Here’s How TikTok is Changing the Music Industry: Pros & Cons

What started as a video-sharing app has become an essential promotional tool for musicians and record labels. Music has been an integral element of TikTok ever since its inception. The app allows users to use their creativity to record videos and add catchy audio (or ‘sounds’ as the app says) to produce a unique masterpiece.

If the algorithm picks up the video, more and more users will use the same audio to create their version, leading to a trend. This is why artists are coming up with specific audios to encourage creators to use them and make them go viral.

Whether you’re an aspiring singer or learning musical instruments, TikTok can help you get discovered by a wide number of listeners. We have prepared a guide to familiarize you with the pros and cons of this platform so you can utilize it in the best possible way.

A Change In Music Consumption Habits

Nowadays, people stream songs after viewing a snippet or dance video on TikTok. It’s a new era where users listen to a song, depending on how “viral” or “trendy” it is. This allows users to discover artists and music they have never heard of. The better the video is, the more people will listen to a certain song which ultimately increases streaming rates on other platforms. Songs that go viral on TikTok, often hit Billboard 100 and Spotify 50 charts.

A person is filming a video for a social media influencer

According to statistics, 67% of users are more likely to listen to a song on a streaming platform after hearing it in TikTok videos, and 75% say they discover new artists through the platform. The numbers show that the platform has changed how people consume music, and many artists are making the most of it.

Unknown Artists Getting Stardom

TikTok has helped many young and new artists become international sensations within months. LilNas X launched his song Old Town Road in 2019, which became extremely popular due to the app—you know how popular he is now, thanks to this app.

Another great example is Olivia Rodrigo. She is a former Disney star who first gained attention with her song “All I Want” for the new High School Musical series. This song became viral on the app, and soon she released her debut album Sour which was loved by many. Two of the songs even reached a billion streams on Spotify. Today, she has over 2M followers on Instagram and a net worth of $5M!

Similarly, many music artists have found fame through TikTok. They release samples of their songs, make them go viral, and then release full songs later on monetized sites like Spotify to get more streams.
A person is dancing

Artists Don’t Need Record Labels or Big Budget

The music industry is known for its feuds between artists and record labels. But with TikTok, you don’t need a label to become successful. Many artists sign with record labels to get discovered and face exploitation and many problems in the process. However, TikTok allows artists to build their community directly on the app without assistance from a third party. You don’t need radios, streaming channels, or a massive financial investment to release a song.

If you have a unique idea and a catchy song to prompt users to make videos, you can get successful in the industry.

Access to International Audiences

If a song is popular in one country, it can also become popular in different countries worldwide. TikTok has a “For You” page where the app recommends trendy and interesting videos to its users. This helps artists present their songs to a wide range of audiences worldwide. For example, an old song named Dreams by Fleetwood Mac became popular when a user posted a clip of himself lip-synching to it while skateboarding. This 1977 song became number two on the Rolling Stone 100 chart and gained popularity worldwide.

Even the ones who didn’t understand the lyrics enjoyed listening to it.

Fine-Tune Songs According to the Audience

Artists are now creating songs and tunes according to their audience’s preferences. They first release a snippet of their song to see how well it performs and tweak it to get better responses. This wasn’t possible before; artists had one chance to release their album/single.

This flexibility is helping aspiring artists polish their skills and improve their songs before presenting them to the world.

Drawbacks of TikTok for Music Artists

Burdened Artists

Record labels are pushing artists to do most of the work themselves. The job of a label company is to develop and promote an artist. However, due to the popularity of TikTok and other social media platforms, these labels depend on the artist for promoting their own music. Many musicians have voiced their concerns about this, including Charli XCX, Charlie Puth, and Halsey. They posted videos saying they are being forced to make their songs go viral on TikTok before releasing them, which affects their artistic integrity.

Another performer Taylor Upsahl told sources that it can be stressful to balance social promotion with creating music and touring.A person is stressed

Overshadows Hard-working Musicians

Anyone can get famous on the app, regardless of their background or knowledge of the music industry. This overshadows skilled musicians who work day and night to gain recognition. For example, Obsessed by Addison Rae became popular on the app, which helped the artist gain over 70 million followers. She is a social media influencer and even admitted to not having any musical background or knowledge.  On the other hand, musicians who have been working hard for decades don’t get the recognition they deserve. While TikTok may help many underrated artists gain popularity, it’s also helping micro-influencers overshadow deserving music artists.

Records Labels Biasness

Most labels, from indie to major, base their decisions on an artist’s social media following. They don’t even consider signing someone who doesn’t have a massive following on social media platforms. Moreover, people don’t really “buy” music these days as they did before—for instance, buying CDs and vinyl from the record label. They mostly listen to songs on streaming platforms, making it difficult for labels to generate revenue. While the record labels still get the most share of the profits from record sales, all these changes hurt the artist the most.

Just like any platform, TikTok also has many pros and cons. It’s up to you how you utilize its benefits to gain success.

Here’s How Artists Can Promote Music on TikTok

To effectively promote your songs and reach more users on TikTok, you have to perform certain tasks that the app’s algorithm prefers. The first step is to build a fanbase by using hashtags focusing on your target audience. Creating unique challenges and contests prompts users to use your audio in their videos, which can increase the popularity of your song. You can also collaborate with influencers by letting them use your songs and create content around trending themes. This will help you reach the established audience of the influencer.
Singing classes in UAE

If you’re thinking of entering the music industry to follow your dreams but don’t know how to, sign up for our music lessons. We offer performance-based music education where you can polish your skills to entertain your audience while learning to sing or play musical instruments.

The Young Musician Music Institute has the leading music teachers in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Contact us for more details.