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The boundary between user-generated content and sponsored or branded content is important for music rightsholders, who feel strongly that if a video on a social app or video service is being paid for by a brand, it should be a proper sync.

But what about brands who want to use original music for their own content? One of those services, TikTok, is trying to help with its new ‘Sound Partners’ program.

It’s six companies who’ll be providing a pre-cleared catalogue of production and commercial music, in two groups. KARM, MassiveMusic and The Elements Music will be providing ‘custom sound’ tracks, while Epidemic Sound, Songtradr and UnitedMasters will be offering ‘subscription sound’ (yes, and charging brands subscriptions for access to their music).

The inclusion of UnitedMasters is interesting: a distributor sitting alongside production music libraries in TikTok’s partner lineup for brands.

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