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How To

How To Make Your Own Sound On Tik Tok

Photograph of the blog post author, Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson


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If you haven’t heard of Tik Tok, then you have probably been living under a rock. Tik Tok (formerly known as is the latest social media app to have taken the world by storm. Users are able to post short challenge-style videos, dance routines and more. It has also been the entertainment platform of choice during lockdown, with six Tik Tok creators even deciding to move in together with the aim of going viral. Wondering how to make your own sound on Tik Tok? Or, how to promote your music using the platform? Read on to find out more.

How to add Your Own Sound on TikTok

Tik Tok is now set to be the biggest social media platform for advertising in 2020, and by distributing your music on the platform you can get paid plays through Spotify and Apple Music. Tik Tok enables quick viral potential, meaning videos can get a lot of views. This is a quick way to grow your fan base and make money with music on Tik Tok.

Keep reading to learn more about how to get your music on the platform and how to make your own sound on Tik Tok.

What Is Tik Tok?

Lay with mobile phone watching video on TikTok

Simply, Tik Tok got started because people loved creating and sharing short videos of them lip-syncing to pop hits. Owned by Zhang Yiming and started in 2012, Tik Tok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video, with a mission to encourage creativity and bring joy to others.

Think karaoke meets the digital era, Tik Tok is a social media platform which allows you to create, share and discover short music videos. The platform has evolved and expanded and is now available in over 150 countries, in 75 languages. India has the highest number of users (119.3 million).

In early 2018, Tik Tok soared in popularity, with over 104 million downloads from the Apple store. It exceeded Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to become the world’s highest downloaded iOS app in that time period.

Even though Tik Tok has millions of users, you can select the video you want to view or recreate, or post something original each day. There is, however, a chance that you may get confused while uploading your own sound.

Can You Add Your Own Sound To Tik Tok?

In previous versions of the Tik Tok app, you were able to connect to your music library on your device and select which track you wanted to add to your video. Unfortunately, this feature is no longer enabled. At the moment, you can only select clips which are built into the music library on Tik Tok.

Don’t worry – there are a couple of ways around this, which I will look at shortly.

How Can Tik Tok Help Your Career As An Artist?

Tik Tok provides hours of entertainment. Initially designed for lip-syncing, it became popular with teens with an interest in pop culture. Now the app has something for everyone, with a range of people participating in videos. 68% of people who listen to music every day are under 30, and 66% of Tik Tok users are also in that age group. This means that Tik Tok is a great way to reach music fanatics, and should be considered by independent artists.

Tik Tok’s viral popularity comes from its music. Let’s face it, the app wouldn’t be half as enjoyable without the lip-sync and dance challenges scored to catchy tracks. Tik Tok may not seem the most obvious platform for musicians, but Tik Tok is a great way for artists to create short videos, showcase their music, gain fans, and make money. (Read more about earning money from Tik Tok with this article: Does Tik Tok Pay You For Your Music?)

Some emerging artists have already used the platform to launch their career into viral stardom. Tik Tok for artists can mean instant fame for musicians, just like Ambjaay, Y2K and bbno$, Lizzo and most famously, Lil Nas X.

Lil Nas X‘s smash hit ‘Old Town Road’ became a Tik Tok meme before going mainstream. Lil Nas X first uploaded the tune to Tik Tok, producing a meme in which creators drink ‘Yee Yee Juice’ and change into Western clothing in time for the song’s drop. Following its Tik Tok success, the song spent two weeks at number 1 in the UK, and 19 weeks atop of the Billboard 100 (making it the longest-running number-one in US chart history).

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Tik Tok is constantly changing the ways that we listen to music, and recently released a program called Spotlight. This aims to offer independent artists direct exposure to music industry leaders. The program is initially for artists based in Japan and Kore, and held in partnership with 21 leading record labels and publishers. There are 26 top Japanese and Korean producers, songwriters and singers as mentors and judges.

How Do You Add Your Own Sound To Tik Tok?

We have listed some easy steps which will help you with how to add your own sound in Tik Tok. Let’s start with the basics:

Get Digital Distribution

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to choose any song from your hard drive that you wish to upload to Tik Tok. You will have to officially add it to the app’s library via digital distribution.  

