Having announced its intention to partner with blockchain start-up Audius, the partnership might go further and be of benefit to artists.
Originally intending to use the streaming music platform to manage its expansive internal audio library, Naomi Joseph, commissioning editor, Arts and Culture, with The Conversation, writes that TikTok may use Audius’ “user-centric” model for media plays, where artists receive revenues generated by the individual users who stream their music directly, as opposed to the ‘pro rata’ system used more commonly. That is, Joseph clarifies, payments are generated for artists more directly from people streaming their songs.
This could be a major boon for smaller artists. Joseph reports that TikTok is the world’s largest short video platform, with over 800 million active monthly users, and consequently has become a significant force in global music industries. Once on TikTok, she says, songs can be used as background for short videos — and can go viral. However, she highlights that currently, putting independent music on TikTok requires the help of a publisher or other specialists that charge a fee or take a cut of revenues.