By: Sarah Vandermolen
From content creators lip-syncing to certain tunes, to mega-influencers choreographing complex moves, sharing music on the social media app, TikTok, has forever changed the music industry. Instead of an artist having to promote a new single through interviews and posts on Twitter or Instagram, they can get all the exposure they need in one place. By creating a hashtag pertaining to their new song, or posting a TikTok dancing to their own music, an artist has the potential for their discography to go viral.
With social media influencers becoming more and more powerful, TikTok has become the starting point for many of these creators. All it takes is one post to go viral, and suddenly they are being offered a dozen endorsement deals and are paid millions of dollars per video. According to www.businessinsider.com, “Marketers can hire influencers to try to make a song take off, sparking a wave of user-generated posts from their fans.” If an influencer uses an artist’s song on a viral post, now everyone is making a video with the same sound
A perfect example of an influencer helping an artist become a global superstar can be seen with the “#SavageChallenge.” TikTok personality, Charli D’Amelio, is known for her viral dance moves to songs on the app. Earlier this year, D’Amelio shared a post of her dancing to Megan Thee Stallion’s song, “Savage.” The moves, created by Keara Wilson, were soon being performed by almost every influencer and TikTok user.
According to www.billboard.com, the song spent nine weeks on the charts and peaked at no. 2. The exposure from D’Amelio’s video helped Megan gain more followers and more traction. She’s gone on to win a Grammy for “Savage” and even performed at the event with rapper Cardi B. Although she had been a known artist before the “#SavageChallange,” the trend helped make Megan Thee Stallion into the global superstar that she is today.
TikTok has helped many artists gain exposure and fans and, for some, has become the place to search for new music. After hearing a song that they like on the app, users then travel to whatever music listening platform that they use and add it to their favorite playlist. From there, the songs begin to rise on the charts, and fast. Suddenly a song that was released in 2013 is in the Global Top Ten. However, TikTok isn’t just changing how people discover new music, it’s also altering how people consume music.
According to www.mi.edu, we are currently in “an era where consumers listen to songs based on how viral it is.” Although some people listen to pop radio or charting music, which plays trending, or popular, music, “On TikTik, users discover songs they’ve never heard of,” www.mi.edu states. Another difference is that the popularity of certain songs on TikTok is dictating what songs are being played on the radio. Suddenly, a music station isn’t focusing on the lead single an artist puts out, but what song the fans and other listeners enjoy.
The video sharing app is also aware of this trend, and even went as far as hiring a company, MRC Data, to conduct research on the phenomenon. In an article on www.businessinsider.com, the findings state, “67% of the app’s users are more likely to seek out songs on music-streaming services after hearing them on TikTok.” University of St. Francis senior, Dallas Matlock, agrees, stating “I found a couple of good songs from TikTok by looking in the comments for the song title. After that, I search it up on YouTube or Apple Music and add it to my playlist.”
TikTok has changed the music streaming world as we know it and will continue to do so. The app has also given multiple artists the exposure they need to take over the music industry.