Whenever the idea of TikTok becoming a record label is raised in music biz circles, the suggestion is typically scoffed at.

But the evidence is building that such a description might one day fit.

In March, TikTok launched its own distribution service. Dubbed ‘SoundOn’, it lets artists upload their music to TikTok, RESSO, and other platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Instagram.

TikTok describes SoundOn as “an all-in-one platform for music marketing and distribution”, and says that it was designed “to empower new and undiscovered artists”.

The TuneCore-powered distro service’s beta launched in September. At the time, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Ole Obermann told us that, “through SoundOn we’re going to organise the ecosystem of unsigned artists in a way that doesn’t exist today and has never existed before”.

He added: “I think that’s going to make it easier for artists to find their fans. And then for labels and publishers to find those artists. The [industry’s] entire A&R process, I think, will become more efficient off the back of it.”

SoundOn also acts as an incubator program, and artists signing up to the platform get access to audience insight and development tools, as well as “expert advice” from a dedicated SoundOn artist team.

TikTok claims that SoundOn is already providing additional opportunities for artists and music creators who start on TikTok, and notes that artists have already gone on to sign record and publishing deals, and to work with co-writers and “established names”.

With TikTok performing functions for artists like marketing, distribution, discovery and development, some may argue that TikTok is already well on its way to becoming a record label.

Read the whole story in musicbusinessworldwide.com.