Universal Music pulls the plug on TikTok
The impact on employer branding and influencer marketing.
In a surprising twist, Universal Music, a global music powerhouse, has chosen to withdraw its catalogue from TikTok after the expiration of their contract. This move has set off shockwaves across the social media and entertainment industries, leaving creators, advertising agencies and influencers scrambling to adapt to the sudden void of Universal's extensive music library.
There’s a Blank Space
From the Beatles to Taylor Swift, all songs owned by Universal will be yanked from pre-existing TikToks. This leaves creators with a limited selection of songs, stifling their creativity and impacting the overall user experience. Additionally, it's throwing a spanner in the works for brands and influencers who heavily rely on these iconic tunes.
The Sound of Silence Without Universal
What does this mean for the ad industry? TikTok ads thrive in the platform's music-centric atmosphere. Brands use popular songs not just as a strategy, but as a means to connect with their audience, a connection that resonates with 93% of users who use the platform with the sound on. But now, this silence poses a significant challenge for advertisers striving to connect authentically with their audience through the power of music.
Influencers, the heartbeat of TikTok content creation, have become ambassadors for brands. Seamlessly integrating products into their videos. Currently, 68% of users say they remember the brand better if they use a popular song. So, the absence of Universal's catalogue means a potential decline in views and attention for influencer-driven content, impacting the ability of brands to connect with their audience through these influential voices.
We’re Living in a Ghost Town
When it comes to the job market, companies are also utilising TikTok for employer branding. Beyond showcasing products, businesses are using the platform to offer a sneak peek into their culture, values and employee experiences. Through behind-the-scenes content, employee testimonials and interactive challenges, companies aim to build a positive and authentic image that attracts potential talent.
Universal's withdrawal introduces an unexpected layer to this scenario. By influencing the perception of companies as employers in the competitive job market. The absence of Universal's tunes limits the ability of companies to create engaging and relatable content, potentially affecting their attractiveness to job seekers who associate vibrancy and creativity with popular music on the platform.
Universal Music's exit from TikTok has disrupted creativity, advertising and employer branding. The removal of iconic songs limits content creators, hampers ad effectiveness and weakens influencers' impact. The job market faces challenges as the absence of Universal's tunes limits companies' ability to engage with audiences and attract talent. The platform's interconnected worlds now navigate an uncertain future due to this unexpected departure.
Statistic sources: TikTok Marketing Science, US Music Perceptions Research 2020, conducted by MRC Data