With SoundOn Integration, Music Creation App Overtune Leans Into TikTok

Last January, Olivia King sat at her dining room table and made a beat — in five minutes.  

The Rhode Island-based pop/R&B artist doesn’t play instruments or use music-production software. Instead, she created her track with Overtune, a music-making app that allows users to combine beats and samples from a wide range of instruments and other sounds, write and record vocals, and otherwise use a simple smartphone interface to make music meant to soundtrack content on platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Overtune was developed in Iceland and launched in 2020.


Now, King’s use of the app is helping expand Overtune’s applications beyond social platforms and into more traditional releases. After using Overtune to add her own vocals to her five-minute beat, she made a video of herself performing the song snippet, then posted it to TikTok as part of a brand deal with the app. The video started racking up views; it now has more than 10 million of them.  

Capitalizing on this interest, King created an entire song based on her original minute-long TikTok. A steamy ballad called “Unfinished Business,” the two-minute, 18-second song was made entirely with Overtune beat packs and released last Friday (June 21). It marks the first release through Overtune’s new label service, which is centered on a partnership with SoundOn, the music distribution model launched by TikTok in 2022 in the U.S. and U.K.

Building SoundOn into Overtune “fits directly into the changing music industry,” says Overtune co-founder Jason Daði Guðjónsson. “Social media platforms like TikTok are at the forefront of that kind of transformation, and I think Overtune is perfectly positioned to help artists navigate the changing landscape by providing them with the tools to create and now also share and monetize their music.” 

SoundOn is designed to help independent, emerging artists navigate TikTok, upload music, get paid for its use, market and promote themselves on the platform, and distribute their music to outside DSPs. Through its integration into Overtune, paid users can release Overtune-produced songs via SoundOn directly in the app, which has a free tier along with a subscription service priced at $9.99 a month. (This paid option also offers other features like exclusive beat packs.)

“I’ve worked with probably every distributor under the sun, but never before with SoundOn,” says King. “I’m excited for it, because TikTok has changed the music industry.” 

Overtune’s ability to produce music tailor-made for TikTok has attracted serious interest, with the company receiving $2 million in seed funding from Whynow media (founded by Mick Jagger’s son, Gabriel Jagger), along with investments from a group that includes Guitar Hero founder Charles Huang. Its advisory board includes former Sony Music UK head Nick Gatfield. And while the use of the app to make full-length songs is relatively new, along with King’s song, Overtune was used in the creation of “Framtíðin er hérna” (“The Future is Here”), a song made for the National Broadcasting Station of Iceland’s 2023 New Year’s Eve show. 


Overtune’s founders want to make music creation ultra-simple by providing thousands of different sounds that are organized by tempo and pitch for easy matching. (Some commenters were suspicious about whether King had actually made her beat in five minutes, so she made another video in which she recreated the process to prove it.) The app currently offers assistive AI that answers user questions and is developing other AI functions that are being trained on Overtune’s proprietary beat packs. Later this year, the company will also launch a function that lets users generate loops using written prompts.  

Overtune recently added an AI function with which users can apply vocals filters that mimic the voices of artists from Snoop Dogg to Elvis, along with celebs like Morgan Freeman and fictional characters like Marge Simpson. (This function will soon be replaced by AI voices developed in-house and designed to modify individual voices, rather than replicate those of celebrities.)

“The beautiful thing about it,” Guðjónsson says of the app as it currently stands, “is that you don’t have to know anything about tech or music to be able to create songs.” 

Overtune sounds aren’t copyrighted, so users can earn royalties from the music made on the app when it’s uploaded to TikTok and DSPs like Spotify and Apple Music. But Guðjónsson says Overtune users “gravitate toward TikTok” especially, making SoundOn “a natural addition to our offerings.” 

The app also allows users to make music at TikTok’s unique pace. Artists can experiment with song snippets, then use SoundOn to put them on TikTok and test them with audiences before completing the song and releasing it on more traditional DSPs.  

Making distribution easier is also just an extension of the company’s broader mission. “Becoming a musician is not supposed to be that difficult,” Guðjónsson says. “As it is today, you have to own a lot of expensive equipment and have a big presence to be noticed by the labels, but anyone can go through our services.” 

For King, this ease is a major part of the app’s appeal.  

“As an independent artist you have to be consistent, and the best way to be consistent is to be efficient,” she says. “With Overtune I can do a full demo on the app, then distribute through SoundOn, which makes life easier as an independent artist.” 

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