TikTok is a popular social media platform that allows users to create, view and share short videos. After being launched in 2016 the app’s popularity was boosted when the parent company Bytedance acquired Musical.ly, a video sharing platform solely focused on lip-syncing to music. The acquisition transferred over 200 million accounts to TikTok. Since then, TikTok’s popularity has exploded to over 2 billion downloads globally.
TikTok owes its success in large part to the ‘For You Page’ (FYP) algorithm. When a user opens TikTok they are greeted by their FYP, an endless scroll of videos curated for each individual user. The more the user engages with their FYP, the better it gets to know the user’s likes and dislikes and will tailor the videos it shows accordingly.
Using commercially released music in TikTok videos
TikTok has licenced non-commercial use of tracks for up to 60 seconds in user-created videos posted to its platform. TikTok detects the use of tracks in user videos so that rightsholders receive revenue from the use of their recordings. Any video over 60 seconds in length that contains music is muted automatically.
How do I start creating content?
The TikTok Creator Portal is a useful resource to check for inspiration and guidance before you get started on TikTok. The online hub has plenty of tips on connecting with your audience and best practices for using TikTok.
How to add music to your videos
Sound recordings on TikTok are referred to as ‘sounds’. To find the Sounds page, tap the “+” icon located in the middle of the bottom bar of your screen when you open TikTok. From here, tap the “Add sound” icon located at the top of the screen. This will take you to the Sounds page where you can search for your music.
Alternatively, you can hit the search icon in the top right of your screen and search for your music there. We recommend searching both the artist’s name and the name of the track to find your sound.
Important: If your videos are being blocked because of commercial use, it’s likely your account is set up as a business rather than a creator account. Go to settings > manage account > switch to creator account to change this.
How to get noticed on TikTok
Generally speaking, the optimal duration for music content on TikTok is 15 seconds. Longer videos have lower viewer retention as the audience tends to lose interest and swipe away. In a survey conducted by TikTok, they found that nearly 50 per cent of users said videos longer than a minute long were stressful. To go viral, your song needs to be relatable and has to appeal to a wide audience. Sounds that go viral on TikTok tend to be extremely catchy and have relatable lyrics. It’s worth taking time to find the most catchy/relatable 15 – 60 clip from your track that you think users will connect with the most. This could be a memorable intro or a catchy hook that TikTok users could dance to or lip-synch along to.
If you would like to select the start and endpoints for the clip we deliver from your track to TikTok, please get in touch with our Digital Submissions team.