TikTok and music: Giving talent, old and new, the chance to go viral

TikTok and music have undeniably merged together since the app’s popularity exploded last winter. TikTok’s entire existence relies on the use of background music, and for some lucky musicians out there, their music just so happens to be picked up by TikTok influencers and regular users. Both rising stars trying to make their big break and classic rock heroes alike have gained massive attention on the app, and as NME frankly states it: “TikTok now has a huge effect on the music industry.”

TikTok and Music: Giving new and rising talent a chance

TikTok has become a place where new and rising talent has a fighting chance on making it big. Take Olivia Rodrigo, the teen behind the viral hit, “Driver’s License.”

TikTok and music: Olivia Rodrigo explaining her inspiration for “Driver’s License.”

According to The New York Times, Rodrigo’s new song debuted on January 8, and by the end of the next week, it was streamed “more than 76.1 million times in the United States.” Even more, “Driver’s License” hit Number 1 on Apple Music in 48 countries, on Spotify in 31 countries, and on YouTube in 14 countries, The Times reported. Even now, 7 weeks after its release, the song remains Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100. Here’s the kicker: this song’s success wouldn’t have been possible – or at least this level of success would’ve been highly unlikely – without TikTok. As The Times puts it, “TikTok videos led to blog posts, which led to streams, which led to news articles, and back around again. The feedback loop made it unbeatable.”

TikTok hasn’t only done this for “Driver’s License” though. Other artists like Lizzo of “Truth Hurts,” Doja Cat of “Say So,” and Megan Thee Stallion of “Savage” have all experienced similar success due to their songs going viral on the app.

TikTok and Music: Giving old stars the chance for a comeback

While TikTok has undoubtedly become a place for rising stars to get lucky and be discovered, the platform has had somewhat of a revival kick, as well. Take Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” The old classic came out in 1977, but its recent revival with a younger generation began on September 25, 2020. Creator Nathan Apodaca combined TikTok and music and posted a video of him on his skateboard, drinking cranberry juice straight from the bottle, and the kicker: listening to “Dreams.”

TikTok and music: The TikTok that started the “Dreams” revival.

According to a blog post on TikTok, Apodaca’s post gained millions of views rapidly, with a net of viewers cast so wide that even Fleetwood Mac responded to the video via their Twitter account. With this TikTok revival, the classic song “re-entered the Billboard Top 100 chart for the first time in 43 years,” NME reported. Additionally, TikTok reported that sales of “Dreams” saw a 374% jump in sales and an 89% jump in streams.

TikTok is giving the traditional music industry a run for its money and is giving all musicians a new way to be heard.