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TikTok’s Spotify competitor adds indie artists to its library

TikTok’s Spotify competitor adds indie artists to its library


A deal between TikTok and DistroKid will bring independent artists to TikTok Music, the company’s subscription streaming service.

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Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

Independent artists using DistroKid to share their music will now have another avenue on TikTok.

A deal announced today between the video platform and DistroKid could bring millions of songs by independent artists to TikTok Music, the platform’s subscription-driven streaming service launched earlier this year. The service, so far, is limited to just a handful of countries — Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Singapore — but could be appealing to up-and-coming musicians looking for a viral breakout.

DistroKid artists already had the option to add their music to TikTok’s library, but today’s announcement expands that feature to TikTok Music. Additionally, artists have had the option to upload their music to TikTok’s Commercial Music Library — a catalog of tracks available to businesses and brands for use in videos and ads. As part of the new deal, DistroKid music will also be available in CapCut, TikTok’s standalone editing app.

TikTok has had enormous influence on the music industry, from driving No. 1 hits to amplifying unsigned, unknown talent. In just the last year, TikTok has announced a livestreamed music competition, an IRL music festival happening in December, and partnered with Billboard to create a chart based on TikTok usage metrics of songs. The music industry is thirsty for viral hits — and TikTok is the place to find them.

Compared to the company’s other initiatives, TikTok Music is in a relatively early phase. But the interconnected nature of the main TikTok app and the streaming service could give TikTok Music a competitive advantage over other platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. When users sync their apps, they can go straight to TikTok Music to listen to the full song they discovered on TikTok.