Tiktok is one of the most active hubs of entertainment. The platform has not only become a center for comedy, business, and influencers but also a major player in determining the music industry’s next big stars.
Discovering Breakout Stars
The app’s short video format puts heavy emphasis on audio. Which are often used for lip-syncing. It serves as a particular joke or fad. And it’s responsible for the spreading of a song. Especially if it manages to hit the trending sound jackpot.
According to a study conducted by US TikTok Marketing Science. Specifically, the Music Perceptions Research, 75% of the platform’s users discover new artists through the app. While 63% heard “new music that they’ve never heard before on TikTok.”
This immense power of being able to shoot any artist to global viral success has been demonstrated through the explosion of chart-topping artists. This includes but is not limited to Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, and Megan Thee Stallion. Their careers launched to stardom after having one song become a trending sound for videos. In addition to being accompanied by a simple dance in the case of Doja’s “Say So” and Megan’s “Savage.”
More recently, pop powerhouse Olivia Rodrigo has seen the effects of TikTok’s capabilities. Her debut single “drivers license” accumulated over 888 million views under its hashtag, #driverslicense. During the first week of its release. The hit went on to break various records. This includes the most Spotify streams in a single day for a non-holiday song. It even reached the Billboard Top 100.
Well aware of the platform’s influence, Rodrigo noted how she purposefully composed parts of the song to include a brief descending cue. She “wanted people to make TikToks where they could transition into it.” Not only did people do exactly that, but almost every song on her SOUR album created its own trend.
Agencies Are Taking Notice
Even simply covering songs has gained smaller musicians more exposure and opportunities. 19-year-old Sarah Cothran went viral after her rendition of Matt Maltese’s “As the World Caves In”. Her video currently holds 40.8 million views. Since then, she has earned a following of over 4 million across various platforms. In addition to being signed to Republic Records.
Cothran is only one of several musicians who received record deals following success on the platform. In 2020, TikTok reported that over 70 artists have broken the platform. And, secured major label deals, including Columbia Records and Interscope Records.
Evidently, social media marketers have noticed the sea of potential that the platform offers. They have taken measures to monitor and utilize TikTok. To both seek out and promote musicians.
As opposed to older generations of artists who were plucked from obscurity by record labels. Who then had to invest time and money into cultivating them into superstars. The responsibility now rests on the musicians to prove themselves worthy by gaining online success first.
Tiktok has shown its support to these budding artists. The platform has partnered with UnitedMasters. A music distribution company that allows artists to distribute their music across various social media platforms. They too offer a streaming service. Which allows easier access to newer and broader audiences while directly profiting.
Old But Gold
However, new artists aren’t the only ones benefiting from the app’s dominating presence in the music industry. Older songs are resurfacing under trending sounds, sometimes with a fresher appeal to younger users through remixes. Estelle’s 2010 hit “American Boy” featuring Kanye West rose back to popularity. After a version fused with Frank Ocean’s “Chanel” was created.
Some songs have become so relevant that they even begin to place in charts again. Fleetwood Mac “Dreams,” which now has over 600,000 videos under the sound, returned back to the Billboard Top 100. For the first time since 1977. After a video of Nathan Apodaca skateboarding while holding an Ocean Spray Cranberry juice gain major attention with almost 13 million likes.
Established artists also take advantage by either curating songs specifically to become viral (Justin Beiber’s “Yummy”) or allowing the platform to utilize their existing albums for audios. Just last week, Led Zeppelin joined TikTok. To become available for users to create videos soundtracked to any of their songs.
Ultimately, while it is currently unclear how TikTok will continue to evolve its relationship with the music industry. The platform’s significant impact and control of today’s artists remain undeniable.