TikTok Expands into Music Industry with New Music Content Investment Team

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TikTok Expands into Music Industry with New Music Content Investment Team

Two years ago, speculations arose about TikTok potentially transforming into a record company, with the launch of its SoundOn music distribution service and recruitment of Artists & Repertoire executives. The platform, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., has been making strategic strides in the music industry. Music Business Worldwide (MBW) recently disclosed TikTok's advancement in this direction, with the establishment of a Music Content Investment Team across key U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and San Jose. This move signifies TikTok's ambition to delve into the music content sector through exploring global partnerships and acquisition opportunities.

As per job postings cited by MBW, TikTok is showing clear intentions to make a mark in the music mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market. Roles advertised include a Music Content Investment Manager and a more senior position, Music Content Investment Lead, necessitating expertise in areas such as investment banking, management consulting, or private equity. These roles will play a pivotal role in shaping TikTok's future in the music business by developing investment strategies, assessing the music investment landscape, and implementing strategies aligned with TikTok's music content objectives.

TikTok’s foray into music rights acquisition raises concerns among major music rights holders, indicating a potential shift in the platform's approach to viral artists' music developed through TikTok. The platform might focus on enhancing its SoundOn service by exerting more control over music and striking deals with artists before major record labels do. Furthermore, TikTok is expected to navigate the balance between promoting its content and major label music, potentially looking into acquiring lesser-known back catalogs with viral potential or exploring investments in the generative AI space to enhance its capabilities, aligning with strategies employed by tech giants like Apple Inc and Spotify Technology SA in the past.