What is TikTok Music?

May 20, 2024

TikTok has been around for a while and has seen phenomenal uptake. Content creators and app users love how easy it is to find new content—everything from recipes and humor to new music discovery.

Music has been a big part of TikTok since its inception. Content creators can also increase their likelihood of becoming viral by using trending sounds.

All cool, but what is TikTok Music?

TikTok is a music streaming service. Like other streaming services, it is easy to listen to your favorite artists. TikTok music was launched after Resso was discontinued in September 2023. They call themselves a social media music streaming platform.


The Rise of TikTok Music

TikTok is a social media platform with over 1.5 billion users. According to its own research, 80% of users already use the platform to find new music.

Particularly interesting about TikTok users is that 62% of social media users have a paid music subscription. When looking at the population, that figure is 42%, indicating that TikTok users love music slightly more than the average person.

How TikTok Utilizes Music for Viral Content

Going viral on TikTok can happen instantly; almost all viral content includes music. TikTok has also become a popular platform for artists to collaborate with influencers. Musicians can partner with popular TikTok creators to feature their music in viral videos, gaining exposure to a broader audience.

This type of influencer marketing has proven to be an effective strategy for boosting an artist's popularity and increasing their fan base.

Using the same music.

TikTok Music Licensing and Copyright

As with any platform that involves sharing copyrighted content, TikTok has faced its fair share of copyright issues.

One of TikTok's unique aspects is its ability to create viral trends and challenges. These trends often revolve around specific music tracks that users can dance to, lip-sync to, or create skits to.

The app's algorithm picks up popular tracks and displays them prominently (ever heard the same song ten times in a row while scrolling?), encouraging other users to create content using the same music.

Music Discovery on TikTok

TikTok become a popular platform for music discovery, especially for emerging artists. Many songs have gained global recognition and popularity through TikTok, with users actively seeking out the full versions of tracks they hear in short clips.

This has led to a significant increase in streams and downloads for these songs, propelling them up the charts.

TikTok released an impact report in November 2023 that outlined its influence on the music industry. The report outlined that TikTok fuels music discovery and one key finding was that in the US, app users are twice as likely to discover and share new music using the app.

Another huge figure was that 49% of platform users generate huge amounts of money across music-related categories.

In keeping with what Spotify recently reported in terms of music breaking barriers and crossing borders, 77% of app users want to hear music from international acts.

Here is the full music impact report, which cements the idea that TikTok is driving music discovery.

The newer TikTok Music subscription also focuses on music discovery - taking its lead from the social app. Users with a subscription can connect their account and find all of the newest viral tunes there.


What Music is on TikTok Music App?

TikTok has music from major labels like UMG, Sony, and Warner Music. However, there have been some issues with UMG, and a lot of music has been removed. More specifically, it is music written or co-written by artists signed to UMG. The impact is deeper than just the artists who are signed to UMG; they have publishing deals with them.

But the TikTok music app has everything you'd expect on the other DSPs and some additions from their SoundOn distribution platform. The SoundOn platform is TikTok's own platform for music creators.

They distribute music to all other streaming services and their own app. While all the information on their site hasn't been updated, they mention that the music gets pushed through to Resso (which is now TikTok Music).

Universal Music Group and its Influence on TikTok Music

While UMG's actions are understandable, the media states that the dispute hurts artists the most. However, as a social media platform and streaming platform, TikTok will have different agreements. The reason for the removal was the dispute over how much TikTok as a social media platform was offering.

Sony Music: A Major Player in the TikTok Music Scene

In 2020, TikTok and Sony Music Entertainment announced an agreement that meant TikTok creators could access Sony's massive music catalog. With Sony's agreement with TikTok, you'd assume they are safe.

However, artists who are signed with UMPG or sing a song written by someone who is will also have their music removed - regardless of the agreement in place. Again, this only impacts music on the social media platform, not their streaming service.

Warner Music Group's Presence in TikTok Music

Warner Music and TikTok announced a First-of-its-Kind agreement that expanded on other contracts. The agreement expanded things like marketing, revenue, and insight opportunities. Further to that, it looked to create a deeper level of fan engagement. It's a good move since TikTok released figures about how many of its users buy music and merchandise.

New monetization options include ticketing, digital services and goods, and exploration of working with other partners. Warner is caught in the crossfire that Sony sees themselves in.

How TikTok Music Works

You'll need to sign up for it just like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and other on-demand music streaming platforms. Using the same process that has been successful for other DSPs, there is a free trial before you get charged.

