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TikTok pushes further into streaming with new artist accounts

TikTok pushes further into streaming with new artist accounts


These verified accounts come with various tools to deepen engagement and improve discoverability.

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The TikTok logo on a black background with repeating geometric shapes
Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

TikTok on Thursday launched artist accounts. These accounts can be activated by any musician and come with tools to help artists reach new fans and increase engagement with existing ones.

One of the new features, the Music tab, curates catalogs for artists and automatically adds new music so fans can more easily discover their work. Meanwhile, features like “Behind the Song” offer fans a glimpse into the artist’s creative process, revealing what inspired the song and the story behind it.

The accounts also offer new ways for artists to call attention to their work. Musicians can now pin a preferred post to the top of the discovery page, while the new “Artist” tag lets users verify their status as musicians.

Another tag, “New Release,” lets musicians highlight new tracks up to two weeks before their release and 30 days after. Artists can also use the tag to highlight new tracks on discovery pages of catalog sounds. South Korean boy band BTS trialed the feature this summer, using it to promote their single Take Two.

Many of the new features seem inspired by Spotify, reflecting TikTok’s larger push into streaming after launching TikTok Music — its subscription-driven streaming service — earlier this year. The Music tab, for instance, is similar to the Music tab in Spotify’s artist profiles. Being able to highlight new music up to 14 days before its release is also similar to how Spotify’s Countdown Pages let users preview upcoming albums.

Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, TikTok announced the “Add to Music app” feature, which appears to users as an “Add Song” button they can use to quickly save TikTok songs to their Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music playlists.

“With the introduction of the Artist Account, we are proud to further empower artists by providing them with the tools they need to reach new heights on TikTok,” said Paul Hourican, global head of music partnerships and programming at TikTok, in a press release. “Alongside new features like Add To Music App, we’re seeing how these features can deepen engagement whilst creating unique opportunities for fans to connect with their favorite artists in meaningful ways, driving music discovery on the platform.”