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TikTok has unequivocally affected the music industry in the best ways possible. On-the-rise artists and choreographers have risen to popularity because of just one video that caught the attention of TikTok users across the globe.
For instance, Zoi Lerma, a worker at a bagel shop in Los Angeles, choreographed a song called “Supalonely” by Benee. She then uploaded her video to TikTok, which gathered positive remarks from users. The video has since amassed over 45 million views on TikTok and helped Benee become a global sensation.
Over 5.7 million videos of Benee’s “Supalonely” have been uploaded by content creators and other users. The song’s popularity led Benee to earn nominations and awards such as New Artist of the 2020 People’s Choice Awards, as well as selling more than 1 million copies of the song and 2.1 billion streams on all platforms. Benee also performed at two sold-out shows in New Zealand.
“When it started trending on TikTok and picking up on TikTok, I would hear it on the radio or, you know, hear it in stores. I would hear it everywhere,” Lerma said in an interview.
TikTok is making headwinds in the music industry
The popularity of TikTok is what makes it one of the most potent hitmakers of this century. Owned by ByteDance of China, the application provides a platform for artists and content creators to express and showcase their talents in short videos. A user could post any kind of content ranging from animals, personal lives, hobbies, ASMR, singing, dancing, and many more.
The videos, for several, catch the attention of many and easily goes viral within just hours after they are posted. As a result, TikTok is a trendsetter, even as much as getting back the popularity of songs from before. For example, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” made the charts two years ago after a viral video was posted with the song in the background. Moreover, TikTok has become an income-generating avenue for record labels and artists.
“If a song is going viral on TikTok, and the artist is unsigned, and as a result, it’s getting a million streams on Spotify, the labels are scrambling to sign that song or that artist. “They’re obsessed with expanding their market share and making sure they don’t lose any market share to independent artists,” said Midia Research analyst and consultant Tatiana Cirisano.
“With hundreds of songs generating over 1 billion video views and dozens of artists signing record deals as a result of success on the platform, TikTok starts trends that reverberate throughout the culture, the industry, and the charts,” said a statement from TikTok.
TikTok has also been caught among teenagers. In a recent survey, around 67% of teenagers in the country use TikTok, with 16% of them saying that they are frequently using the application. Because of this, other social media applications follow TikTok’s format. For example, Meta’s Facebook launched its Reels which is much like TikTok’s interface.
One year ago, TikTok had over 1 billion users across the globe, and this number is increasing.
Issues surrounding TikTok
While TikTok is seeing massive growth, U.S. authorities are getting wary of the possible harms that the company can inflict upon users. A little over two months ago, Congress called on TikTok to answer for charges on alleged access to US-based user information.
“In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 investigation on the basis of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or counter-intelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice,” said the lawmakers.
The statement was made in response to a BuzzFeed report which reveals that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, repeatedly accessed the information of many of its users, most specifically those situated in the United States. However, TikTok was quick to deny the allegations.
“[TikTok has] consistently maintained that our engineers in locations outside of the U.S., including China, can be granted access to U.S. user data on an as-needed basis.”
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.