Updated: Jun 22
In this post, we explore the phenomenon that is TikTok and why it's a powerful new music distribution channel for indie musicians.
TikTok for Indie Musicians
If you or your band makes music that appeals to the teen audience (Pop, hip-hop, R&B, Grime etc) then you should consider distributing to TikTok. CDBaby recently announced they are now distributing music to the app, which means the next time a creator is looking to create a dance routine, they could be using your track. Who knows, you could be the next Supa Dupa Humble!
Revenue opportunities for artists
Like so many new music start-ups, direct music revenue is either zero or low, but expect that to change as the major labels begin to truly understand the opportunity. While you might not see much direct return from TikTok, there is evidence that success on TikTok drives additional income on Spotify. LA singer-songwriter Ava Max saw this effect with her song 'Sweet but Psycho' which initially flew under the radar before being picked up by the TikTok community, this attention helped the song to more than 550 million streams on Spotify.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok allows users to create short videos, adding music (from a searchable database), filters and on-screen graphics. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator. Their mission as a company: "To capture and present the world's creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone."
TikTok in numbers
As of Q1 2019, TikTok was the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store with 33 million downloads (Sensor Tower, 2019) this places it ahead of YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. These results are no flash in the pan, this is the fifth consecutive quarter that TikTok has been the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store, proving TikTik's continued ability to continue to grow it's user base. There were more than 1 million videos viewed every day for a year! (Influencer Marketing Hub) and it reached this figure within one year.
Understanding The Audience
From the outset, TikTok was designed to attract young audiences and it's worked. 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16-24 years old (Global Web Index). With the Chinese connection via Douyin, it's no surprise that a large part of the TikTok audience comes from Asia. TikTok has been downloaded a staggering 467 million times in India, which amounts to nearly one-third of its total downloads. China is second with 173.2m downloads and the US third with 123.8m downloads. In 2019 TikTok was available in 155 different countries (Apptrace)
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Words Mark Knight