TikTok agrees to pay South African musicians royalties


Even if you don’t necessarily understand it, TikTok, the short-form video app, is a cultural phenomenon. In South Africa it has seen impressive growth, helping local creators establish a social platform, and in some cases even produce viral content. 

Now the platform has signed a multi-year licensing deal with the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) to pay South African musicians royalties. According to a report on Music Business Worldwide, TikTok’s new deal will cover all 58 countries on the African continent, so it spans even further than our local creatives. 

Cash-out on TikTok

It’s a welcome move, seeing as the local music industry took a massive hit following COVID-related lockdown restrictions. Musicians and entertainers have lost the ability to show off their creations at music and arts festivals, crippling their income. One of the small income sources they currently have is royalties that trickle in from SAMRO. 

TikTokThis could, however, present a larger opportunity for local musicians through a platform like this where artist have found great success through viral content. Remember the internet challenge backed by Jerusalema? Yeah, the proudly South African song by DJ and producer Master KG, featuring vocalist Nomcebo was also a global TikTok sensation in 2020. Videos featuring the song were viewed over 1 billion times, thanks to its international success. 

“As a social music platform, TikTok has revolutionised how we engage and consume music. TikTok allows fans to co-create, contextualise and re-interpret their favourite songs alongside their favourite artists and drives engagement and a deeper appreciation of songs in an era when music consumption is increasingly divorced from context,” says Wiseman Ngubo, the COO of CAPASSO, according to Music Business Worldwide.

“With the increasing spotlight on African music, more African songwriters are poised to reach global superstar status and TikTok will play a major role in showcasing their talents to the world,” continued Wiseman.


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.


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