My favorite band was introduced to me by TikTok. I saw a dramatic edit of a skateboarder landing an insane kickflip, as the shine of the sunset spread onto the screen, glistering as the skateboarder floated through the air. The audio of the song “505” hit the most dramatic part of the song just as it hit the most beautiful part of the video. It was perfect. Before I knew it, I had every Arctic Monkey song memorized and on an endless cycle playing for hours on end.
With over one billion active users, TikTok has greatly been an influence on one seventh of the world population. In 2021, over 175 songs that were viral on TikTok made Billboards Hot 100.”
Olivia Rodrigo has the number one song in the world, and TikTok played a big role in promotion. A couple of months ago, when Olivia’s song, “Driver’s License” was a smash hit, influencers are posting memes, theories and lip syncing to her song. The influencers were speculating on who the romantic interest was in her breakup songs. In response to the controversy regarding her music, she created her own TikTok videos, which translated to her receiving free advertisement. With over nine million views in a couple of days, “Driver’s License” has become an overnight sensation. Furthermore, Olivia Rodrigo has also been nominated for seven Grammy Awards.
Doja Cat is another hugely successful artist whose music was spread and promoted through TikTok. Doja Cat’s music blew up on the platform when a teenage girl named Haley Sharpe created a TikTok dance to Doja Cat’s song, “Say So.” The short 15-
While you are on TikTok, you are constantly exposed to music that intrigues you. With videos usually lasting around 15 seconds, you can easily be exposed to about four different audios in the span of a minute. Although there may be repetition, in theory this is equal to 240 different songs being shown to you, in just one hour. In addition, TikTok purposely shows your music, based on what you have liked in the past. For example, liking a TikTok with an audio will show you similar music or songs. Therefore, most of the time, TikTok sounds trend the same way hashtags and effects do.
Now it is becoming common for artists to pay TikTok influencers to make videos featuring their songs hoping to gain views or streams. Famous TikTok influencers are getting paid thousands of dollars to create videos with the music of different artists. Artists whose songs are going viral on TikTok are also gaining listeners as people who discover their music on TikTok stream their music off TikTok on either YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music. In addition, the success of music on TikTok has inspired record labels to eliminate the middleman and pay influencers directly to create videos with their music.
During a webinar with Insider, Kristen Bender, SVP of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Universal Music Group said, “Since we signed our deal with TikTok earlier this year, our labels have been extremely leaned into the platform.”
Tik Tok’s rapid growth evidently shows in the music community, the effects are noticeable even to the average music consumer.
Jack Harrison, 15, a British Columbia student was scrolling through TikTok during winter break, when he came across a goofy video of Luigi dancing with the caption, “What New Yorkers look like when they get sturdy.” What made the video enticing was the aggressive hard hitting rap song by the Artist, Kay Flock. After hearing and enjoying the audio, he immediately searched on Apple Music for the song and added it to his playlist.
“For me, TikTok is the best source of discovering new music. If you are an artist, the platform is the easiest way to blow up fast.”
Cover Image: Beecut