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TikTok Pursues ‘User Personality’ with SME Partnership

By Ding Yi / Nov 03, 2020 04:07 PM / Business & Tech

TikTok has signed a new licensing deal with Sony Music Entertainment (SME) which will allow the ByteDance-owned app’s video creators to use songs from the record label’s artists, despite a threat of being blocked in the U.S.

The agreement will give content creators access to sound clips from SME’s catalog of current hits, new releases, emerging favorites, iconic classics and deep cuts from every genre of music for use in their videos shared on the TikTok platform, according to a company statement on Monday.

TikTok has also set a higher target for the partnership saying it will work with SME to support “greater levels of TikTok user personalization and creativity” and “drive new and forward-looking opportunities for fan engagement with SME’s artists and music”, the statement said.

In recent years, TikTok has evolved into a popular online community where musicians build their careers by sharing their works with audiences, as short video clips have emerged as a new tool that reshapes the way artists create their brand awareness and fans experience music.

“We are thrilled to enter into this agreement with Sony Music so that we can continue to work together to connect the incredible roster of Sony artists in the U.S. and across the globe to new audiences and harness the power of TikTok,” said Ole Obermann, global head of music for TikTok.

The announcement comes two months after TikTok and American music distributor UnitedMasters forged a partnership to let TikTok video creators who produce music distribute their songs to other streaming platforms as part of the app’s broader plan to enable better music discovery and fan connections.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: TikTok Strikes Music Deal with U.S. Firm Despite Trump’s Ban

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