If you have a youngster living in your house, it’s likely you have heard of the social media platform Tik Tok.
Tik Tok is used to create short music lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos. As such, it has an extensive library of music available. This gives the songs on the app exposure that it may not have received otherwise. And many of these songs go on to become hits.
With Tik Tok drawing attention to new and obscure music, there is no doubt that it has had a considerable influence on the music industry. This article will review some of the ways it has helped artists achieve success.
What is Tik Tok?
Tik Tok started out as an app called Musical.ly. This was a video streaming and sharing app that allowed users to post short form videos. It provided a wide range of music and dialogue options that were available for lip sync video purposes. The videos were sharable on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
In August of 2018, the app was taken over by a Chinese company called ByteDance and all content and users were moved over to Tik Tok. Tik Tok is similar to Musical.ly in that it specializes in short form videos set to dialogue and music bytes. But some updates have been made.
For one, Tik Tok offers a wider selection of sounds and song snippets as well as a variety of special effects and filters. You can also add videos created on your phone directly to the app.
They also added a reaction feature that allows viewers to record their reaction to videos and share them. A digital well-being feature alerts users when they have been on the app for two hours.
Tik Tok promotes itself as a video-sharing network. Common video genres include challenges, dance videos, magic tricks and humor. As compared to Musical.ly it has a broader scope for video creation.
Tik Tok’s Success
Since the Tik Tok app launched, it has been met with unprecedented success. In 2018, it was rated as the most downloaded photo and video app in the Apple store globally. It has over 500 million active users and it has been downloaded in the United States over 80 million times.
The success of the platform is largely owed to its partnerships with celebrities. There are numerous celebrities in countries all over the world who use it to post content and promote it on other social media channels.
It has also achieved success through providing localized content. It runs local contests and challenges and uses localized hashtags to connect to different regions and communities.
It also sends personalized recommendations to each of its users ensuring that they will be updated on the latest Tik Tok news and trending videos.
The app has gained favorable reviews by simplifying the content creation and the sharing and viewing of content. All viewers need to do is record the desired content and post it.
Because the content is short, it uploads immediately and is easy to watch.
Videos play as soon as users open the app drawing them into a sea of videos that can be very addictive to watch.
Tik Tok’s popularity has made it a favorite for brand advertisement. Many businesses use it to create challenges that will leverage interest in their brand and utilize hashtags for further promotion.
Tik Tok’s Influence on the Music Industry
With Tik Tok being such a popular social media platform, it is no wonder that many of the songs it has in its library become hits. But let’s look at some other reasons it is responsible for so many artist’s success.
Mark Caren, CEO of Artist Partner Group calls Tik Tok the “short form version of YouTube. It used to be the spark for a song, now it’s the wood for the fire.” He further points out that the target demographic of 11 to 24 year olds are most likely to buy music and they are most likely to hear about the music through YouTube or Tik Tok.
According to Google Trends data, Tik Tok’s ability to successfully launch new music is largely due to an algorithm that enhances social mobility and targeted outreach while ensuring users are up on the latest trends.
This successful algorithm goes hand in hand with Tik Tok’s extensive reach. They claimed to already have 500 million users when they swallowed Musical.ly. With Byte Dance being a corporation worth billions of dollars, they had the resources to increase that number substantially.
But the success of the platform is not only owed to Byte Dance’s resources. Its innovative spirit plays a key role.
After taking over Musical.ly, more variety was added to the app. Instead of just lip-synching, which can get old real quick, the app let’s users make just about any type of video they want set to music.
Tik Tok’s popularity makes it a great way to become famous. Not only has it launched the career of many musical artists, it has also made other types of users celebrities. For instance, one Tik Tok-er, Kevboy Perry, got famous simply for being the first one to add written cue cards to Tik Tok videos.
Charli D-Amelio is Tik Tok’s biggest star and her claim to fame is performing choreographed dances to songs that are viral on the platform.
When it comes to music, Tik Tok plays a major role in getting songs heard.
If the app finds a song/video combination that matches a user’s personal taste, it will add the song to the user’s internal playlist. This makes it easy for users to find songs and sounds to accompany their clips.
In addition, like so many social media sites, Tik Tok is a terrific place for advertising new music. It can create banner ads for new albums that are linked to a video concept or song. It can also launch a hashtag campaign that makes bands and music appear to be the ‘hot new thing’.
How to Earn Royalties on Tik Tok
Tik Tok is not only a great way for artists to get their music out to people who might not hear it otherwise, musicians can also now make money on the platform.
Originally, Tik Tok did not pay any money to artists when their music was used on the platform. Now all that has changed.
The royalty comes from Tik Tok’s revenue. The royalties are paid according to how many videos are created using the song, not how often it is streamed. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how popular the video is, the royalty only comes from the initial creation of the content.
The app has recently created licensing deals with labels and distributors. The revenue is paid directly to the distributor and then passed on to the artist.
The amount of the royalty will differ according to the deal that was worked out. In general, the income is not significant, but it’s better than nothing.
Because deals are made with labels and distributors, independent artists who upload their music to the app themselves do not have the same shot at earning royalties. However, it is still great exposure.
Artists That Owe Their Success to Tik Tok
We can go on all day about how Tik Tok works to get songs and music heard, but the proof is in the pudding. Here are some artists that achieved a considerable amount of success on Tik Tok.
Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X has become such a household name, it’s hard to imagine that there was a time he was a struggling artist looking for a breakthrough via any means necessary. He now stands as the most famous Tik Tok artist.
