- TikTok revealed a slate of six new sound partners for its marketing partner program as the video sharing app expands the initiative to include a greater focus on audio.
- Each of the companies joining the list fall into one of two categories: Custom Sound, where they help advertisers create their own tracks for campaigns, hashtag challenges, and other TikTok marketing collateral; and Subscription Sound, which focuses more on licensing agreements for pre-existing assets such as music and sound effects that can be used on a monthly, annual or project-based basis.
- The music production company Karm and the music agencies MassiveMusic and The Elements are new partners in the first category, while Epidemic Sound, Songtradr and UnitedMasters land in the second category. With the expansion, TikTok aims to help advertisers develop well-rounded audio strategies in areas that range from content marketing to developing a sound brand.
With the addition of several audio-focused companies to its marketing partner program, TikTok is helping brands diversify their tactics in an area that is deemed essential to engaging audiences. Almost two-thirds (65%) of TikTok users prefer branded content with original sound, while 68% remember a brand better when videos contain a song they already like. according to a study by MRC Data quoted by the platform.
“Sound is the universal language of TikTok, and brands need to embrace music and sound in order to appear authentically on the platform,” said Melissa Yang, Head of Ecosystems at TikTok, in a press release.
TikTok has always had an emphasis on music – that was it originally dedicated to lip-synching – but audio tracks have by and large become one of the most important features to make content on the core “For You” page a success. A sound clip from an old Starburst commercial, for example, in which a strange-looking man in historical clothing manically dances to “berry and cream” flavors recently dominated the app. The confectionery brand reacted to the sensation last week by releasing a Halloween costume Topics around the character.
Sound Partners aim to help brands align with similar trends by either creating their own custom sound or drawing on a larger pool of licensed material that complements TikTok’s existing commercial music library of over 150,000 pre-approved, royalty-free tracks.
As an example, TikTok referred to a current campaign by Asos, which won over consumers thanks to a powerful audio component. The UK-based retailer partnered with Karm on an #AySauceChallenge that featured a catchy, custom hip-hop song on the brand’s theme. The effort drew over 1.2 billion views and generated 488,000 videos in just six days, suggesting that users were eager to share their own posts. A brand awareness study found that the challenge increased Asos brand awareness by 25%.
Other marketers are trying to combine TikTok audio with larger marketing initiatives like Product Drops to connect with the app’s apps worldwide user base that now includes more than 1 billion people. Promoting a new collaboration between its soft drink and sister brand PepsiCo Cracker Jack, Pepsi is encouraging baseball fans to share their version of Take Me Out to the Ball Game using the hashtags #PepsiSingToScore and #Sweepstakes to win one of the 2,000 limited cans.