This app has proven it’s no gimmick, and the music industry is sitting up and paying attention
tick tockthe popular video-sharing platform – owned by Chinese company ByteDance – has the potential to revolutionize the way the music industry works.
It can be seen that most of the songs in Spotify’s Top 50 and Billboard 100 charts are often influenced by TikTok’s popularity. Therefore, even decades-old, non-mainstream songs could emerge naturally on the app.
According to a November 2021 survey conducted for TikTok by music analytics firm MRC Data, “67% of app users are more likely to search for songs on music streaming platforms after encountering them on TikTok.”
It’s no secret that some labels use TikTok to promote both their latest releases and their entire catalog, as the app has been shown to prove to be an essential promotional tool for musicians. and record companies.
Marketers engage with influencers on the app to help a song gain popularity, resulting in an avalanche of user-generated content from their followers.
Some musicians even schedule exclusive TikTok listening sessions to draw attention to their new tracks.
The beginning of the new era of hits
In early 2019, American rapper and singer Montero Lamar Hill, commonly known by his stage name Lil Nas X, hit the lottery when his song Old Town Road was named the most successful song of all time, and became the first song to go 15 times platinum.
This success is largely due to the song’s early adoption as a TikTok “meme” by millions of users. Old Town Road has become the origin story for an extraordinary string of viral music hits on TikTok.
Artists have exploded due to millions of TikTok users using their songs in their videos.
power of virality
CKay’s Love, Nwantiti was released in 2019, but it only became a hit in 2021. Since then, it has been featured in over seven million TikTok videos. This makes it the most popular and successful pop song ever released from Africa.
With an entirely new audience, classic songs are making remarkable comebacks. TikTok user Nathan Apodaca has gone viral after posting a video of himself sliding down a highway on a longboard while drinking cranberry juice, lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 song Dreams.
After the event, Dreams re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 after being used by millions of TikTok users for over four decades.
How can such things happen?
Videos made on TikTok are very short, even though the maximum length of a video is 60 seconds, so music plays a crucial role.
Many videos show people dancing or lip-syncing, but there are also videos of people giving speeches, reviewing businesses, or even giving advice.
When these users create videos, they usually select a song, cut it, and only use the most memorable parts of a song, like a chorus or when the beat drops.
The second aspect that fuels virality can be so-called challenges, in which millions of users build visual narratives or dance moves on a single music video and encourage other users to follow trends.
TikTok videos do not directly contribute to chart success, but a song’s success on the app can affect its popularity on other music streaming services, such as Spotify, Joox, and Apple Music, and on Billboard charts. .
The future of the music industry
The success of TikTok marks a substantial shift from the industry’s view of recorded music as something to be listened to passively. Music on TikTok is a medium for creativity and artistic expression.
TikTok helps listeners discover new styles of music through short videos. Its self-learning algorithm is also the main reason why it quickly exposes viewers to lots of new music. With just one tap, users can see more videos in the same genre of music.
Importantly, what we’re seeing now is most likely just the beginning in terms of new kinds of ways to express ourselves creatively and new ways to promote music.
In the meantime, it’s unclear whether this will restrict originality or whether artists will feel pressured to produce “TikTokable” content for TikTok’s virality.