Up until this point, TikTok users on the video-sharing app had free reign over the songs they chose to include in their videos. However, things are about to change for verified businesses and brands on the app.
This week, TikTok is changing its rules on music usage for verified business accounts. This is in efforts to protects artists who do not want to be associated with certain brands.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, many individuals have been quarantining in their homes with their phones and an unlimited amount of creative ideas. This has led to a surge in TikTok usage and account creation on the app.
For TikTok, music is heavily important for its creators. From alternative music to rap and hip-hop, creators have free reign over the songs they include in their videos. Songs such as Simple Plan‘s “I’m Just A Kid” and Machine Gun Kelly and YUNGBLUD‘s “I Think I’m OKAY” featuring blink-182‘s Travis Barker are just a few songs to recently grow in popularity on the app. However, things are now changing for a percentage of the TikTok population.
Up until now, the app’s existing agreements allowed verified business accounts to use music free of charge or contractual agreement. However, it appears that TikTok has quietly altered the rules around usage for commercial music.
According to Dave Jorgenson, a video producer for The Washington Post, the change in the rules will stop verified brands and businesses from using commercial tracks. Instead, they will have to use music from a new royalty-free “Commercial Music Library” of tracks.
A representative for TikTok reached out to Social Media Today to discuss what the music usage rule change mean for verified business accounts.
“We are always exploring opportunities to create value for our community and our partners,” the TikTok representative says. “The Commercial Music Library enables verified businesses or organizations on TikTok to access a pool of royalty-free music for promotional content and provides the tools and resources to help them further embrace the creativity and authenticity of the TikTok community. If an account chooses to use sounds beyond what is available in the Commercial Music Library for their promotional content, they are still able to obtain the appropriate commercial license and ingest the sound on to TikTok for their use.”
Although TikTok has not said if a specific incident caused this change to happen, it comes as no surprise to many. In the past, publishers and artists have vocalized their worries about having their content associated with brands they don’t like or are not in agreement with.
However, it should be noted that these changes do not impact non-business accounts so many TikTokers will be able to carry on as normal. This includes verified accounts including popular TikTok influencers.
For verified business accounts that are now required to pull from the royalty-free library, they will still be able to listen to all of the songs featured on TikTok videos. It just means that verified companies such as Chipotle, Nike, Red Bull and Radio Disney who all have accounts will no longer be able to use commercial tracks in their videos unless otherwise licensed to do so.
So for now, most TikTok users will be able to continue to create TikToks with the music they choose. There is no word yet on if the new music usage restrictions could eventually apply to all users.
What do you think about TikTok’s music usage changes? Let us know in the comments below!