To those in the know, TikTok is a platform that has worked hard and, dare we say, succeeded in developing its commercial footprint. Users, as well as the company itself, have benefited from this expansion. This software for short videos has given rise to a plethora of famous people (no longer restricted to short content, though). It's reasonable to assume that, given its increasing user base and prominence, the company will keep striving to expand its media footprint.
The Chinese version of TikTok, dubbed Douyin, was released in September 2016. It gained popularity rapidly in China, and in September 2017, its parent company, ByteDance, released an international version, still known as Douyin in China. Thailand was one of several nations where TikTok became the most popular free mobile app in January 2018.
TikTok has evolved from its roots as a short-form video sharing platform mainly dedicated to dancing and lip-syncing videos to become a full-fledged video service catering to a wide variety of users. TikTok's continued success can be attributed largely to the incorporation of ByteDance's artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which allows the app to learn a user's preferences and recommend videos that are more likely to appeal to them.
TikTok, unlike other Chinese apps, aggressively pursued the international market by purchasing Musical.ly for $1 billion in November 2017. TikTok gained access to 80 million new young users, primarily in the United States. For 2019 and 2020, TikTok will be the top downloaded app worldwide. There were 693 million downloads in 2019 and 850 million downloads in 2020.
With 1.2 billion monthly active users in Q4 2021 and an expected 1.8 billion MAU by the end of 2022, TikTok generated an estimated $4.6 billion in revenue in 2021, an increase of 142% year over year. More than 600 million people in China use TikTok daily, and more than three billion app copies have been downloaded.
TikTok has recently released new services and features, allowing the platform to expand and compete with other alternatives. Artists can now pre-release songs before they go live on streaming platforms, video lengths are now up to 10 minutes, and the search feature has been improved to make it easy to find relevant search results (each competing with YouTube, Google, and Twitch, respectively).In addition, they developed their own NFT marketplace, applied to trademark their TikTok Music service, and launched their own artist-focused music distribution platform, SoundOn.
SoundOn is TikTok's freshly released internal music distribution and marketing tool. Like other international musical platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, and so on, musicians can now publish their music straight on the TikTok app. Music has always been a fantastic element in TikTok and many of other applications' most renowned sounds, which are brief audio bits that may be repeated in videos and well-known tunes.
TikTok is a credible tool for launching the careers of lesser-known musicians by catapulting them to the top of the charts after one of their songs went viral on the site. ByteDance claims they have created this brand new distribution network to aid musicians in building a successful career through creativity. The company promises that there will be no transaction costs, making the dissemination of music on this platform completely free.
Indefinitely, it is said, artists would receive 100% royalty. On similar platforms, like the non-Byte Dance sites, artistes get a 100 percent fee for the first year and a 90 percent royalty for the future years. According to sources, the new platform users would also be able to “Gain insights about your audience and fans with advanced dashboards” and have “opportunities to work with TikTok creators to vivify your music.”
SoundOn is TikTok's in-house music distribution and marketing platform, debuted recently by TikTok. Like other international musical platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, and so on, artistes can now publish their music directly on the TikTok app. Music has always been an outstanding factor in TikTok and many of other apps' most renowned sounds, which are brief audio parts that can be reused in videos and well-known songs.
TikTok has been established to be entirely plausible at setting up the careers of smaller artistes, causing previously unrecognized artistes to storm the rankings after one of their songs went viral on the platform. The newly launched distribution platform claims to help artistes make a career from music and help gain fans. The company maintains that all transaction fees will be waived, so music distribution through this platform will be free for the time being.
According to reports, the new platform users will also be able to “Gain insights about your audience and fans with advanced dashboards” and have “opportunities to work with TikTok creators to vivify your music.” It is also said that artistes would get a 100 percent royalty indefinitely. On similar platforms, like the non-Byte Dance platforms, artistes get a 100 percent royalty for the first year and then a 90 percent royalty for the subsequent years.
SoundOn also provides promotional tools and support through TikTok's platform by way of creator marketing, such as audience insights and development, assistance from the new platform's marketing team, full rights to TikTok's song tab where music is linked to profile pages, TikTok verification, editorial placements, and promotional support through TikTok's platform. SoundOn has completed its BETA phase and is now available to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Indonesia.
SoundOn's pre-release function is another new addition. Artists may now give their loyal TikTok fans early access to new music via The Pre-Release self-service option. The plan is to get people to pre-download songs before they are officially released as a kind of promotion so that users may spread clips early and songs can build momentum for viral moments.
At the moment, SoundOn is the only service that enables artists to pre-release their songs on TikTok before the service's formal launch. A video can be made by the artists themselves or by a fan who wants to create a duet, stitch together a performance, or do anything else they want to do with it and then share it with their friends. The Pre-Release function expands upon SoundOn's current clips function, which enables artists to make 15-60 second clips for TikTok that debut on the same day as their tunes.
When compared to other distribution companies, such as those that require an upfront payment (annually or per track) or charge a commission on royalties earned and sometimes have an upsell package for other essential needs of the artistes, SoundOn may appear to be more appealing to up-and-coming musicians at the moment because it promises no hidden fees at all. Unfortunately, SoundOn is not yet accessible to all people.