Aug 18, 2020 - Technology

Tech giants push music partnerships

Multiple musical notes merging into one
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Tech giants, eager to capitalize on shifting music consumption trends pegged to the rise of TikTok, are pushing to line up music rights with record labels and launch partnerships with music distributors.

Why it matters: “Music is a giant driver of social media, attracting enormous followers," says Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "As live streaming and new social media platforms emerge, they must be accountable, compete fairly, and respect the work of music creators posted online.”

Driving the news: TikTok on Monday announced a partnership with UnitedMasters, a music distributor, for artists discovered on TikTok to distribute their music to fans on other music streaming platforms, like Spotify, YouTube or Apple Music.

  • The partnership will strengthen TikTok's relationships with artists and music creators who use the app, at a time when TikTok's rivals are pushing to broker deals with music labels, and strengthen their ties to the music community.
  • Facebook last month announced deals with a slew of music labels, including Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Merlin and others to be able to showcase music videos on its platform.  
  • Snapchat last month confirmed that it is in the early stages of testing new ways to integrate music into Snapchat after brokering licensing partnerships with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and others.

Be smart: YouTube has long been one of the biggest players in the on-demand music market.

  • YouTube streams so many music videos, in fact, that a 2017 report found that YouTube alone then accounted for 46% of all time spent listening to on-demand music.

The big picture: TikTok's rise to social media dominance has helped fuel a social media karaoke and music video boom.

Go deeper