Q&A Paul Hourican, Head of Music Operations UK, TikTok

21 May 2020

We are absolutely delighted to announce that TikTok have joined the MMF as an Associate! Read more about the partnership in the press release. 

Activities already planned under the Associate partnership include access to best practice resources on TikTok for MMF members, exclusive virtual training sessions co-hosted by TikTok and leading UK managers, and an in-person event in London, likely to be Autumn 2020, once social distancing measures are eased.  Our first exclusive online training event for MMF members takes place on June 16th – watch this space for details!

Before that, we got a chance to sit down with Paul Hourican, Head of Music Operations UK, TikTok, to ask him a few questions.

Partnering with The MMF is a great way for TikTok to connect with the biggest community of managers in the world, and all the artists they represent. We’re hoping this partnership will help their members fully understand our platform and ensure they can make the most of its features so they can reach a wider global audience.

Paul HouricanWhy is TikTok partnering with The MMF? 

A number of MMF members are already utilizing TikTok for release campaigns, including those quoted in the press release. Their Associate Programme offers a perfect opportunity to develop a two-way dialogue with more than 850 UK based music managers and the artists and creators they represent.  

TikTok is constantly looking at new ways to support the music industry. For example, we recently worked with Help Musicians as part of its COVID-19 relief support for struggling artists. 

Has the partnership had anything to do with COVID-19?

We have been working on this partnership for some time, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this partnership isn’t a response to the pandemic, anything we create for MMF members will of course take into account the impact of COVID-19, such as incorporating social distancing measures into any events, hosting virtual sessions and providing resources that account for our current situation.

The MMF is renowned for supporting innovation. The Associate Programme plays a key role of the organisation’s activities – and helps connect the UK’s community of 850+ managers with the world’s most innovative and artist-friendly businesses, whether they’re DSPs or other artist-related services. 

What does the membership involve?

TikTok will be creating a number of educational resources, training sessions and events exclusively for MMF members. The first event will be on 16 June.

How long has TikTok signed on to be an Associate partner? How much is the cost of the partnership?

We’re not disclosing the contractual details of the partnership.

Is this a UK-only partnership?

Yes, this is UK-specific.

How does this fit with TikTok’s wider strategy for music?

Music has been an integral part of TikTok since the app launched. As a platform that was created to lower the barriers for creation, TikTok allows users to create and share video content directly from their phones, making the process of adding music to videos simple and straightforward. By doing this, TikTok has changed the way Gen Z and Millennials consume music. Everyday users listen and create videos using millions of songs from the TikTok playlist, driving unprecedented music discovery and trends.

Moving forward we want to continue to facilitate music discovery, working closely with the entire industry to bring the most exciting music content to our creative global community.

How is music monetised on TikTok?

TikTok is committed to sharing value from its platform with artists and rights holders.

How does TikTok protect artists’ licensing rights?

TikTok is an exciting platform for songs and emerging artists to gain exposure and breakthrough with a wide and varied audience. We work closely with rights holders to build and protect a library of sound on the platform which is available for users to infuse in their own short videos.

The interests-based recommendations system helps our creators to be discovered with a new and global audience. This is key to nurture transboundary communities where our users can connect, share and inspire one another with creative ideas.

How do independent artists benefit from being on TikTok?

TikTok offers a unique platform for music. By enabling artists to promote their music to a global audience, TikTok enables them to build a strong and highly engaged fanbase, giving new music talent an opportunity to be discovered and to create unprecedented viral trends.

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