TikTok is now paying musicians and songwriters, will locals benefit?

  • “Through reciprocal representation and being members of CAPASSO we benefit”- COSBOTS


Short form video sharing application, TikTok recently announced that they will be paying musicians and songwriters in South Africa for the onplatform use of songs. They inked a multi year licensing deals with the Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) and the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO).

Through CAPASSO’s partnerships, the agreement will cover 58 territories across the African continent.

“Through our reciprocal representation and being members to CAPASSO licensing hub we benefit from the agreement,” the spokesperson of the country’s only royalty collections society (COSBOTS), Seeletso Lekgaba told this publication.

“Through this reciprocal representation CAPASSO will license the Digital Service Providers, collect, and distribute royalties to the relevant Collection Management
Organisations across the continent.”

Lekgaba explained that just like in Europe, African Collective Management Organisations have grouped together to form a one stop shop for licensing of Digital Service Providers.

This one stop shop is coordinated by CAPASSO, a mechanical licensing agency based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Music by African artists including Batswana on TikTok is the soundtrack to many of today’s viral trends, creating an opportunity for artists to cash in on their creations. Head of Music Publishing Licensing and Partnerships at TikTok, Jordan Lowy said their platform was delighted to enter into the agreement with SAMRO and CAPASSO to ensure that songwriters, composers and publishers across Africa can benefit when their music
is used on TikTok. “This is an exciting region for us with a huge pool of incredible talent, and we look forward to connecting them with our global audience.”

“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 favorite 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. 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,” said Wiseman Ngubo, CAPASSO Chief Operations Officer.