Illustration for article titled TikTok Launches Program For Discovering Rising Stars, and Possibly Exploiting Their Music
Image: Victoria Song (Gizmodo)

A lot of TikTok posts include music. Whether the video reveals a user performing a brief comedy act, a meme, cosplay, or an odd art piece– there’s generally music playing. The platform was originally developed as a lip-synching app and it motivates every video to be submitted with a tune or sound bite.

The business now has a strategy to generate a lot more music for these 15- second soundtracks– by releasing their own version of the talent competitors TV show genre. The brand-new program, called Spotlight, is presently just readily available to users in South Korea and Japan.

TikTok explained in the announcement the competitors will have 3 rounds. The preliminary chooses 100 musicians, second picks the top 18, and then 5 to 10 users will be picked as the winners. Choices are based on general appeal and the decisions of a panel of judges including songwriters, entertainers, and manufacturers. The final group will get “production chances and other prizes.”

TikTok is unclear on competition information, however the company said it has collaborations with 21 labels and publishers, and the program will supply artists with “direct exposure to music market leaders.”

TikTok could not immediately supply discuss questions about what rights it has over music that is submitted, whether it compensates artists who send their music, and if the company plans to expand the program to other countries.

A link to the Spotlight website where artists can “create an account and send their original content” results in a page that states, “Sorry, this page is not offered in your region,” possibly for anyone who isn’t in Japan or South Korea.

The statement specifies that after artists submit their initial music, it goes on the app and is promoted in a featured playlist “and shared with TikTok users for material production.”

TikTok’s platform and its audience can help independent artists get exposure and appeal. As Signboard explains Lil Nas X’s country-trap tune “Old Town Roadways” just recently made it onto Billboard charts after it was popular meme fodder on TikTok. However it’s uncertain if developers taking part in the Spotlight program will benefit economically through TikTok’s use of their original earworms.

[TikTok via TechCrunch]

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