TikTok’s new program aims to identify rising artists in the music industry

Image Credits: Tolga Akmen / Contributor / Getty Images

TikTok is launching a new program that is designed to identify the next wave of rising artists in the music industry, the company announced on Tuesday. TikTok also revealed today that it has signed a licensing deal with Warner Music Group.

The new program, called Elevate, is meant to help musicians create a lifelong career in the music industry, beyond being a one-hit wonder. The company did not go into detail about how it selected its batch of artists for the program, but noted that it looked at “signed and unsigned talent, to build a roster of artists that span across the globe and many genres of music.”

Through Elevate, TikTok is working with rising artists to provide them with resources both in its app and in the real world, including early access to new features, content amplification and support from TikTok’s official social handles.

The program will run exclusive performances from each artist in their hometowns at locations that inspired their music. TikTok told TechCrunch in an email that the concerts will be intimate for friends, fans and family, but they will be filmed as part of an original content series available on TikTok so fans around the world can watch the performances.

“We know TikTok fans are the spirit that helps enable artists to break through in the music world, and that the platform is the best place for artists to engage with fans on a global scale,” the company wrote in a blog post. “That’s why, as a part of Elevate, we’re bringing unique artist experiences to fans including exclusive performances at significant locations in their hometown that inspired their music. Through Elevate, the artists will share new content and updates on upcoming music releases, plus an intimate look at the evolution of their music careers on TikTok and through our @musicontiktok social handles.”

The inaugural class of the program includes CHINCHILLASam BarberOmar CourtzIsabel La RosaKali and LU KALA. These artists will perform around the world in their hometowns, including locations in Canada, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Puerto Rico and the U.K.

Elevate kicks off today with its inaugural program running through October. TikTok plans to release more details on upcoming Elevate cohorts in the coming months.

As for the partnership with Warner Music group, the multiyear deal will help Warner Music’s artists and songwriters unlock new revenue and marketing opportunities from TikTok’s user base. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“As part of the deal, Warner Music Group and TikTok will find new ways to harness TikTok’s revenue generation and promotional capabilities, as well as a wealth of insights. In addition, artists and songwriters will have access to new ways of working with TikTok’s vibrant brand partners, as well as to new fandom development and monetization features, like merchandise, ticketing and digital goods and services, among other opportunities,” TikTok said in a blog post. “Further, the deal will see the joint development of additional and alternative economic models.”

TikTok is a popular tool for discovering and promoting music, and oftentimes can lead to songs rising in popularity after they’re used in viral videos and trends. The company has been furthering its focus on music over the past year, and today’s announcements show that it’s ready to become more involved in the music industry.

Earlier this month, the company launched a new subscription-only music streaming service called “TikTok Music” in Brazil and Indonesia. TikTok Music lets users sync the service to their existing TikTok accounts and listen, download and share songs. The service includes the catalogs of major record companies, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music. TikTok has already dominated the short-video and social media market, and is now looking to take on Spotify and Apple Music with its music streaming service.

TikTok launches a music streaming service in Brazil and Indonesia called ‘TikTok Music’

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