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Navigating TikTok's Music Shake-up: Tips for a Smooth Marketing Transition

UMG Licensed Artists
UMG Licensed Artists in 2024

In a recent twist within the music industry, TikTok has grabbed headlines by removing music from all licensed Universal Music Group (UMG) artists as their contracts concluded on January 31st, 2024. This move aims to assert UMG's influence over TikTok's music catalog, push for better compensation for their artists, and protect the user experience by eliminating AI tools that have been promoted.

TikTok, renowned as a powerhouse for artists seeking visibility, has been instrumental in propelling songs and artists to viral stardom. Hits like Doja Cat's "Say So," Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage," and Gayle's "abcdefu" are testament to the platform's transformative impact. However, changes in licensing agreements, especially UMG's bold move, underscore the importance of adaptability in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

This decision, while noble in its intent to secure fair compensation, bears significant implications for musicians, content creators, and businesses relying on music for exposure and engagement. It's crucial to acknowledge the potential stress this transition might bring to your marketing strategies. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth shift!

Tip #1 - Diversify TikTok Music

Encourage brands and creators to explore a variety of music options. This presents an excellent opportunity to discover and promote lesser-known artists. Embracing the diversity of talent out there can mitigate the impact of TikTok's evolving music landscape.

Tip #2 - Stay Informed on Licensing Agreements

Regularly check for updates on licensing agreements and terms of use. Ensuring content compliance with TikTok's guidelines is crucial for engagement without violating any rules.

Stay informed on developments in the ongoing negotiations between UMG and TikTok. Changes may happen swiftly, and being informed will help you adjust your strategies accordingly once music is reinstated or replaced.

Tip #3 - Embrace Trends Beyond Specific Tracks

Keep a vigilant eye on emerging trends and challenges that transcend reliance on specific tracks. Early participation in the next big thing can grant a competitive edge. In the absence of UMG's catalog, focus on creating unique content that resonates with your audience. Whether it's creatively showcasing your product or sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses, authenticity can thrive even without a famous soundtrack.

Examples of Recent Trends Without Musical Tracks:

  1. "We're ----, of course...." Template: This widely popular template involves two individuals humorously exchanging scenarios. The relatability and humor make it an easy way to boost engagement and connect with your audience. Check out this hilarious example by @aubreywebb24

  2. Green Screens Template: Viewers are captivated by taking scenes from movies or TV shows and placing them in new contexts using green screens. The versatility of this trend allows the audio to stand alone without the need for music. Explore popular green screen templates on platforms like CapCut, including those featuring Barbie, Wanda Sykes, Michael Scott, or the cute cats that have been going viral!

  3. POV Template: Using the POV template allows content creators to step into the shoes of their audience, making the content more immersive and relatable. Whether it's addressing daily challenges, shared experiences, or even humorous moments, POV content provides a unique perspective that fosters a deeper connection with viewers. A humorous example by @mattketai perfectly captures this sentiment: "POV: you're filling out your taxes." The shared experience of tax season resonates with audiences who understand the struggle of navigating IRS forms and deadlines.

Tip #4 - Create your own music

If TikTok can turn Ratatouille into a musical sensation, why not create your own viral tunes?

Serious Approach:

  1. Punxsutawney Phil Duet: Gain engagement by dueting with @olivesongs11 on a unique musical piece inspired by Groundhog Day. Singers like @elysemyers and @joynwoods have created captivating duets, showcasing the potential for creativity and engagement in this trend.

Unserious Approach:

  1. Jared B Goldsmith's Musical Theater Creations: Check out @jaredbgoldsmith, who ingeniously writes his songs or transforms existing tracks into theatrical musical pieces. This approach has the potential to set your unique sound trending and garner significant shares. Personal favorites include the Sephora Girls Musical and the Sabrina Carpenter-inspired Broadway twist.

Final Thoughts

In navigating these changes, artists, content creators, and businesses must support one another, adapt strategies, and make the most of the creative opportunities TikTok still offers.

Remember, while challenges may arise, adaptability is key to thriving in the constantly changing landscape of digital marketing!

To delve deeper into UMG's perspective on the shake-up, you can read their open letter here.

Share your thoughts and experiences with these changes in the comments below! We'd love to hear any recommendations or trends you have discovered.

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