TikTok. You love it, you hate it; regardless, you’ve heard of it. With over 3BN downloads, it’s impossible not to. There has been many theories as to why TikTok has blown up on the scale it has; perhaps it’s the creators, perhaps it’s the format, perhaps it’s the vine nostalgia (were we ever truly over it?) However, with the recent avalanche of TikTok anthems snowballing radio and streaming platforms everywhere, maybe the reason is more audible than first thought.
TikTok sounds are a pillar to the platform, there’s no denying that. Users can choose from a variety of songs, video sounds, or voiceovers to back their visual content and, as we’ve seen so often already, these audios can go mega viral. Take Olivia Rodrigo, her songs ‘drivers license’, ‘good 4 u’, and ‘jealousy, jealousy’ have been used as backgrounds for so many TikToks and, as a result, have skyrocketed in popularity.
Just three days after first released, ‘drivers license’ broke Spotify’s record for the most daily streams for a non-holiday song, and it flew to number one on the Official Singles Chart. Plus, it’s since been confirmed by Pop Crave that this was the fastest song to ever reach 100M Spotify streams. Insane.
Oh, and do you remember Doggface208 skating down the road with cranberry juice in hand vibing to Dreams by Fleetwood Mac? Well, less than a month after that, the throwback track re-entered the Official Singles Top 40 Chart for the first time since 1977. As said by William Knight, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks even took to TikTok themselves to acknowledge the trend, with their own skates and juice, undeniably making the connection between TikTok fame and artistry success.
Understandably, this potential is not going amiss for the many emerging artists who too want to jump on this wave; TikTok offers a real opportunity for individuals to share their music on a huge scale because, according to TikTok, neither follower count nor past viewing history are direct factors in their algorithm recommendation system. Plus, following TikTok’s July update, users can now make videos up to three minutes long, which would massively appeal to entry level artists, allowing them to share longer snippets of their music.
For proof of TikTok’s fairy godmother abilities, you need not look further than Cat Burns. Yep, the twenty-year-old TikToker-turned-popstar who got signed by RCA Records just nine months after her TikTok debut. As a young black LGBTQ+ female artist, Cat recalls struggling to break into the pop scene due to the many archaic assumptions still held about people that look and sound like her in the music industry. However, TikTok finally gave Cat the recognition she was working for as she amassed over 680k followers in less than a year, and she’s been on fire ever since, with her latest single ‘Go’ raking in over 1.4M Spotify streams.
Especially in the era of music giants such as Spotify and Apple Music, this shift toward a more independent, organic, and seemingly accessible popularity is immense. Also, with the insight that 67% of TikTok users are likely to stream a song they found on the site, it is no surprise that the platform has begun to turn the heads of established and celebrity artists and producers, who are intent to cash in on this new-age madness for themselves.
For example, The Kid Laroi attempted to break into this space last year with his song ‘Addison Rae’, which has since been memed religiously following Addison’s own response on Genius. Next we have Doja Cat, who featured TikToker Haley Sharpe, creator of the ‘Say So’ dance, in her music video, undoubtably paying homage to her popularity on TikTok.
With that being said, not everyone has hit the jackpot when exploring this space. Remember Bieber’s Yummy? The TikTok campaign surrounding this track didn’t go down too well in the TikTok community, with some users thinking he was trying too hard to replicate the organic growth of other artists. This was a prime example of influencer marketing gone greedy. It lacked originality, insight, and a basic appreciation for the complexity of the platform. This pushback showed the importance of authenticity in influencer campaigns, and highlights the issues of a forced, generic approach.
This just goes to show how valuable TikTok has become, not only for its users and creators, but for artists and labels globally. And whilst we’re in full support of using our resources, it’s so important that we remember to pay them the respect and appreciation they deserve, rather than run them down with poorly planned ads.
This is why it’s so important, as a brand or a company, to stay afloat social/ influencer trends. These trends prove that there is an audience for just about anything, and influencer marketing has made these audiences so much more accessible. But, it takes a lot of research and strategy to determine the right approach and the right candidate. Lucky for you, that’s our bread and butter.
If you too are looking to break into this social sphere and find the right influencers for you, shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org- it’s kind of what we do.