We live in a world where technology is advancing rapidly, and one of the latest and most popular trends is TikTok. This app has become a significant force in the music industry, changing how talent is discovered. In the past, artists were often found in the most unthinkable corners of the world. Now, many emerging artists get their start from trending TikTok music, with a built-in following that producers and labels can take advantage of for success. 

Starting from scratch looks very different now. The platform’s virality is vital in cultivating success for record labels, artists, and marketers. 

TikTok’s Role in the Music Industry

TikTok has revolutionized music promotion with its blend of short-form video content and an algorithm that favors engagement. Its ability to transform three-minute tracks into chart-topping hits showcases its unparalleled influence. 

But what’s the formula? Why does it work so well? The platform’s genius lies in its ability to distill a song down to its most catchy, memorable moments—those few seconds that resonate, get stuck in your head, and inspire trends. The trick here is leveraging trending TikTok music as a backdrop for users to express themselves, share aspects of their lives, and engage in global conversations on topics that capture attention.

These critical 20-30 seconds can make or break an artist’s career. When users embrace a track, participate in a trend, or create content around a song, they’re not just listening—they’re actively promoting it. This engagement can lead to tangible outcomes for artists, including record deals and mainstream success.

While viral music success has evolved since TikTok’s early days, achieving virality has become more challenging. Despite this, the platform continues to provide exceptional opportunities for artists. TikTok stands out as a unique channel, allowing artists to cut through the noise and leave their mark on the music scene.

Major Labels and TikTok Marketing

TikTok has become a key platform for music labels to promote artists and find new talent.  Nowadays, it’s common for these labels to team up with influencers, create branded challenges, and tailor content to resonate with TikTok’s audience, amplifying their reach and tapping into a younger, digital-savvy demographic.

This approach is a game-changer for labels and extends beyond simple promotion. TikTok works as a discovery tool, unearthing talented artists and nurturing fanbases in ways traditional scouting methods cannot match. Its impact is multifaceted: artists gain visibility, labels access a pipeline of fresh, market-ready talent, and audiences enjoy a front-row seat to the birth of new music phenomena.

But it’s not just about promoting music. Labels have to think carefully about how they use TikTok. They need to strike a balance between organic virality and strategic promotion. They’re also figuring out what success on TikTok really means and how it can differ from other platforms.

On top of that, labels need to consider how this affects the artists themselves. Can artists still do their own thing and be unique when an algorithm influences decision-making? And with all kinds of music out there, how do labels ensure a wide variety is getting attention, not just the types of songs that typically go viral? Lastly, in a world where a song can be a hit one day and forgotten the next, how do labels decide what success means? These are essential questions as labels navigate this new digital world.

Case Studies. Emerging Artists and Careers from TikTok

Let’s look at real-life stories of artists who made it big thanks to TikTok. These case studies show how TikTok could be a stepping stone for musicians to launch their careers. We’ll explore how some songs became overnight sensations and how other artists used TikTok smartly to build lasting careers in music.

JVKE’s Golden Hour: 

Last year, you might have found yourself humming along to “Golden Hour” and enjoying its piano tunes. The artist JVKE became famous when he played his new song for his piano teacher and captured her touching reaction, which went viral.

@jvke

the song is called golden hour & the Iink is in my bio ily all

♬ golden hour – JVKE

That video was just the start. It led to more viral videos that skyrocketed JVKE’s career. He now has over 12.2 million followers on TikTok, an album released on Spotify, and multiple singles that we occasionally listen to on TikTok. 

The Meghan Trainor and Chris Olsen Phenomenon: 

We knew and loved Meghan Trainor way before TikTok. But there was a period when she wasn’t in the spotlight as much. Her hit “I Made You Look” revived her popularity on TikTok. Since then, her songs have been consistent hits on the platform, gaining her immense popularity and growth as an artist.

@meghantrainor

Loving all ur videos to #madeyoulook 💖🥹😭🫣🙏💖

♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor

A key player in Meghan’s TikTok success is her social media manager, Chris Olsen, who is an influencer in his own right. Along with Meghan’s family, Chris helped create a solid social media presence for her, contributing to her music’s success on TikTok. This highlights an important point: while artists are music experts, having a marketing pro in your corner can make a huge difference.

How Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ Found a New Beat on TikTok

Another artist who has seen renewal thanks to TikTok is Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. While Fleetwood Mac’s music has always been iconic, the band saw a new wave of popularity among younger listeners through TikTok. Their song “Dreams” sparked this resurgence with a viral TikTok video featuring Nathan Apodaca. In the post, he’s skateboarding, drinking cranberry juice, and lip-syncing “Dreams.”

This moment brought “Dreams” back to the charts decades after its release and introduced Fleetwood Mac music to a new generation. The band’s streaming numbers soared, and “Dreams” found its way onto many playlists and charts, showing the power of TikTok in reviving classic hits.

Stevie Nicks embraced the platform, creating her TikTok account and connecting with new fans. This move highlights the idea that artists from any era can find renewed relevance and connect with new audiences through engagement with digital platforms.

One of the best things about TikTok is how it helps artists grow organically. The platform’s algorithm encourages authentic interaction and follower growth, creating a community that actively supports and promotes artists.

Universal Music Vs. TikTok 

The disagreement between Universal Music and TikTok has sparked considerable interest, underscoring the challenge of balancing fair compensation for artists with the desires of fans who want to enjoy music on their favorite platform. 

At the heart of the controversy is a disagreement over financial compensation. Universal Music contends that TikTok’s compensation offers fall short of what they deem fair for their artists. Additionally, there’s a pressing concern about the platform’s ability to protect artists against copyright infringements, especially with the rise of AI-generated content that could misuse artists’ work without proper licensing.

Ultimately, resolving these issues requires a balance that respects the rights and needs of artists while also considering the expectations and desires of the fanbase. How this balance is struck could influence not only the relationship between artists and fans on TikTok but also the broader dynamics of music distribution and consumption in the digital age.

Artists at the Crossroads

This topic extends beyond TikTok, encompassing a broader conversation about how artists are compensated and protected today. With digital platforms now central to music consumption and promotion, the industry is at a crossroads. Artists and their representatives are increasingly asserting their rights and demanding fairer terms, signaling a shift towards more control in the digital landscape.

As this conflict unfolds, a key concern for both artists and fans is the resolution of this dispute. Will a new agreement be reached that acknowledges the value of artists’ contributions and ensures their rights are protected? Or will this standoff prompt a broader reevaluation of how music is shared and monetized on digital platforms? The outcome of this confrontation could set important precedents for the music industry in the digital era.

The Democratization of Music Discovery

TikTok has transformed how we discover new music talent, providing a platform where artists can reach a global audience without the intermediation of traditional industry gatekeepers. This approach allows artists more freedom to explore their creativity and chart their own musical journey. 

Starting on TikTok offers a unique benefit: artists can establish their voice and style. The personal branding occurs before they dive into the complexities of record deals. Once contracts are in play, the artist’s vision can become diluted. Numerous outside factors and influences can impact their work. This makes it challenging for them to maintain their original identity and authenticity.

Key Takeaways 

The interplay between the music industry and TikTok symbolizes the broader shifts occurring in the digital media landscape. As the industry adapts to these changes, the relationship between music, technology, and social media will continue to evolve, presenting new challenges and opportunities for artists, labels, and creators alike.

Understanding all the pros, cons, and processes to find success through TikTok can be confusing. Schedule a call with us today to delve deeper into TikTok music and marketing trends. Whether you aim to enhance your online visibility, expand your brand’s influence, or achieve growth, our team is here to transform your goals into results.