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YouTube Clones TikTok For March Launch

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then TikTok must be positively blushing right now. The spectacular rise of TikTok as a social media and entertainment phenomenon has inspired Alphabet-owned streamer YouTube to face off directly with the upstart by launching its own version, called Shorts. Shorts is due to arrive in the United States in March, after a successful six-month beta test in India, where the service racked up 3.5 billion daily views. However, it’s worth noting that Chinese-owned TikTok is banned in India, due to ongoing tensions between the world’s two most populous countries. It’s unknown how Shorts will fare in a direct duel with TikTok, but we’ll find out next month when the services go head to head for the first time. Information about the new… . . . read more

TikTok Enters The Octagon With UFC Partnership

TikTok isn’t just a social media site; it’s more of an entertainment conglomerate with a singular talent for licensing deals … and the Chinese-owned company is proving it again with a multiyear deal announced with UFC, the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization. UFC announced the deal last week as a way to increase its exposure across the TikTok multiverse, and as a new way to connect with fans. “TikTok has become a destination where sports fans can discover new communities and connect with their favorite sporting events and athletes in new ways,” the UFC said in a statement. “TikTok LIVE streams give our community a chance to catch exclusive, behind-the-scenes moments and are an engaging channel to capture the excitement and pure emotion of live sports. We’re constantly… . . . read more

TikTok And Universal Expand Their Musical Alliance

Universal Music Group (UMG) has entered into a landmark agreement with TikTok that will continue its transformation of the way music is marketed and sold. As earlier reported in The Licensing Letter, TikTok has entered into a number of music licensing agreements with publishers that allow its users to combine popular song tracks with their short videos on the social media platform. TikTok even offers a way to purchase music, creating a new and lucrative sector for the music industry that has already seen a number of songs climbing the charts because of their exposure on the popular platform. A stunning example of the power of TikTok to promote music can be seen in the experience of actress Olivia Rodrigo (pictured above), whose debut hit Driver’s License inspired countless videos on TikTok,… . . . read more

Deadline Passes for TikTok Forced Sale With No Deal in Sight

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief TikTok owner ByteDance has blown by the deadline set by US President Donald Trump to sell the company to a US buyer, but US officials say they are not enforcing the executive order. US officials also say they will not extend the Dec. 4 deadline for TikTok’s parent company to sell off the rapidly growing social media app, but CNN and Bloomberg have both reported the Treasury Department does not currently plan to take action against ByteDance. ByteDance and its subsidiary have been negotiating a deal with the United States aimed at trying to resolve concerns that the app poses a security risk to the United States and other Western nations. ByteDance proposed bringing in US partners like Walmart and Oracle, and in… . . . read more

TikTok Inks Critical Licensing Deal with Sony Music

Another day, another TikTok licensing deal to report, but in this case, the agreement is critical to the way TikTok operates.  TikTok announced this week it has reached a new agreement with Sony Music Entertainment that allows its millions of users to use songs from SME’s vast roster of global music superstars, as well as its many emerging artists.  “We are thrilled to enter in to this agreement with Sony Music so that we can continue to work together to connect the incredible roster of Sony artists in the US and across the globe to new audiences and harness the power of TikTok,” said Ole Obermann, Global Head of Music for TikTok. “Especially during this time when the artist community is challenged to find new ways to reach fans with… . . . read more

TikTok Makes Monetization Move with Partner Shopify

The hugely popular and – in the US at least – politically controversial social media platform TikTok pulled off a huge move this week in its quest to monetize the rapidly growing brand.  TikTok’s short, user-generated videos have been the single most popular social media innovation of the past two years, with millions of users and viewers signing on in just months.  Less welcome for TikTok was the attention of US President Donald Trump, who saw the Chinese-owned platform as a security threat to US citizens.  Clearly, many US and Western corporations don’t agree, as businesses large and small have rushed to partner with the rapidly growing user-generated video platform. Now TikTok and the Canadian ecommerce giant Shopify have launched a new “compatibility project” which allows small business owners to… . . . read more


Digital Deets: Retail, Social & Gaming Updates

What you need to know from ecommerce, egaming, and internet-related news. Featuring Amazon, Rovio/Sprint,, YouTube, TikTok, and more…

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