance products in the future, such as Capcut and Helo.”
TikTok may be closely associated with the youth, but the company wants experienced decision-makers to fill these new roles. The L.A. posting lists “5+ years of music industry experience, with a data-driven approach and demonstrated track record of finding emerging artists with world-class talent and commercial potential” as one of its desired prerequisites.
Photo via LinkedIn