TikTok's Impact on Music: Shaping Soundtracks and Trends

TikTok’s Impact on Music: Shaping Soundtracks and Trends

There may not have been a platform to have become as big as TikTok. The social media and video-sharing site has boomed and become one of the most popular apps for smartphone users.


According to available data, it is believed that more than 1.677 billion users worldwide are signed up to the site, with more than 1.1 billion of those being regularly active on a monthly basis.

The platform has had an influential impact on a variety of other industries because of its popularity and the exposure it can provide. The music industry is one that has been able to benefit greatly.

What impact has TikTok had on music?

Although there are other platforms in which music can be streamed more traditionally, the industry has been able to benefit in various ways from a marketing POV.

Artists have been able to have their music be played in the background of other users’ videos that have been created. Once they go viral, there can often be an uptrend in the number of people that go to their favorite streaming sites to listen to the track in full. Additionally, viral videos have a better likelihood of being shared, thus giving artists the opportunity to reach even larger audiences.

Studies have already been able to provide evidence to support how musical artists are benefiting from TikTok videos, with it found that TikTok users in the UK were 108% more likely to discover and share the music that they found on the site than other people who use social media.

TikTok is driving music forward

It is also possible to argue that TikTok has been able to help the music industry push forward with new trends and soundtracks being used. It has given people the chance to showcase what they are able to produce, while there are videos that c an often contain copyright free music

, which can lead to greater exposure of the musical talent that is available.

The music industry is one of the most competitive, and it can be relentless for those who are trying to break through. However, the social media platform may have given them a chance to build a name for themselves as they are able to share what they produce. Local artists who may only be known within a confined demographic are now able to gain international exposure, especially if their tracks are used on a video that goes viral.

Studies have suggested that TikTok users will often show a stronger preference for international music in comparison to the average listener. As they hear these tracks, they are more likely to head to a streaming site and listen to it, thus giving that artist a chance to build their reputation and potentially achieve worldwide acclaim.

What impact has TikTok had on the music charts?

To truly try and determine the influence and impact that TikTok has had on the music charts, you only have to look at some of the results regarding the biggest hits and where they have placed.

Of 14 songs that were able to reach the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2022, 13 were influenced by the viral trends that were found on the social media platform.

It was not just in the US that the tracks that went alongside a viral video were able to perform well in the charts. The UK saw 13 of its 16 Number Ones in 2023 come directly as a result of their pairing with viral videos to have been streamed, with artists using the platform to market their songs in various ways.

Central Cee’s song “Sprinter” with Dave was the UK’s No. 1 and broke numerous records, including being the longest-running No. 1 in the UK rap genre, and it is possible to infer its success came from its popularity on TikTok. It has featured in more than 1 million videos, while Central Cee uploaded a video of him and his girlfriend that had the song in the background, which amassed more than 60 million views.

TikTok’s huge impact on music

TikTok has had a huge impact and influence on the music industry, and it is likely to continue to do so. Artists have been able to use the site to market their songs, while video creators have been able to use the tracks created to complement their content. If these videos happen to go viral and are heard by millions, it is likely that artists will benefit as listeners will look to hear the track in full.


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