Commercial Music For TikTok Business Accounts 2022 Guide: Music licenses, How-to and Royalty-Free Options

About the Author
Shan is the Head of Growth at Slip Stream.
Commercial Music For TikTok Business Accounts 2022 Guide: Music licenses, How-to and Royalty-Free Options

Jump to

Music Licenses For TikTok Business Accounts

How to Access TikTok’s Commercial Music Library

Challenges of Using TikTok’s Commercial Music Library

Find Music For Your TikTok Commercial Content

Affordable Royalty-free Option - Slip.stream

If your company uses TikTok, you're surely aware of (and perhaps even annoyed by) the platform's restrictions on music for business accounts. You also might know already that there are so many legal obstacles in the way of using music for your ad content, so whether you are new to TikTok or running it for a while, we want to empower you with the knowledge to navigate this minefield.

TikTok is the best place to reach new, younger customers. Its algorithm can expertly connect your brand to the right subculture and niche, and one of the most influential factors in virality on TikTok is the sound.

However, in May 2020, TikTok announced that business accounts could no longer use trending sounds from the mainstream library. So a commercial music library as a way of signaling a change in copyright policy on the platform. Today, they closely monitor business accounts with a fingerprinting system similar to Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram.

In this article, we will go through what music can be added to your business account and where to source them.

Music Licenses For TikTok Business Accounts

Every time you hear music on TV, in movies, in commercials, and even in restaurants—all of that music has to be licensed for commercial use. If money is involved, you need music that’s licensed with profits in mind. So when you produce video content on TikTok on behalf of a business, the same rules apply.

In general, there are six types of licenses for various purposes. We are not going to go through every one of them but we will discuss the most related licenses for using music on TikTok.

One of the exciting parts of creating TikTok is adding great music to the video. The licenses involved are

  1. Synchronization license, one of the most commonly issued licenses. It is a license allowing music to pair (or synchronized) to a moving image.
  2. Master license, transferring rights of the original recording to people who wish to use the  music.

Often times, both licenses will need to be obtained for the copyrighted songs to be clear for commercial usage in TikToks.

Although TikTok does have licensing deals in place with Merlin, Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music, since 2020, this is only cleared for individuals rather than businesses. If you are running a business account, all the videos published in the account are considered for commercial use. That said, if you want to pair music to TikTok videos, you can only select music that is cleared for commercial use (for example the music from the TikTok commercial library), otherwise, it triggers copyright infringement. If you want to use your own music, you also need to make sure you have obtained the respective licenses.

Some may ask, what if I simply make a cover of the song and use that instead? The solution is creative; however, you will still need to obtain a mechanical license, which allows a song to be reproduced and distributed.

As a business, relying on TikTok’s mainstream music library, or using whatever music out there, is very risky. Your channel could be suspended or terminated. This starts with muting and warning atop your TikTok video that reads “this sound isn’t licensed for commercial use.” If you see this, the chances are TikTok is closely monitoring your content for further violations.


How to Access TikTok’s Commercial Music Library

If you have trouble navigating TikTok’s commercial music library, here is the how-to.

On mobile:

  1. Open up the TikTok app
  2. Press the + button on the bottom of the app
  3. Press Sound at the top and then select Commercial from the drop down menu

On desktop:

  1. Go to TikTok creative center and login with your business account
  1. Click on the three bars sign on the top right to expand the menu
  2. Select Audio Library and then select Music
  3. Select commercial music with the filter

Challenges of Using TikTok’s Commercial Music Library

All the songs in the Commercial Music Library have been pre-cleared for commercial use, so you can use them in your TikTok without worrying about copyright infringement. But, it’s important to note, you cannot distribute your videos on other platforms, meaning these sounds are commercially licensed for use on—and only on—TikTok. Meaning you can’t simply export them and post them on Instagram/Facebook Reels or Stories.

Also as you may have experienced, the selection is quite limited. Plus, you can only use a single song for no more than 60 seconds. The commercial library has a limited range of genres or mainstream alternatives. This can be frustrating for brands that are eager to tap into existing, and trending sounds on the platforms.


Find Music For Your TikTok Commercial Content

  • Obtain music licenses

This is a surefire way to pay respect to the artists and avoid any future legal trouble. However, master licenses for mainstream songs are often difficult to obtain, also negotiation is often involved in the process, which generates time and financial costs. The license fee can range from a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands.

  • Make Your Own Sounds

If you have the budget and the time, this could be the option for you. But a warning, making your sounds takes a lot of resources, has a long cycle,  and is not scalable for the amount of content that needs to be posted on TikTok. Also as we mentioned above, you can’t simply make covers of popular songs that will involve mechanical license.

  • Use a Royalty-Free Music Service

This is a popular choice among businesses because it’s not only more affordable but also a long-term solution. Make sure you pick a service with a large catalog of musical choices so that you can get the most mileage from your subscription. Yes, it probably won’t have the trendy sounds that personal accounts can take advantage of, for example, “How you like that” or “I’d be f***ed up if you can’t be right here”, but there are a ton of instrumental options and vocal options when paired with the right content, they will also set your TikTok on fire.

However, be careful when you search for royalty-free music; some of them are not truly royalty-free as the music owners will start claiming eventually without notice.

Affordable Royalty-free Option - Slip.stream

A lot of you probably have the experience of looking for royalty free songs here and there. Some of them aren’t that good that audiences will just swipe away, or you risk getting claimed or video taken down which puts your job at risk, Or royalty- free music services that are still costly. Your boss still wants you to make great TikTok but he doesn’t want to pay. And Slip.stream is here to help. We are a one-stop shop for affordable royalty-free music that is actually good.

Slip.Stream has the world’s largest royalty-free music catalog of over 100,000+ songs and sound effects. What’s more, we have specifically tailored playlists for TikTok creators and those frustrated with the current commercial library. Our vibes are curated with ongoing trends in mind, so your ad content sounds fresh or upcoming for Gen-Y audiences.

With a subscription, you can browse through instrumentals, vocals, and just about any genre you can think of! We also have affordable plans designed for businesses of all sizes, with unlimited access to music and SFX.