In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, TikTok has pledged $250 million to support frontline medical workers, educators and local communities — in addition to $25 million in ads to help organizations convey public health information. One hundred million dollars in ad credits will go to businesses looking to rebuild, while $2 million will go to MusiCares, the charitable arm of the Recording Academy.
“TikTok was created to bring joy and inspiration to our community,” TikTok president Alex Zhu wrote in a blog post. “That idea has come to life through the playfulness of our creators who’ve brought dance challenges, funny performances, creative memes, and delightfully unique moments. It’s been largely about having fun.”
“We know that musicians, artists, and those working in the industry have seen countless gigs canceled because of this pandemic,” Corey Sheridan, Head of Music Partnerships and Content Operations, wrote in a blog post. “And we want to help support the community that keeps us entertained. Today we donated $2M to MusiCares, an organization supporting artists, songwriters, technicians, crew, and other music professionals whose livelihoods have been severely impacted as a result of canceled performances and work. While we know this won’t replace being on tour, we hope it can help working artists and music industry professionals through this challenging time.”
In mid-March, MusiCares set up a $2 million relief fund for music industry members in need, allowing artists and other creatives to apply for assistance through the MusiCares website. Since then, myriad artists, labels and other creative outlets have contributed to that fund — from Father John Misty to Light in the Attic to the Grateful Dead. Artists like Rihanna have also come forward to provide PPE for medical professionals on the frontlines (as well as $2 million to relief efforts), while James Taylor donated $1 million to a Boston hospital.
COVID-19 has swiftly decimated the live music industry, with countless tours canceled or postponed as well as festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella. As such, artists have turned to platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to perform for fans, and livestreamed concerts have exploded, featuring everyone from Willie Nelson to Diplo.