January 7, 2021
One of the biggest music industry stories you may have missed just before the holidays: Warner Music Group has signed a licensing deal with TikTok.
The news marked the viral video platform’s second major label license deal in as many months, after it was announced at the beginning of November that it had struck a deal with Sony Music Entertainment to “make songs from SME’s roster of global superstars and exciting emerging artists widely available across the TikTok app”.
Obviously enough, the news of TikTok’s deal with WMG means that the company only has one major label deal left to secure (publicly, at least): Universal Music Group.
As first reported by Bloomberg, TikTok’s latest licensing agreement covers songs from WMG’s publishing division Warner Chappell Music in addition to WMG’s recorded music catalog.
The deal follows the news at the end of November that TikTok has agreed a multi-year licensing deal with Pan-European licensing hub ICE for the musical works represented by the ICE Core.
Bloomberg noted in its report that major labels have licensed some of the biggest social media platforms including Facebook, Snapchat, and now TikTok, in the past year.
WMG Chief Executive Officer Steve Cooper told analysts in November that, “With an expanding number of partnerships including Facebook, TikTok, and Snap, among others, social media is already a meaningful nine-figure revenue stream for us and is growing at a faster rate than subscription streaming”.
TikTok published its first ever US Music Report in December, in which it claimed that in the past year alone, over 70 artists that have broken on the platform have signed major label deals.
“WE WANT TO ENSURE THERE’S VALUE FOR OUR ARTISTS ACROSS THE BOARD, AND THE GOAL IS TO ENSURE THAT THEY MAKE MONEY TO LIVE THEIR LIVES.”OANA RUXANDRA, WARNER MUSIC
Speaking to Bloomberg, and commenting on the company’s slate of recent social partnerships, Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “It feels like we’ve seen years’ worth of change and evolution in the course of a handful of months.
“We want to ensure there’s value for our artists across the board, and the goal is to ensure that they make money to live their lives.”