Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) today addressed ByteDance Ltd.’s decision to limit and remove access to music for select Australian creators and users on TikTok over the coming weeks, in a move described as a “test”.
ARIA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said: “It is frustrating to see TikTok deliberately disrupt Australians’ user and creator experience in an attempt to downplay the significance of music on its platform. After exploiting artists’ content and relationships with fans to build the platform, TikTok now seeks to rationalise cutting artists’ compensation by staging a ‘test’ of music’s role in content discovery.
“This is despite the fact that in 2021 TikTok’s Global Head of Music, Ole Obermann, said: ‘Music is at the heart of the TikTok experience.’
“This ‘test’ is presented as an effort to analyse, improve and enhance the platform’s wider sound library, but as little as five months ago, TikTok’s Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas said that 80% of content consumed on TikTok is programmed by algorithms.
“If this is the case, then it’s difficult to trust that this is a true test. TikTok can set its Australian algorithm upfront to – within parameters they define – deliver the results they want.
“Australians deserve better. TikTok should end this ‘test’ immediately and restore music access to all users and creators.”