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How to Fix “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” on TikTok

Are you trying to use a sound on TikTok but you got this error message, “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use”?

Maybe you were able to use every song in the past, but you’re not able to use most of them in the present.

Or maybe you switched accounts and you’re not able to use most songs anymore.

Many TikTok users face the “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” error, so you’re not alone.

In this article, you’ll learn why you got the error, and how to fix it.

Table of Contents

  1. Why did I get the “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” error?
  2. How to fix “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” on TikTok
  3. Can you use any song on TikTok?
  4. What the music restriction means for businesses
  5. Conclusion

Why did I get the “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” error?

This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use TikTok

You got the “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” error because your account is a business one.

If your account is a business one, you won’t be able to use mainstream music on TikTok anymore.

As of early May in 2020, businesses and organizations can no longer use mainstream songs on TikTok.

In other words, if your account is a business one, you can no longer use popular songs in your videos.

As of early May in 2020, TikTok announced the release of the Commercial Music Library for businesses.

The change brought an end to businesses from using mainstream music and songs on TikTok.

This means that businesses can only use royalty-free music in their content from the Commercial Music Library from that day onwards.

“The Commercial Music Library contains a collection of royalty-free music so that businesses can avoid the hassle of music licensing”, TikTok says.

“Although the full music library is unavailable to businesses, they will still be able to access user-uploaded sounds”.

Businesses can now only use royalty-free music and user-uploaded sounds in their videos.

The update has displeased many TikTok users who’ve used mainstream music for their business in the past.

Dave Jorgenson (a.k.a. Washington Post TikTok guy) has tweeted about the change on his Twitter account.

He said that he was only aware of the change after one of his videos wasn’t published on TikTok.

Dave was displeased about the change as he can no longer use his favorite song(s) in his content.

Trending songs is used on TikTok for users to garner more likes in their videos.

That being said, businesses and organizations will be negatively affected by the change.

This is because businesses will now have to come up with even more creative ideas in order to keep up with the latest trends.

As such, their engagement rate will naturally decrease as TikTok puts more weight to trending songs.

However, the change does not affect regular TikTok users or TikTok stars.

Regular TikTok users and stars can still continue to use popular songs on their content.

The change only affects businesses and organizations; which means that personal accounts won’t be affected.

How to fix “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” on TikTok

To fix the “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” error on TikTok, you’ll have to switch back to a personal account.

If you’re using a business account, you won’t be able to use mainstream songs on TikTok as of early May 2020.

To use mainstream songs on TikTok again, simply switch to a personal account from your account’s settings.

You got the error message because you probably switched to a business account in the past.

So, in order to use popular songs on TikTok again, you need to switch your account from a business to a personal one.

This will allow you to use mainstream songs in your videos on TikTok.

To switch your account to a personal one, you can do so in your settings.

How to switch to a personal account on TikTok

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do this:

  1. Go to your TikTok profile.
  2. Tap on the “triple-dots” icon on the top-right hand corner of your profile.
  3. Tap on “Manage account”.
  4. Select “Switch to Personal Account”, then “Switch back” to switch to a personal account.

Once you switched back to a personal account, you will be able to use mainstream songs on TikTok again.

However, you will lose access to your analytics, and the link in your bio to your website.

If you don’t care about analytics or having a link in your bio, then switching to a personal account wouldn’t have much of an impact.

However, if you’re using TikTok as means of promoting your business, then maintaining a business account would be ideal.

But keep in mind that you can only use royalty-free music from TikTok’s Commercial Music Library if your account is a business one.

Can you use any song on TikTok?

TikTok sounds

Yes, you can use any song on TikTok if your account is a personal one.

You can use any song on TikTok if you have a personal account.

However, if your account is a business one, you can only use royalty-free music from TikTok’s Commercial Music Library.

Simply select the song under any video to use them for your own video.

You can also browse and use songs in TikTok’s “Sounds” tab.

However, if you switched your account to a business account, you won’t be able to use mainstream songs on TikTok.

Instead, you’ll be given a Commercial Music Library when you access the “Sounds” tab.

If you want to use mainstream songs on TikTok, you need to have a personal account.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to use popular or trending songs on TikTok.

What the music restriction means for businesses

Only showing sounds that are licensed for commercial use TikTok

As businesses cannot use popular and trending songs on TikTok anymore, their reach will be negatively affected.

Businesses’ reach on TikTok will be negatively affected as they can no longer use trending songs in their videos.

TikTok puts a lot of weight on trending content.

This means that a user that posts trending content is more likely to get on the “For You” page that someone who does not.

In order to post trending content, you’ll have to use trending songs in your videos.

Since businesses cannot use trending songs in their videos, they won’t be able to post trending content.

As such, businesses won’t be able to keep up with the latest trends on TikTok.

This will negatively affect their reach and engagement.

In addition, the restriction of mainstream songs makes it harder for businesses to go viral from a piece of content.

Businesses will now have to come up with even more creative content in order to stand out from the rest.

All in all, businesses will be negatively impacted by the restriction of mainstream songs.

To counter the change, they will either have to spend money on TikTok ads or post innovative content without the usage of a song.

Conclusion

This article covered about why you got the “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” error on TikTok, and how to fix it.

In a nutshell, TikTok has restricted businesses from accessing mainstream songs.

Personal accounts and TikTok stars are unaffected by this change.

So, if you want to use popular and trending songs again, you’ll have to switch to a personal account.

Unfortunately, TikTok did not make an explicit announcement of the restriction in their newsroom, which has left many users in confusion due to the abrupt change.

Further Reading

> How to Get on The “For You” Page on TikTok

> The TikTok Shadowban: Everything You Need to Know

> What Does It Mean When The Following Button Is Green on Instagram?

Author: Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.

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About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with over 7+ years of experience in Social Media and 3+ years of experience in investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.