Have you ever heard a song that just came out, loved it, and a week later the whole world was listening to the same song over and over again? This is a situation that has become all too common with the rise and use of Tik Tok. A song gets a specific trend or dance to accompany it, then bam the song grows over 10 million views on Spotify and consistently plays on the radio. In an article by Rolling Stone magazine about the use of Tik Tok in the music industry they had this to say, “In 12 months, TikTok has become massive enough that Mike Caren, CEO of Artist Partner Group, compares it to ‘the short-form version of YouTube.’ ‘It’s too big alone to be the spark for a song,’ Caren says. ‘Now it’s the wood in the fire.’ ”
Music as a whole is going to change. For example, billboard.com has reported that their top 100 list has decreased an average of 30 seconds for song length from 2018, something I believed to be caused by the short attention span of Tik Tok users.
With artists now trying to appeal to Tik Tok as the market for their music, different forms of music that have never been mainstream before are currently in the spotlight. One of the best examples of this is the Grammy award winner for the best-remixed song in 2021. Imanbek Zeikenov, the producer of the song Roses (Imanbek Remix) the winner of this award, Imanbek is a 20-year-old producer from Kazakhstan. Without Tik Tok, the idea of a self-taught producer from Kazakhstan would never be imagined to win a Grammy, especially without a record label behind him.
With all these new artists coming through a new medium a new problem comes up, will these artists have enough staying power or will they be one-hit wonders? Artists starting with their music career who are purely putting out their music through Tik Tok have the problem of staying in the limelight, even after a top 40 song. This is since while everyone might use the artist's song for a certain dance or a certain skit, many viewers don't look up the artists or check out their other songs. Tik Tok has a problem of making songs very popular, but those songs begin to be known as something like “Oh that Renegade song” (not the name of the actual song by the way).
The most successful artist to come out of Tik Tok so far was Lil Nas X, the creator of Old Town Road. Other artists using Tik Tok for notoriety have already had record deals and are already distinctly public. For example artists like Doja Cat (Nominated for 3 different Grammys this year), and Dababby (Nominated for 4 different Grammys this year) blew up on Tik Tok but would have probably gotten the attention of the media anyhow. The difference between those artists with record labels and artists like Lil Nas X is that those artists were already signed to a record label meaning that they had a label behind them to help with promoting, investing, advertising, and paying legal fees.
There is no doubt that Tik Tok is affecting the music industry. Tik Tok is creating stars, new artists, new types of music, and changing what's popular in mainstream music. Will this be a fad that will eventually blow over, or will the change from Tik Tok become integrated with what we know as music as a whole?