TikTok could ruin the music industry – here’s how

“It’s all marketing.”

Like it or not, TikTok has changed the music industry for good.

The app has the potential to turn a song into a mega hit overnight. You could say that the video-sharing app has been a positive thing for the music industry, allowing people to stumble upon new artists they probably never would have heard of. And smart marketers are now paying influencers to use certain songs in their videos to make them trend.

67% of users are likely to search for songs on streaming services like Spotify after hearing them on TikTok, according to research by music analytics firm MRC Data. However, many artists and musicians are not satisfied. Some feel compelled to create viral videos or save their music for social media – which usually means shorter songs and lighter subject matter.

The question was a topic of conversation this week, after singer Halsey opened up about her experience.


I’m tired

♬ original sound – Halsey

“Basically, I have a song that I love and want to release ASAP, but my label won’t let me,” they said. “I’ve been in this industry for eight years and I’ve sold over 165 million records. And my record label says I can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.

“It’s all marketing. And they do that to pretty much every artist these days. I just wanna release music, man. And I deserve better. I’m tired.”

Ironically, the 30-second video complaint did exactly what Halsey’s label wanted — it gave them their viral moment, earning over 8 million views in 24 hours. And Halsey isn’t the only musician talking about these issues. Singer Grimes took to Instagram to weigh in on the matter, saying, “It’s really real. It’s hard to focus on your art when you now have to be an influencer too.”

In a viral tweet, @alluregaga2 shared screenshots of the artist talking about the new pressures, with the caption: “What tiktok has done to the music industry is upsetting like…”

They continued, “It’s not just about promo, I actually hate it more when you can tell when artists are forced to make ‘TikTtok friendly songs.’ it works wonders rather than doing real promos… it doesn’t matter if the artists want to do it and if it’s organic.

“Like they’re just trying to do what other people are doing to go viral and deliberately shorten the length of the songs…it’s so annoying when it affects the quality of the music. That’s the most disappointing.”

Another person pointed out that the demands on artists are constantly changing and that TikTok is simply replacing radio in terms of importance:

“TikTok don’t ruin the music industry please. Record companies always wanted their artists to give them money. Artists were forced to get radio hits and now they’re forced to get tik tok hits. Same.”

Either way, the app has undeniably caused a major change in the way we consume music. Some artists have less control than ever over what they create, and it seems labels are less concerned with music and more with social media opinions and tastes.

Alice P. Darby