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Labels have shown themselves willing to sue brands who use their music in their content on TikTok and other social networks without a proper sync licence.

However, TikTok has been working hard to make its Commercial Music Library (CML) an alternative for brands, with pre-cleared tracks that won’t spark lawsuits.

That library now contains more than 1m songs and sounds, and yesterday TikTok unveiled its latest effort to persuade more artists to sign up to be included: an ‘Artist Impact Program’.

The company has also inked distribution partnerships to support the library, with Believe, DistroKid and Vydia among the partners.

It has also offered some new stats to show how the library worked for one artist, US musician Inji, whose ‘Gaslight’ track was released in April 2022, and notched up 14bn views and 3m video creations on TikTok by the end of that year.

TikTok says that 65% of those views and 57% of the creations came from “businesses using the sound from the Commercial Music Library”.

Inji thus joins Nicky Youre’s track ‘Sunroof’ as a flagship case study for TikTok’s commercial library. ByteDance’s music boss Ole Obermann hailed the latter in his appearance at the NY:LON Connect conference earlier this year.

Obermann said that TikTok’s ambition is to “double, triple, quadruple that side of the business” – referring to sync licensing.

“Not just TikTok. If you look at the size that short-form video is going to be as a business in a few years [it’s] hundreds of billions of dollars of advertising. If you can get a small percentage of that to go to the music that is used in those videos, you’re talking a few billion dollars already.”

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight