What the TikTok United Masters deal means for musicians

Kate Fowler August 18, 2020
What the TikTok United Masters deal means for musicians

TikTok just signed a deal with UnitedMasters that may help musicians get more recognition for their work across platforms.

Although the future of TikTok looks uncertain, with threats of the app being banned in the US, it has just signed its first music distribution deal.

The contract will allow artists whose music is used as a TikTok audio to go directly onto streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud. This could solidify TikTok’s ability to make a song, or artist, go viral.

The app has so far pioneered the popularity of artists like Doja Cat, with the viral ‘Say So’ dance, but this deal will extend to benefit those artists who upload directly onto TikTok without any connection to a streaming service.

It’s easy for an audio to go viral on TikTok, without anyone realising they can listen to it elsewhere too – like these cases of popular TikTok audios that you probably didn’t know were real songs.

Mi Pan Su Su Sum

This song first found its way onto TikTok after this TikTokker created an acapella cover of the song, but it gained viral notability after being edited and paired with an animation of a dancing llama (it’s TikTok, what more would you expect?).

But what song was the TikTokker covering in the first place?

The song, in fact, came from a 2010 Kellogg’s advert in Russian for the cereal Miel Pops. The original version isn’t anywhere near as catchy, or weird for that matter. But now you can’t escape this song, even two months later.

Teen Beach Movie – Can’t Stop Singing

The song is originally from Disney’s Teen Beach Movie, but is now used in TikTok ‘storytime’ videos of a time when the creator was in pain or ill.

Teen Beach Movie was released in 2013, so those of a younger age might recognise this song already, but those of us from the High School Musical generation probably won’t.

Touch – Sleeping At Last

A bit different from TikTok’s usual upbeat content, this song saw people recreating childhood pictures, often to remember family members who are no longer here. We can confirm the whole song is even sadder than just the ‘I wanna feel again’ snippet used as the TikTok audio.

IAMDDB – Shade

If you’ve seen one of the ‘chav check’ videos on TikTok (it’s hard not to, they’re everywhere right now), then you will recognise this song.

Beyond the class issues with using ‘chav’ as an insult, the song’s actually pretty catchy in the videos. Though, if you hear that song in public, just know you’re probably going to see yourself  in a ‘chav check’ video.

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Kate is a fashion journalism graduate from London College of Fashion with an untouchable knowledge of pop culture. Her eye for the strange corners of the internet have resulted to huge-hitting articles while she has also written features for Vice. The solar system might make your world go round, but writing about the internet, music and celebrities has Kate in orbit.