Warner Music signs with TikTok as more record companies jump on social media bandwagon
Exactly how much money is being made in the ties being forged between record labels and social media platforms is not yet known.
It’s described as a “multi-billion dollar” partnership, and Warner Music Group chief executive Steve Cooper last year described it as worth “hundreds of millions of dollars” a year for his company.
Not surprising then that Warner Music has just struck a licensing deal with TikTok.
It “will boost its fees for song rights and increase collaboration with the popular social-media app. The contract covers recordings from the company’s labels, as well as songs from its publishing division”.
It is TikTok’s second major licence deal. In November it struck a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment to “make songs from SME’s roster of global superstars and exciting emerging artists widely available across the TikTok app”.
Record companies have also found a new generation of partners, including video-game companies and fitness apps.
Warner Music’s chief digital officer Oana Ruxandra told Bloomberg, “It feels like we’ve seen years’ worth of change and evolution in the course of a handful of months.
“We want to ensure there’s value for our artists across the board, and the goal is to ensure that they make money to live their lives.
“We’re experimenting because we see real business there.”
With social media users estimated to be 4.14 billion or 53% of the world’s population last October, the significance of having music on these platforms is that apart from its revenue and promotion, it triggers a tsunami effect in other places.
The best recent example was when Nathan Apodaca aka 420doggface208 posted a 22-second TikTok video of himself last September gliding down a highway on his skateboard, drinking cranberry juice from the bottle and lip- syncing to Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 song ‘Dreams’.
@420doggface208Morning vibe ##420souljahz ##ec ##feelinggood ##h2o ##cloud9 ##happyhippie ##worldpeace ##king ##peaceup ##merch ##tacos ##waterislife ##high ##morning ##710 ##cloud9♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac
It generated over 70 million views on his channel alone, saw Mac’s Rumours album shoot back into the US Top 10 after generating new fans, while 420doggface208 got a meet-up with
Mick Fleetwood and a new truck from the cranberry juice company.
In a pre-pandemic era, such publicity would have also translated to concert and merchandising sales for Mac.
Social media’s rise has also empowered artists over the music industry, and loosened their creative process in how, for example, they collaborate with other musicians and fans.