Artists and record labels have recently been cracking down on the use of copyrighted music in commercial content, which believe it or not, includes sponsored influencer content! In order to protect yourself, the brand, and your relationships with brands, it’s best practice to use royalty-free music in all sponsored content.
We’ve recently seen some brands and companies using personal accounts to avoid the restrictions on trending sounds and music, leaving themselves open to potential fines and a ban from TikTok altogether. It’s ultimately the brand’s responsibility to obtain any necessary copyright, usage or licensing agreement.
Here’s what TikTok posted in their help center:
“Branded content must only contain music from the Commercial Music library. If you (or your brand / advertising partner) have obtained the necessary music licensing rights to use music which is not available in the Commercial music library then you must upload your Branded content post via the normal TikTok post upload flow (not through the TikTok Creator Marketplace) and confirm you have obtained the necessary rights to use that music.” — TikTok Guidelines
According to TikTok representatives, even a brands organic (unsponsored) content can only use sounds from the Commercial Library. Luckily, TikTok has recently launched an in-app resource that contains a complete royalty-free music library that is OK for you to use when creating and posting sponsored TikToks or posts for your company profile. Here’s a step-by-step guide to find the TikTok royalty-free library.
Bonus content: Read more on how to utilize sounds on social media outside of trending music.
Did you see the viral TikTok post from Bed Bath and Beyond, poking fun at the fact that brands can’t use trending sounds on the app? It’s clearly a shared pain point amongst brand & social media managers. Here’s how to access TikTok’s Royalty Free Music Library.
And there you have it! You now have access to all royalty-free music which is clear to use in sponsored content specifically within the TikTok app. It’s important to note that although this music is approved to use in sponsored content on the TikTok app, it is likely not cleared to use in sponsored content on Instagram or other social media platforms.
If you're a desktop-user, there is also a web version of TikTok's royalty-free music library, which lets you filter music approved for commercial use. You can access it here!
The Meta Sound Collection is safe to use in paid ads! Creators can use royalty-free music on Facebook and Instagram using this sound collection. For extra safeguarding you can browse Meta’s terms and conditions. In Meta's terms it states that the audio can be used for “commercial or non-commercial purposes.”
Outside of these free music libraries, there are ways to utilize sound in your branded content beyond trending music you don’t have the rights to. Instagram has its own Audio tools for Reels, but it’s not guaranteed that this music is safe to use for sponsored content.