The success the app has brought him helped him earn his over $14 million for his first hit “Old Town Road”. His new single “Panini” went straight into the Hot 100 and he also won the CMA awards for Musical Event of the Year 2019.
This American rapper achieved success when his song “Uno” became the soundtrack for the #UnoDanceChallenge. Today he has over 50 million streams on Spotify and he is signed to Columbia Records.
Bbno$ may be short for Baby No Money, but this Canadian rapper is likely to have plenty of money now due to his Tik Tok success. His single “Lalala” featuring Y2K became a Tik Tok hit. He now has over 21 million monthly streams on Spotify.
Blanco Brown was known for producing Chris Brown and Pitbull, but he was not a celebrity in his own right. That all changed when his song “The Git Up” became the soundtrack for #TheGitUpChallenge where people were challenged to perform a specific cowboy dance to the song.
Sueco the Child
Inspired by Lil Nas X, American rapper Sueco the Child decided to post his hit “Fast” on Tik Tok. He is now signed to Atlantic Records.
Regard is a Kosovo based deejay who claimed his fame when he posted his remix of the Jay Sean song “Ride It” on Tik Tok. The song was used in over 2.7 million videos. The deejay is now signed to Ministry of Sound and known as one of he best Deep House Deejays of his generation.
This female rapper because famous when she posted her song “Stupid” featuring Young Baby Tate on the Tik Tok platform. The strong lyrical content made it easy for users to create a video around it. It has opened several doors for the artist and she is “nothing but grateful”.
This American rapper, singer, songwriter became famous for his hit song “Roxanne” largely due to several Spotify and Tik Tok plays. It ended up reaching number four the Billboard Hot 100 chart and landing him a deal with Columbia Records.
Ant Saunders is an indie artist who rose to fame after he posted his song “Yellow Hearts” on Tik Tok. The lyrics inspired several users to put their own spin on them via video content. Today, the artist is signed on Arista Records.
This 18-year-old American rapper took a chance when she posted her song “Love Song” on Tik Tok. As someone who didn’t use Tik Tok herself, you can only imagine how surprised she was to find it used in over 10 million videos.
How to Promote Your Music on Tik Tok
If you are a musician who is struggling to make it to the top, it’s definitely worth it to post your music on the Tik Tok app. Here are the steps you should take in attempting to get your music to go viral.
Release Your Music on Tik Tok
The first thing you will want to do is release your music on the app. Unfortunately, this can’t be done directly. However, you can go through platforms like Ditto and Tunecore to get your music posted.
These platforms typically require an affordable fee in return for posting your music on Tik Tok and several other music streaming sites like Spotify, Apple Music and more.
Use Tik Tok Friendly Tracks
When selecting tracks to put on Tik Tok, think about how the platform works. Since videos are just 15 seconds long, you want to post something that’s instantly catchy. Also, because the right lyrical content helps make the song more suitable for video creation, use a song with interesting lyrics.
Don’t be afraid to post an older song. If you think it might work for Tik Tok, that should be your deciding factor.
Use Different Hashtags
A good way to get your music out there is to post your own video content using your own song. When doing so, use a variety of hashtags. Use some that apply directly to your music and content and others that reference popular trends.
Create Challenges and Contests
Many artists have gotten successful on Tik Tok when their songs were used in contests and challenges. Why not create your own using your music?
In creating your challenge, encourage people to be creative by allowing them to put their own spin on things. Also, be sure to assign a certain hashtag to the challenge as this will help get the word out and make it seem like more of ‘a thing’.
There are a variety of challenges to choose from including the following:
- Dance routines
- Lip synching
- Comedy memes
In order to get your challenge (and song) to gain popularity, you will need to promote it. You are likely to get more participants if you offer some sort of prize to the winner such as a gift card or tickets to a concert.
If you can get a popular influencer to help you promote, that will be another good way to get the word out.
Follow Other People
The more you follow other people, the more likely you will be to get them to follow you back. This will help you gain a following that will increase your popularity as an artist and it will give you a larger platform for getting your songs heard.
Following a lot of Tik Tok users can also inspire you. You can learn from what they are doing to post content that will draw attention to your music.
Do A Duet
Tik Tok has a duet feature that allows you to post two videos side by side, ideally providing some sort of content that complements one another. Get in touch with other artists and find out if they would be willing to collaborate on a duet. This is a great way to tap into their audience and further build your following.
Tik Tok is all about being real and authentic. When you post your content, don’t worry if your lighting and makeup isn’t perfect. Just let your true self shine through.
Use Visuals and Memes
Posting on Tik Tok doesn’t only have to be about promoting your music. It can be about sharing with others. Making yourself likable to your followers will help you become popular on your platform so when you do feature music, people will take notice.
Visuals and memes are known for being well liked by Tik Tok audiences. Post content that is easily imitable, engaging, funny or inspiring. This will help you grow your audience.
Share Across Other Platforms
Tik Tok is known for being sharable across a variety of social media platforms. Take advantage of this by sharing across as many platforms as possible. This will get your posts even more exposure.
Tik Tok is great for posting localized content that appeals to specific areas and regions. You can take advantage of this by posting content that will be engaging to a specific location and by using the appropriate hashtags. This is effective if you want to promote in your hometown or if you want to target certain regions you will be visiting on tour.
There is no doubt that Tik Tok has had a significant effect on the music industry. Its wide reach and successful algorithm have played a major role in launching the careers of countless musicians. How will you be using this tool to achieve your musical goals?