The music industry has changed significantly over recent years. Since the birth of the internet, the distribution methods of music have rapidly evolved. The music industry has definitely struggled to adapt to the fast-paced digital world. There’s no doubt that artists and record labels are making much less money from the sale of singles and albums than they once did. Streaming platforms have emerged to fill a gap in the industry, but many of those platforms have struggled to come up with a decent payment model, too. SoundCloud almost vanished for that very reason, before it was bought out. Of course, some businesses have certainly had more success in this industry than others over recent years. TikTok is a great example. In fact, this new app is transforming the entire music industry. How? Well, the following points will answer that question.
Artists are changing their music.
The most interesting influence that TikTok is having on the music industry is that it’s changing music. Given that most videos on TikTok are meant to be short and fun, musicians are trying to create songs that are (you guessed it) short and fun. The power of memes shouldn’t be understated if you want to know how TikTok generates hits. As will be discussed later in this article, Old Town Road was a huge meme, and this app helped it to grow in popularity. So, other artists are trying to achieve the same thing. They’re trying to make songs that are short and snappy. They’re trying to make “meme music”. They’re trying to cater their art to TikTok users.
Businesses are changing their marketing.
Obviously, TikTok is changing the business side of the music industry. This is probably less surprising than the fact that musicians are changing their art to cater to TikTok users, but it’s still a significant change that’s worth noting. There are entrepreneurial people who are making money from the platform by promoting songs for other artists, to give an example. TikTok users, like YouTubers, are getting paid to advertise things to their followers. In particular, they’re helping artists to gain popularity by introducing their music to a large audience. So, it makes sense that businesses in the music industry are incorporating TikTok users with big followings into their marketing strategies.
People are discovering music differently.
The internet has been a gold-mine for music discovery since it was created. Of course, the ways in which artists are discovered have changed over the past couple of decades. In the early noughties, Arctic Monkeys became famous through MySpace. Since 2018, artists have been vying to get discovered through TikTok. So, what’s the difference? This is just a different platform that achieves the same purpose, right? Well, not entirely. TikTok isn’t really a music discovery platform. It’s a platform for short videos. It just so happens that most of those short videos feature music.
And, when trends emerge, thousands of people will use the same clip of a song in a video to copy fellow content creators. This has the effect of presenting certain songs to audiences repeatedly. As a result, people are discovering songs that they love through the TikTok videos that they love. A prime example would be Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. This song became an international hit. Who can forget this track taking over the charts for months on end? Well, TikTok is to thank for that. The cowboy challenge introduced so many TikTok users to the song. It turned Lil Nas X into a meme, and there’s no doubt about that, but it also turned him into an incredibly successful musician. Don’t underestimate the potential of TikTok. It might be the best platform for music discovery in 2020, and music discovery isn’t even its main purpose.