Days after being banned on government devices in Florida, TikTok has expanded its New Music hashtag into “a global music discovery hub,” which higher-ups are billing as “a destination for new music.”
ByteDance-owned TikTok unveiled its latest feature – having also rolled out a “Creativity Program” and a “Work With Artists” option to this point in May – in an announcement message today. Meanwhile, although talks of the highly controversial platform’s potential stateside ban have largely simmered down in recent weeks, the service’s U.S. head of safety, Eric Han, quietly exited the role today.
Capitalizing upon this continued congressional inaction and working to cement its status as a promotional tool amid reportedly drawn-out licensing talks with the Big Three, TikTok has gone ahead and debuted the initially mentioned #NewMusic search hub.
As its name suggests, the offering “will act as a destination for new music, highlighting new releases and making it easier for fans to discover the latest tracks from” prominent and emerging acts alike, according to TikTok. Additionally, the short-form app, having previously leaned into a pre-release option on its SoundOn distribution service, likewise indicated that some music will arrive on-platform “before it’s heard elsewhere.”
Users can search “New Music” to try the feature, for which TikTok has announced the Jonas Brothers and R&B artist Miguel as partners. The former act dropped its sixth studio album, aptly entitled The Album, today, whereas Miguel has been leaning into TikTok since a sped-up version of his 2011 effort “Sure Thing” began making waves.
(Yesterday, before The Album became available via streaming, the Jonas Brothers put out several of the project’s tracks on Candy Crush Saga, specifically including a “Candy Crush remix” of “Waffle House” as well as exclusive video performances of “Summer Baby” and “Sail Away.”)
The video-sharing app also took the opportunity to tout the purported on-platform listenership of certain tracks and genres. “#NewMusic has already amassed over 18 billion views on the platform,” the company wrote of the hashtag, ostensibly “the ultimate treasure trove for discovering new songs.”
TikTok further pointed to the almost 150 billion views that it says rap tracks have garnered after being hashtagged, against a claimed 5.9 billion views for electronic music and 1.2 billion views for Latin. Similarly, there are north of one billion on-platform plays behind the aforementioned “Waffle House,” per higher-ups, and Ed Sheeran’s “Eyes Closed” is said to have racked up one million or so “video creations” pre-release.
In a statement, TikTok global head of music operations Paul Hourican seemed to speak of the #NewMusic buildout as something of a precursor to the debut of an overarching music streaming service.
“We are thrilled to launch the #NewMusic Hub, a global discovery platform that celebrates and champions artists of all genres, from up-and-coming talent to international superstars,” said the former YouTube and MTV music exec Hourican. “TikTok is already a destination for artists who want to preview their newest works, and for music fans looking to discover new music, and this new feature will give artists a new way to connect with our global community.”