TikTok lays off seven employees in music division, citing “efficiency”

By 08/17/2023
TikTok lays off seven employees in music division, citing “efficiency”

A small round of layoffs will affect TikTok‘s music division. According to Billboard, seven members of the TikTok Music team received pink slips last week.

The affected employees include at least one exec whose tenure at the short-form video app dated back to the Musical.ly days. Kelly Chen most recently served as the Senior Product Strategy & Ops at TikTok Music.

Chen recently posted about TikTok’s “expanded agreement” with Warner Music Group. That pact added WMG tracks to TikTok’s Commercial Music Library. WMG has also teamed with the video app to launch a program that will “Elevate” up-and-coming musical stars. Another of the laid-off employees, Marisa Jeffries, also worked in the label relations department.

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TikTok cited “efficiency” as the reason behind the cuts. The app is in the midst of a global rollout for an audio service called TikTok Music, which just arrived in three new countries after debuting in Brazil and Indonesia.

TikTok hasn’t endured as many layoffs as some of its rivals in the tech industry, but it hasn’t been immune to cuts. In 2021, for example, the app let go of the majority of its India-based team after that country enacted a TikTok ban.

A round of layoffs in 2022 affected TikTok employees based in the United States. All seven of the individuals let go from TikTok Music were U.S.-based workers, according to Billboard.

Even as TikTok loses a small part of its workforce, it continues to add new hires. A search for music-related leads on the TikTok job board reveals several open positions in Los Angeles alone.

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