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Business / Music

TikTok, APRA AMCOS Sign Multi-Year ‘Landmark Deal’

TikTok, APRA AMCOS Sign Multi-Year ‘Landmark Deal’

TikTok has struck a new, multi-year licensing arrangement with APRA AMCOS, the Australasian PRO that represents more than 111,000 songwriters, composers and music publisher members.

This new pact is the first between both parties, and is a retroactive one that’ll deliver a new revenue stream for music creators in Australia and New Zealand, reads a statement from APRA AMCOS.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the society confirms that the partnership accounts for TikTok’s past use of musical works, including the service Musical.ly.

APRA AMCOS’ agreement with TikTok “legitimizes the use of music on the platform in Australia and New Zealand, and recognizes the important contribution that the songwriters, composers and publishers of that music make to TikTok’s success,” comments APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston.

What a difference two years make.

In October 2019, TIkTok was in the music industry’s crosshairs. The U.S. National Music Publishers’ Assn. had urged Congress to look into the behavior of the video-sharing app, which the lobby organization accused of copyright theft.

APRA AMCOS stepped into the fray, urging TikTok “do the right thing by copyright owners and take out licenses to ensure music creators get paid for the use of their work.”

Since then, TikTok has taken the legit route and struck licensing pacts with a string of rights holders and music companies, including the three majors Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group.

TikTok has built its presence on the ground here in Australia, with an affiliate in Sydney and a raft of new hires over the past 18 months, including the appointment of Triple J veteran Ollie Wards as director of music for TikTok Australia and New Zealand.

“I’m delighted that TikTok has inked this landmark deal with the distinctive community of publishers and songwriters in Australia and New Zealand, who bring such creativity and joy to our platform through their music,” comments Jordan Lowy, head of music publishing licensing and partnerships at TikTok. “TikTok is committed to paying creators and artists when their music is used, and we look forward to discovering many more local talents and sounds”.

Adds Wards, “we’re thrilled to enter into this agreement with APRA AMCOS, which secures royalty payments for local song-writers and publishers, and cements our partnership with the music industry in this region.”

The short-form video app will let media in for a virtual look at its activities during its year-in-review session, set for Dec. 6.

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