The price for a TikTok Music Premium account is currently $8.99 for individuals, $18.99 for Family, and $5.99 for students. All options have a 1-month free trial. The $8.99 price tag is a discounted price, and standard pricing is $11.99 monthly.


Here are the features that are available with a TikTok Music Premium account:

  • Song Catch to identify songs.
  • Offline listening.
  • Queue management
  • Shuffle Play
  • Lyrics with lyric-sharing options
  • Follow artists
  • Follow Friends
  • Share music from TikTok Music
  • Commenting on music
  • TikTok Synergy - when you like and favorite videos and songs on TikTok, the music will be on your TikTok Music Records.
  • Party Mode - creates a space where friends can join, and it has features like color strobes, vibrations, and flashlights.
  • Crush Mode - Find videos that are connected to the song.
  • Tuning mode - gives you options to set mood and genre.
  • Playlist creation and management
  • Sound Effect - to customize your listening experience.
  • Audio Quality for TikTok music is 32kbps, 128kpbs, or 256kpbs for VIP users.
  • Sharing Options - Song sharing, lyric videos, and posters.
  • Song Catch: TikTok's Shazam-like Feature for Song Identification

Nothing is more annoying than hearing a song and then being unable to find it. TikTok music offers Search and Song Catch. Song Catch works like Shazam, and you play the song to the feature, while Search works with artists, songs, and even lyrics.

Where is TikTok Music available?

Initially, the TikTok Music app was only available in China, where it originated. However, it has now expanded its availability to other countries around the world. Currently, TikTok Music can be accessed in over 60 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and many more.

The website says it can be used on desktops, cars, and smartwatches like the Apple Watch, iPads, mobile phones, and more. Like other streaming services, it can connect to devices via BlueTooth.

What is the TikTok Music Beta Program?

The TikTik Music Beta program is currently listened to on their website (but it might not be there for long), although they note that they have limited spots available for iOS users.

To get started on the beta testing, click here on the website.
On iOS, you'll need to click their invite link - iOS TikTok Testflight
For Android, you'll be able to use this link and tap Become a Tester: Android TikTok Tester

You'll get access to the newest app updates before they get rolled out, Meaning you'll shape the app and ensure millions of users get an excellent experience.

You can use the app as you typically would. When you don't want to test it anymore, you can uninstall the TestFlight version and get the regular version.

How Much Does TikTok Music Cost?

Like most streaming services, TikTok Music has various paid subscription options. The price for a TikTok Music Premium account is currently $8.99 for individuals, $18.99 for Family, and $5.99 for students.

All options have a 1-month free trial.

The $8.99 price tag is discounted, and standard pricing is $11.99 monthly.
In the subscription, you get Auto-sync of your favorite TikTok tracks to your Favorite Songs in the TikTok Music app.

You also get personalized recommendations, ad-free listening, and the ability to download music. The Family account allows for up to 6 accounts with a single monthly payment and has all of the benefits of the Individual plan.

Currently, they accept Visa, AMEX, Mastercard, PayPal, and JCB.


How Does TikTok Music Compare With Other Streaming Services?

TikTok has had an undeniably huge impact on the music industry; people hear the short clips and head straight to Apple Music or Spotify to find the track.

Usually, searching by lyrics, and once they find it - it tends to be added to thier music library pretty quickly. There have been a few occasions where songs on TikTok from relatively unknown artists have gathered millions of streams in a matter of days. The influence is phenomenal.

The social media app's power of music discovery puts it in a great position to compete with already established music platforms. Since Spotify holds a huge portion of the market, the new service is more likely to comfortably compete with Deezer or Amazon Music, which hold a smaller portion of users.

Switching to TikTok Music has one huge benefit for TikTok users. When you find a song you like, you'll need to ask in the comments or search online. With the TikTok Music app, you can add a song directly to your music library with a single button. The parent company feeds to the music streaming platform seamlessly.

TikTok Music isn't for everyone

TikTok Music classes itself is a social music streaming app, and people who don't use TikTok have limited to no reason to use it. The features are designed with the average social media app in mind—specifically, the option to add music from the social app directly to their playlists.

So, who is TikTok Music going to be great for? Music fans who like to find new music regularly—and not just the popular songs on other streaming services. Those who want a faster way to add new music to their libraries without a long search, and music lovers who like the option of finding original music by artists who are using TikTok to promote themselves.

And perhaps TikTok music is also ideal for commercial purposes too. Talent scouts, A&R professionals, and indie record labels can use the social music platform to find artists that they might miss on other streaming services - because it's quite literally built differently.

Like always, we recommend checking out the free trial, testing the sound quality, and seeing if it is the right fit for you.

Transfer Music With FreeYourMusic

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