TikTok’s DistroKid deal invites indie artists to join its standalone music app

By 11/01/2023
TikTok’s DistroKid deal invites indie artists to join its standalone music app

TikTok Music just got an upgrade. Thanks to an agreement with distribution service DistroKid, TikTok’s standalone music app will open its doors to indie artists.

In a support post on its website, DistroKid describes itself as “the first distributor to help artists get their releases uploaded to TikTok.” The New York-based company will now expand its reach to TikTok’s nascent music service. TikTok Music first launched in Brazil and Indonesia before expanding to three more countries over the summer. It has still yet to make its debut in the United States, and TikTok has not indicated when that Stateside arrival will occur.

According to The Verge, the expanded DistroKid deal could bring “millions of songs by independent artists to TikTok Music.” Those artists can also add their music to TikTok’s Commercial Library, where brands and businesses find tracks to use in their videos. DistroKid’s coverage on the ByteDance-owned app also extends to CapCut, the first-party editing tool offered by TikTok.

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Connections between the main TikTok app and TikTok Music let users instantly discover and listen to the songs that are featured in viral short-form clips. TikTok has highlighted its status as a support system for up-and-coming artists by establishing the Elevate program, which provides promotional opportunities for its partners. On December 10, the stars of the Elevate program will join headliners like Cardi B and Charlie Puth at a one-day music festival in Arizona.

By bulking up its indie music library, TikTok is insuring itself in case it runs into issues as it negotiates with the “big three” labels. The presence of Universal, Sony, and Warner tracks on TikTok is not a foregone conclusion, and those labels may not be as interested in TikTok-famous artists as they once were. But thanks to DistroKid, TikTok Music users will have plenty of options as the app continues to roll out.

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