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TikTok Links With Artists to Give Fans a 30-Minute Head Start on New Releases

UPDATE: As of 4:30 EST on Oct. 20, Luke Combs is no longer scheduled to kick off the “Watermarked” series on Oct. 22. “Watermarked” will now launch with Trippie Redd on Oct. 29.

TikTok has earned a reputation for turning songs like 24kGoldn‘s “Mood” featuring iann dior and Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo‘s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” into Hot 100 No. 1s months after their initial release. Now, the platform is inviting artists to preview new music to fans directly within the app with the launch of its new “Watermarked” listening session series, announced today (Oct. 20).

Every Thursday at 11:30 p.m. ET, a different artist will host “Watermarked” on TikTok LIVE, the app’s hub for original live programming, to give users a preview of a new album before it hits streaming services at midnight. During each session, the artist will talk viewers through snippets of the album’s key tracks and answer questions posed by fans in the comments.


“Watermarked” kicks off this coming Thursday, Oct. 22 with country star Luke Combs, who will offer an exclusive first listen to the new deluxe edition of his Billboard 200 chart-topping album What You See Ain’t Always What You Get. The session marks the official release of “Forever After All,” which Combs first shared as a snippet on his official TikTok account, and which has since been used in more than 60,000 user clips on the platform. “Watermarked” continues next Thursday, Oct. 29 with 10K Projects rapper Trippie Redd, previewing his album Pegasus.

While TikTok initially had a contentious relationship with the music industry over music licensing, the platform — now armed with broad music licensing agreements — is increasingly partnering with artists and record labels to promote music on the platform. “Watermarked” follows the May launch of TikTok LIVE musician interview series Sound Off, which has hosted more than 40 conversations with artists like Lil Yachty, Liam Payne and Swae Lee. In August, The Weeknd performed a live virtual concert as an avatar version of himself inside the app.


The launch of “Watermarked” comes as TikTok continues to battle President Donald Trump in court over his proposed ban on the app in the U.S.