TikTok Takes Over
Wanna know why TikTok is so important to a music career these days? See why music research and analytics guru likes Viberate have shown in their just published annual report shows just how “TikTok Takes Over”.
Viberate analyzed massive amounts of data (more than a trillion data points, thousands of artists and playlists, millions of tracks and videos, and hundreds of festivals) gathered from Instagram and other key social media and music channels, including Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, Beatport and radio. Imagine that?
The TikTok Takes Over report shows which artists performed the best in their respective genres, what got played and liked on different channels in 2021, and which key music trends to look out for in 2022.
Only 1% of artists rule the social media and music channels! That sucks. The lion’s share of engagement and fanbase growth belongs to the top 500 artists, pushing the artists in the long tail of streaming and social media into inventing solid promotional strategies if they wish to break through.
Hip Hop and K-Pop artists are smashing it in streaming but are snubbed on the radio. While online engagement numbers crown Hip Hop and K-Pop as two of the most popular genres, radio is all about Pop and Rock. Multilingual (non-English) tracks thrive online but seem to have trouble getting through radio gatekeepers. Trends suggest that may yet change in 2022.
New Trends are: (1) multilingual music going more mainstream, (2) personalization at the forefront, (3) TikTok acting as a career launchpad, (4) short videos gaining power, and (5) further blending of genres. Here’s a short rundown of each trend (for the full list, see the link below):
Multilingual music is going mainstream. South Korean sensation BTS made it onto Viberate’s top 5 list on almost every channel, while YouTube saw a huge rise in the popularity of Asian Pop and Latin genres (especially Reggaeton). Unlike radio or TV, online music channels have little to no gatekeepers, thus pushing non-English music into the mainstream.
“Personalized everything” will drive an artist’s success. This means that labels, artists and other professionals will benefit from fan-first approaches to their promotion, merch, distribution and licensing. Personalized experiences also go hand-in-hand with securing digital revenue such as tipping, NFTs or paid subscriptions.
TikTok takes over. Not only was TikTok the most visited website in 2021, it also helped artists like Tokischa, Will Paquin or Crawlers break through and boost their streaming numbers. You can use Spotify to “seal the deal” – the artists who transform a TikTok hit into solid streams are the ones with real potential. We can therefore expect more talent discovery and promotional efforts as TikTok Takes Over.
Short videos will rule. Easily digestible formats such as TikTok videos will be the most useful promotional format for artists to stand out and get discovered. As audiences celebrate the DIY approach, content will be more important than production value.
Genre lines will blur further. Rising and breakthrough acts such as PinkPantheress prove genre bending and blending is more popular than ever. Artists and their audiences prefer moods to traditional genre labels, with the trend extending to popular streaming playlists for specific occasions (driving, studying, relaxing, etc.). For example, Spotify’s “Songs to Sing in the Shower” playlist has a hefty 6.4M followers.
See the “TikTok Takes Over” address for the full list of trends, best-performing artists and music tastes of 2021.