The Rise & Rise of TikTok and the Music Business
Learn more on this great opinion piece on TikTok and Music Business; the Rise and Rise of TikTok
Teenagers in particular post more or less funny clips on TikTok. But the platform is also extremely important for musicians. Those who go viral on TikTok often make it to the top of the chart. Learn more about TikTok and the music business
Rise of TikTok and the Music Business
This is how music stars are born today: In his bedroom, New Zealand student Josh Nanai is working on a melody in 2019 and putting it online.
Months later, users of the TikTok platform used the catchy beat for a dance challenge and uploaded millions of videos that were highlighted with the sound snippet.
US singer Jason Derulo finally turns it into the summer hit of the year: “Savage Love”.
Today the teenager has a record deal under his belt. Just like the former postman Nathan Evans.
The hobby singer has been posting clips on TikTok for a year. His version of the seaman’s song “Wellerman” also spread rapidly at the turn of the year.
The result: The song also climbed to number one in the charts in Germany, and the Scot will go on tour at the end of the year.
Great importance in music marketing
“As a medium, TikTok is now very important in music marketing,” says David Stammer from Pop Academy.
“Songs that are successful on TikTok arouse the interest of the industry and this success can also be carried over to other platforms.”
There are now many examples of this. US actress Olivia Rodrigo with her ballad “Drivers License” or rapper Lil Nas X with the catchy tune “Old Time Road” also landed worldwide TikTok and chart hits.
The app, which originated in China and is viewed very critically by data protectionists, now has around 800 million users. The clear majority are between 16 and 24 years old and thus fall into a target group that is quite interesting for the music industry. Music has always been a central element of the social network.
When it comes to TikTok and the music business, a TikToker add songs to their videos, often only a few seconds long, often skits or dance interludes, which they can choose from a list. You cut out a snippet that goes with your clip. Many TikTok hits have the same characteristics, says Stammer, who is responsible for digital innovations at the Popakademie in Mannheim .
Songs should therefore build up tension – through a short intro and a sudden break in the music. “In addition, there is often a very concise line of text that can be implemented visually well and can thus trigger certain video performances.”
Record labels and radio stations are paying attention
An example of this is the song “Oh No” by Capone. A technically distorted female voice sings “Oh No No No No No” several times. On TikTok, users stage the most embarrassing moments possible. Because of this challenge character, often in connection with certain dances, songs are shared even more frequently. Record labels and radio stations are also becoming aware of the viral surge.
Stammer hears more and more from the business that the TikTok parts are already taken into account when writing the songs. “That doesn’t mean you have to write your entire song for TikTok. But the platform does have an impact on the songwriting. “
It is common, however, that successful platforms or the context of music usage influence songwriting. For example, some songs have special versions for radio stations or clubs that differ in length. And streaming platforms mean that songs are generally shorter.
Warner, Universal and Sony signed license agreements with TikTok
For record companies and artists, TikTok is an important marketing tool, especially in the Corona period, when income from tours is lost.
Most recently, Warner, Universal and Sony concluded license agreements with the platform in order to remunerate the music used there “appropriately”, as it was said in a message.
The Central European boss of Universal Music, Frank Briegmann, does not want to overlook the influence of TikTok on the music industry. “A sustainable artist career needs stable fan relationships – on all channels,” he told the German Press Agency . “Creativity and passion inspire people, so good songs are not written for this or that platform.”
TikTok not only brings newcomers to the top of the charts, but can also flush older songs back up. The cult hit “Rasputin” by Boney M. is currently experiencing a revival after more than 40 years.
Around four million users have already accompanied their clip with the song, including mainly fitness influencers who show their muscles in the process.
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