From For You Page (FYP) To Fame
This year my Spotify Wrapped disclosed that I listened to 1,038 artists and I would estimate that at least 400 were new artists such as Tai Verdes, Olivia Rodrigo and Trevor Daniels to name a few. What these artists have in common, besides musical talent, is that their rise to fame was all in the span of a year and was accelerated with the help of social media giant TikTok making their songs go viral. Seeing as 75 percent of TikTok users reportedly turn to TikTok to discover new artists, my discoveries on the social media platform are nothing new.
One of the first stars to achieve “overnight success” through the early music streaming platform Soundcloud was Billie Eilish, who released her song, “Ocean Eyes,” for her dance teacher only to find out that she’d received hundreds of thousands of views by the next day. Others include Post Malone, with his first hit song “White Iverson,” and many more superstars.
Unsigned artists are taking advantage of cheaper technology and its accessibility, which can be used without the assistance of well-known producers. We've all seen singers on TikTok using simple microphones, autotune and music-making apps on their laptops; artists can become “their own producers, videographers and graphic designers” without a label. This has created much change so that artists are now able to create music independently, uncensored, cheaper and to a broader audience.
However, all this ease is making getting signed on to a label less attractive for musicians since once artists are signed to a label, they may have to forfeit ownership of their songs and only receive a cut in the profits, whereas if they are unsigned, they can keep all revenue and copyrights. Accordingly, labels are working on providing more rights to attract, acquire, and retain their singers.
TikTok, simply put, changed the game. The massive growth of social media usage provides an audience of 1 billion users for artists to access independently, granting them more freedom to present their music as they wish. When COVID-19 first hit, consumers were without constant exposure to shops and restaurants and the constant music being played there. At the same time, as social media users spent an average of 65 minutes per day on Instagram, Youtube and of course, TikTok, musicians jumped on the opportunity to share their music, perform trends and expand to new audiences.It's now become a given that if a song goes viral on TikTok, it is almost guaranteed to place on the Billboard 100 or Spotify Viral 50 charts. TikTok teams reported that over 70 singers who went viral on their platform eventually signed with major labels. As record labels attempt to keep up with this development, they are devoting teams to study the unpredictable algorithm used to make songs go viral on TikTok. They are also investing in influencers to promote their artists by using their songs for trends, challenges and dances. This is much cheaper and more efficient because labels can pay small sums to influencers with lower followings and still achieve the same level of exposure and fame for their artists. Record labels are also shifting to find singers who not only have talent, but also exposure from having already gone viral online. Online streaming now accounts for over 80 percent of the music market, causing all eyes — whether those looking to stream, become or sign new artists — to be on TikTok.
Photo Caption: User browsing TikTok
Photo Credit: Pixabay