In May, Music Ally broke the news that TikTok was testing links to Apple Music from its app.
Users could tap an ‘Add Song’ button on a video that used music in TikTok, and add that song to their library on Apple Music. TikTok confirmed at the time that this was a test. Now Amazon Music appears to be part of it too.
A member of our team spotted the addition this week, with the ‘Save to music app’ screen offering them a choice between Apple Music and Amazon Music. It also explains that “You can only choose to link your TikTok account to 1 music app at a time”.
This isn’t available to everyone: when I tested it this morning, I could only choose Apple Music.
TikTok declined to comment, but referred Music Ally to its statement for our original story: “We are currently testing a feature which will help fans who discover music on TikTok to save and enjoy that track on a premium streaming platform, which will in turn benefit artists and the music industry.”
A TikTok feature to save songs to people’s streaming libraries may not sound that big a deal, but it’s more important than it seems.
The music industry already knows that when songs are used in videos that go viral on TikTok, they get a spike in plays on streaming services. Just ask Fleetwood Mac.
However, this is based on people hearing a song on TikTok then going to their streaming service to play it. Letting them link the two doesn’t just make this easier; it creates a pipeline of data for TikTok, its DSP partners and (hopefully) artists and labels to measure all this.
We’ve seen YouTube’s music boss Lyor Cohen take a pop at TikTok with his “short-form video that doesn’t lead anywhere” comments in an interview.
Meanwhile, just this month we saw French labels body SNEP suggest that services “like TikTok” might be hampering the growth of music subscriptions, because people are happy enough with 30-second clips to not want to stream the full tracks.
For TikTok, direct links to streaming services are a way of pushing back on those criticisms, with the data to back up its case.
Indeed, its music boss Ole Obermann reiterated the message about tests of “a product which will help users stream music discovered on TikTok directly on their preferred DSP” in his response statement to SNEP this week.
It’s unclear how soon that product will roll out fully, but Amazon Music’s presence in the test alongside Apple Music is a clear sign that work is progressing.