Music Promotion and TikTok: A Match Made in Heaven
What do the worlds of music promotion and TikTok have to do with one another? TikTok is a short-form video platform, that has quickly become one of the world’s most popular apps. It is also quickly becoming the newest secret weapon in the tool kits of innovative music promoters.
With TikTok placing emphasis on the virality of video and audio snippets, it has proven to be both the biggest disrupter to the music cycle and well as the biggest gift to the world of music promotion.
TikTok boasts a worldwide audience of over 800 million active users, there is no shortage of exposure possibilities. The impact the app has had on popular music cannot be overstated. As users interact on the app, they are often, in turn, discovering music. The virality of most trends on TikTok will hinge on a clip of a certain song.
From Musical.ly to Music Elite
The discovery cycle of music on TikTok is ultimately very simple, when a user comes across a song they like in-app, they will then look to stream it on either Spotify or Apple Music. In some ways, TikTok can be equated to the way people discovered music in the ’90s and early 2000’s: the radio.
With the initial advent of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, consumers became largely individualistic in their music tastes. No longer did the listener have to purchase an album, or even one song, the entirety of the worldwide music library was suddenly at their fingertips. But, when a collective set of eyes and ears congregate in one place, such as TikTok, an ecosystem of more collective song discovery is created.
All About the Audio
TikTok gives everyday users a chance to participate in a challenge, a trend, or a hashtag and creatively make it their own. These uses of the TikTok platform are often accompanied by a song, which in turn can translate to song virality. This is where music promotion and TikTok become inextricably connected.
One of the key features of TikTok is it allows any user to lift a snippet of audio from another video. This audio can then be used on their own video creation. TikTok then aggregates all the videos created to that particular track. Users can watch other’s videos using the same audio snippet in this aggregate space for inspiration before creating their own. This is precisely how a trend on the platform begins.
The Key: Gen Z
Why is TikTok rapidly becoming Gen Zer’s favorite social platform? The app makes it possible for the everyday user to be the element that goes viral, not necessarily a famous music artist or a single image (such as in the traditional meme format.) Anybody could go viral at any moment, especially if they are capitalizing on a trend with a hilarious new twist.
As discussed earlier, more often than not these viral moments hinge on a song. Some examples include the “Flip the Switch” challenge as well as the “Pretty Boy” challenge and most recently the “Wipe It Down” challenge. There is even a Spotify playlist curated by a TikTok compilation page owner with all the music that has found popularity on TikTok.
New Wave of Music Artists:
There has been some evidence that a new class of artists that are explicitly producing content to be optimized for TikTok. These artists represent a new wave of music that is fully intended to be consumed by mobile-first, and even more, social-first audiences. The tracks are snappier, more upbeat and typically have some key hinge-points that are designed to be capitalized upon by TikTok creators.
The most famous example of this is Drake’s new release, “Toosie Slide.” Drake gave the song to TikTok and Youtube dancers Toosie, Ayo & Teo, and Hiii Key before it was released to the public to make up a dance that would create virality for the song once released. In the official music video, Drake shows off the dance these famous dancers/digital creators made for him. The moves instantly became a TikTok trend with the official audio now boasting 3.5 Million videos created with it.
TikTok and Top Charts
By now Lil Nas X’s massive success with his hit ‘Old Town Road’ is almost old news. The rapper was seemingly unknown until TikTok influencers got their hands on the song and created the “Yeehaw Challenge.” When Billy Ray Cyrus joined the track for the remix and the song spent 12 full weeks in the top spots of the Billboard Hot 100. This was one of the first times the power of TikTok over popular music charts was noticed, but there have been many since.
Some more recent examples include “Say So” by Doja Cat, “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, “The Box” by Roddy Ricch, and “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion. Nowadays, the Billboard Hot 100 is consistently littered with songs that broke on TikTok.
Want to Know More?
The Scout Social team loves these examples of music and TikTok working together, but we love creating our own sensations even more. If you are looking to get an artist to blow up on TikTok and beyond, we have a network of over 800 million followers to activate at a moment’s notice. Ready to get started? Let’s chat.