By James Shotwell of Haulix
TikTok is creating new music stars every few months, but many people still have no idea how the video-sharing app works or who uses it.
The most significant shift in traffic we’ve seen over the last year is the growing interest in TikTok. The app, which launched in 2018, has been the talk of the music industry since Lil Was X found success through the platform with “Old Town Road.” TikTok stardom can change careers overnight, but many still have no idea how the platform works or who is using it.
TikTok users create and share short video content. The majority of clips involve lip-syncing to music, but others use songs to soundtrack the action happening in the video. Some posts have no music at all, but for this post, we won’t address that content.
The majority of TikTok users are young. 66% of the app’s audience is below thirty years old, and many of its most famous users are younger than twenty. More than 500 million people use TikTok every month. The average user spends 52-minutes on the app per day. That engagement is exposing people to a lot of music, and that discovery is propelling many unknown artists and groups to success. Still, finding the next big thing by scrolling TikTok posts can be difficult. The app currently has no chart system in place, so the only way to understand what songs are popular is to watch a lot of videos.
Every label and artist would love to experience the level of viral success TikTok can provide, but users of the platform tend to enjoy hip-hop and pop music more than any other genre. The artists seeing the most success on the app often blur genre lines while delivering infectious and straightforward melodies. As a result, a great hook or strong opening can mean more than the quality of a song overall.
We cannot tell you how to make TikTok users fall in love with your music. We are researching that topic, but so far, the best advice anyone has given us is to ensure your songs are as immediately catchy as possible. To further prove this point, we took the most popular songs on the platform right now (October 10) and put them into a Spotify playlist. Check it out: