On Wednesday, TikTok announced the launch of its own music distribution service, SoundOn. But, how does it match up to veteran companies?
TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in recent years. Popular for its snappy, short form video content, it’s used for entertainment, marketing, and launching careers. Users uploading videos can go viral if they hit the content sweet spot of hopping on the right TikTok trends at the right time.
Expanding its services, the video sharing platform is moving further towards the audio space. In an announcement on its blog, TikTok revealed SoundOn, the all-in-one platform for music marketing and distribution. TikTok claims it is “designed to empower new and undiscovered artists, helping them develop and build their careers.”
The new distribution platform promises 100% of royalties to artists in the first year, with the cut going down to 90% after that. Artists will be able to directly upload music to Resso, the native music streaming service of ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. This is in addition to major DSPs (digital service providers) like Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, and Tencent.
Artists can distribute their music with SoundOn for free, whilst also accessing promotional tools and support for making their work more visible on platforms like TikTok. Whilst this service is open to everyone, who is SoundOn really for? And, how does it compare to established digital music distributors?
Steady Career or Moment in the Sun?
With SoundOn offering a generous 100% of royalties for no charge, it’s understandable how this service can appear attractive. Particularly to beginner or independent artists, whose budget may not allow for much investment.
But, is SoundOn the ideal distribution choice for all artists? Mass exposure on TikTok has led to some musical artists, like Lil Nas X, launching a fully fledged career in the industry. Since then, many artists have aimed for the same career path and trajectory. However, a sudden and significant spike in popularity thanks to one track going viral on TikTok doesn’t necessarily lead to a sustainable career.
It could be that SoundOn is great for artists casting a wide net with TikTok-friendly tracks, like lofi hip-hop covers of popular contemporary classics. But, if you’re an artist looking to establish a loyal and steady following across streaming services, more established and dedicated distributors may be a safer bet.
SoundOn vs RouteNote
Choosing a distributor like RouteNote offers you, as a musician, security in over a decade’s worth of expertise and experience.
Just like SoundOn, RouteNote offers distribution to over 30 DSPs free of charge. A full list of partner stores can be found here, and include Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, and many more. In fact, TikTok itself is partnered with RouteNote, meaning you can directly upload your music to the platform, along with plenty of others.
With unrivalled customer service from the support team, RouteNote stands out from other distributors for swift and clear help and advice. Artists can also access marketing and promotional tools, much like SoundOn, by utilising PUSH.fm – one of RouteNote’s official partners.
The royalty split is where SoundOn appears to have the edge. Artists can distribute through RouteNote for free, maintaining 85% of royalties. Keeping 100% of royalties is an option for premium users, who upgrade releases to the paid-for service on a case-by-case basis.
Since RouteNote is solely dedicated to distribution, artists are in safe hands when it comes to rights protection. There are also fantastic options for labels and collaborative works, through the referral scheme and revenue splits.
SoundOn is an streamlined option for content creators who may also dabble in music now and then. If someone is looking to predominantly make a name for themselves on TikTok, it seems like the logical choice.
However, if you’re a dedicated artist aiming for longevity in a musical career, placing your trust in tried and tested distributors is a wiser decision.
Distributing with RouteNote enables you to share your music on Synchedin!
Let creators from all over the world enjoy and use your music in video projects, films, podcasts, and more. You don’t need to do or pay a thing. Once your music is being downloaded by creators, you could earn a passive income.
For more information, or if you have any questions, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.