Is TikTok's relationship with the global music industry at risk?
It sure seems like it. According to reports, TikTok has removed major label-licensed music from its service for a subset of users in Australia. The purpose of this move is said to be an experiment that TikTok hopes to use in their next round of record company licensing negotiations.
The goal is to see if the removal of major label music will have an effect on the engagement of users on the service and open up a conversation about the value of music licensing from major record labels.
In the meantime, TikTok's senior music figures have been spotted in Los Angeles talking to major record companies about future use of music on the platform. TikTok confirmed that some music will not be accessible in Australia and that the move is related to analyzing how sounds are accessed and added to videos.