This means that you will be able to manage the rights to your music, and ensure that you get credit for streams (and ultimately, get paid). There are many distribution services available, but not all of them work with Tik Tok. Therefore, it is important to do your research and use a distributor that supports Tik Tok.

When it comes to getting your music on Tik Tok, the easiest way is to use a digital distribution site such as LANDR, DistroKid, TuneCore or CD Baby.

Create Your Release

Producer for TikTok

Once you have a distribution plan, the next step is to create a release with it. You will be required to fill in all the important information about how your music will appear online. Streaming platforms are required to meet strict standards to ensure the quality of their catalogue is consistent.

In order to make it, you will need to submit specific details, high-quality album artwork, and correct publishing information. The extra details regarding your release are known as metadata. This makes it clear that you are the author/owner of your work, and is what links you to your music tracks when they are distributed to the public. 

The app doesn’t include any space for traditional ad display, so artists tend to trend through challenges and hashtags. This is also how you will get paid from your streams.

Clear (Or Avoid) Copyrighted Material

It is very important that your material is your own. Using samples which haven’t been cleared through copyright by the owner will stop your music being released. This means that your music wouldn’t be allowed by any main streaming platforms, Tik Tok included. In a lot of cases, if the sample comes from a popular song, it’s unrealistic to get sample clearance from the copyright holder.  

The best way to make sure your release doesn’t get stopped at this stage is to make sure you only use pre-cleared samples from a marketplace such as Tracklib. This means you will still own all of your track, whether or not you used existing sounds to create it.

Music copyright can be a complicated topic, so we advise checking out our guide to releasing a cover. It is achievable to record and release a cover of an existing song, but a cover song does need a specific type of license for distribution if you want to get them on Tik Tok.

Ensure Your Distributor Works With Tik Tok

With the correct distribution service, getting your music on Tik Tok is easy.

Tik Tok is included in LANDR, TuneCore and CD Baby distribution packages. This means you don’t need to do anything specific to ensure your music gets onto Tik Tok. For LANDR, you just need to select the box in the release builder to allow delivery to Tik Tok. When your releases are live, they will be delivered automatically to Tik Tok (unless you state otherwise).

With TuneCore, all you need to do is upload your songs, artwork, and release information. They will then upload your music online to major streaming services and digital stores including Tik Tok.

Similar to TuneCore, CD Baby allows for new releases to be distributed to streaming platforms including Tik Tok. For any older titles, these will automatically be delivered to Tik Tok – but as it is a new partnership, it may take some time for the entire catalogue to get on there.

Distributor Stats

When your music is up on Tik Tok, it will be available for anybody to include in their videos. Once you have made it to this stage, you are probably wondering how you will get paid for your plays.

Tik Tok revolves around music, but it is not the same as a streaming service. You won’t earn money from streams, but if someone uses your song on their video, you will earn money each time the video is viewed. You don’t need to sit and wait for somebody to find your song and use it in a video in order to grow your music with Tik Tok, as it is also a great place to promote your own music.

Create a profile for your music and start producing content on Tik Tok. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Customise your avatar, update your bio and social media links
  • Upload short videos (10 to 17 secs is perfect, 20 secs max)
  • Be genuine and creative
  • Shoot videos vertically to optimise the full-screen experience
  • Interact with videos that you like
  • Try out the Duet feature to connect with other artists

Final Thoughts

Tik Tok is very popular at the moment and should be taken advantage of. The way in which fans listen to music is evolving at a faster pace, so it is clear why Tik Tok has become a crucial part of the streaming landscape, especially amongst younger listeners.

Make sure you still direct followers to all social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook. At present, it is a great way to promote brands – especially for those who are in the music industry. You could become the next big star if you use the app wisely. 

Now that you know how to get your music on Tik Tok, head to the studio to create the next big viral hit!

To discuss video and music promotion for Tik Tok or platforms such as Spotify and YouTube, contact one of the Мusic Gateway team today or sign up for your free trial below.

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