How Brands Can Use Music on TikTok: The Do’s & Dont’s

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Want to learn how to use music on TikTok?

Music is essential to using TikTok effectively! As a brand, learning the ins and outs of selecting music on TikTok can make the difference between a video that hits and a video that misses. 

In this article:

DO: Keep on top of TikTok updates and changes

TikTok has been rolling out changes to the way brands can access commercial music. Brands are now limited to stock tracks and user-uploaded sounds, rather than utilising the latest hit music tracks released for commercial consumption – you can read much more about the nature of these changes here

This big update is due to concerns around copyright infringement, as licensing has become increasingly tricky for the platform to negotiate. This means that brands are tasked with really engaging with the communities they aim to tap into on TikTok, paying attention to user-generated trends and being as creative as possible in coming up with new sounds and ideas using royalty-free music. 

There are always changes being made on this platform as TikTok responds to changes in its use – this ranges from increased security measures (in an effort to reduce spam), to working to help protect younger users. Keep an eye out on TikTok’s newsroom to always make sure your content and marketing strategy responds to the latest info.

DO: Combine trends together creatively to new effect

Creativity is key on TikTok, and while changes to the access to commercial music may be affecting how you are generating new content, it’s also an opportunity to get into combining and building upon viral trends. (which is also a quicker way to become a part of the conversation on the platform).

Take the Megan Thee Stallion meets Tiger King example: a TikTok user utilised the beat of the hit song Savage by changing the lyrics and combined it with the trending comedy memes created about Tiger King, all whilst dressed up as Joe Exotic. This clever combo is one for brands to be inspired by. 

DON’T: Completely rely on repeating existing trends

As access to commercial music has changed, it will be hard for brands to jump on trending hit music or rely on existing TikTok trends that feature commercial tracks. This means it’s up to you to creatively come up with new trends that don’t rely on this!


Whether it’s coming up with new sounds, new comedy ideas, or creating new challenges, the onus is definitely on brands to think outside the box. Get inspired today by looking at these campaigns that you too can learn from.  

DON’T: Just create a custom sound for the sake of it

Whilst one of your options is to create your own custom sound for users to get creative with on the platform, its something that we’ve seen many brands fall victim to as they’ve got it very wrong. You shouldn’t create a custom sound just for the sake of it; you’ll need to first become acquainted with the content on the platform by studying trending content and understanding how and why users enjoy certain sounds. This is the only way you can ensure that your custom sound will be effective and popular with the users on the platform.

At Fanbytes, we have had the pleasure of creating custom sounds for some of our brand activations and through a combination of this and our knowledge of the content on the platform we found that catchy and satisfying sounds that have a beat drop tend to perform the best. This is because users enjoy creating stories within their content and like to surprise and shock people with their creative transitions. This is why the challenge using the beat Caroline by Anime has gone viral. Check out an example below. 


We hope this helps you to understand what’s happening in music on TikTok right now – and use it to your advantage! Keep your marketing strategy on TikTok flexible enough to respond to changes and new updates being released and be sure to keep engaging with a community that values authentic, responsive content above all else. 

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