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TikTok is one step closer to being an entertainment app. An example of this transition is its recent collaboration with Snoop Dogg.
In early 2022, Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row records becoming the owner of the infamous label’s catalog of music. A few months later, he announced he was removing the catalog from major streaming platforms with the intention of re-releasing it on his own entertainment app.
Though the status of his app is unclear, in 2023 Snoop Dogg decided to re-release the Death Row catalog on streaming platforms — after making it available exclusively on TikTok for a week.
Getting exclusive rights to a popular music catalog (even for a short time) is a major move for TikTok, as the app distinguishes itself from other social media platforms by taking an entertainment-first approach.
Prioritizing TikTok as part of a music rollout strategy can have a big payoff for artists and record labels. Compared to the general population, TikTok users are more likely to pay for music and artist merchandise.
In 2022, TikTok launched its music distribution platform SoundOn, which allows artists to distribute their music globally while maintaining ownership of royalties (a major gripe artists have with other streaming platforms).
While TikTok can be an effective tool for marketing new music, older songs have also seen a surge in popularity after going viral on the app.
Mariah Carey’s 2009 song “It’s a Wrap” has seen a recent surge in streams thanks to a popular TikTok dance featuring a sped-up version of the song.
Celine Dion’s 1996 hit “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” was the soundtrack of multiple popular TikTok trends in 2021 and 2022, which resulted in a boost in streams for the song.
Though some musicians have expressed disdain for creating TikTok-focused music, the influence TikTok has over how music is consumed and shared is hard to deny and unwise to ignore.
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