You’d have to have been living under a rock to have missed the news that Universal Music Group has decided to pull its entire song catalogue from Tiktok, for users worldwide. This undoubtedly is going to have far-reaching implications, especially for avid content creators and fans of artists like Taylor Swift, whose anthems have become a staple in the Tiktok ‘FYP’ page. What is this going to mean for content creators? We’ve done some investigation…
You can hear it in the silence
From lip-syncs to background music for narratives and everything in-between, Universal’s artists music has been a powerful tool for Tiktok users. Many songs have helped videos to go viral and creators to build their brands. Universal’s removal of such music means marketers and influencers must now navigate a platform devoid of trending hits, potentially impacting engagement and reach of their content, not to mention dealing a dashing blow to older content that will be muted.
The world of social media thrives on resilience, so how content creators handle this change will dictate the future of the algorithm to some extent. Will they choose to ‘shake it off’ or is there a ‘blank space’ to fill?
It’ll be harder to go viral
Universal’s music has been the backbone of countless trending challenges and memes. Losing these is going to mean that creators need to rethink their strategies for finding and creating viral trends.
This could be the perfect chance for creators to get creative with the remaining music library or even explore royal-free options (which has proven very successful in the past, think back to the Youtube success of 2014). It’s an opportunity to set new trends, rather than following existing ones which could lead to some interesting and unique brand-associated sounds.
Brand-content alignment will be more challenging
For influencers that utilise music as a way to resonate with the themes associated with their accounts, finding replacement tracks that align is going to be more difficult. This might open doors for partnerships with emerging artists who are still happy to be represented on Tiktok, perhaps providing a fresh and exclusive angle for their campaigns.
Content creators and influencers alike must now consider what they want to do to ‘Swiftly’ pivot their strategies to maintain momentum. Here’s a few suggestions from us:
DIY your own sound bites: Create your own sounds or music that could be reshared. This helps to boost your brand authenticity and offers you full control over your creative flow.
Support emerging artists: Now, more than ever, is the time to be aware of emerging artists and harness the power that they hold. Not only is it great to support small, but it also allows you the chance to form real relationships that could be very useful well into the future.
Engage with the community: Everyone’s in uncharted waters right now when it comes to Tiktok sound, so it’s best to be authentic and admit when you’re not sure what to do. There’s no harm in talking about it, engaging with the community and following others leads.
To summarise, Universal’s decision to remove its music from Tiktok is an un-welcomed wake-up call to creators. It’s a reminder of the ever-changing digital landscape and the need for agility in any good content plan. While the loss of these songs may seem like a hurdle, what happens next is yet to be written and could be the catalyst that pushes creators towards more innovative and diversified strategies.
What do you think about Univeral’s decision? How has it affected your content strategy?
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