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Viral Tiktok Hits: How Tiktok is Reshaping Music and Its Industry

Tiktok has had an enormous impact on societal culture since its creation. It has also had just as much of an impact on music.

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TikTok App

Since it’s rise in 2018, Tiktok has become majorly influential to and is even significantly reshaping the music industry.

Origin Story

The app was first launched in China as Douyin in 2016. Its merge with Musically in 2018 helped Doyin, (now Tiktok), reach global popularity.

Musically was an app where users could share videos of them lipsyncing to popular songs.

Tiktok’s Role in the Music World

Tiktok is an app where users can create and share videos about any subject. Like Musically, music is often featured in the background of videos on Tiktok. Some music artists build a reputation for themselves from the platform. Creating certain songs that are known for their popularity on Tiktok. For example songs like Blinding Lights by the Weekend or the song Cupid by FIFTY FIFTY.

Of course, the idea that social media can boost an artist’s career is nothing new. This has happened with many artists on past social media networks. Shawn Mendez and Ruth B both started on Vine. Justin Beiber and Charlie Puth’s started on YouTube. But unlike other networks that led to the emergence of popular breakout music stars, Tiktok’s relationship with the music industry feels a lot closer. In fact, some may say it even changed the way songs are written. 

How to make a ‘Tiktok song’

The typical structure of a song is, intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus bridge, chorus. But as YouTuber Gabi Belle highlights in her video, The Tiktokification of Music, because of Tiktok’s time limit on how long a video can be, songs that get promoted mostly rely on having a catchy chorus or hook, or the writer of the song finding a way to fit it into a trend related video on Tiktok like a POV skit, a dance, etc. with the catchy hook or chorus being the part that is played the most. So now the full structure of a song goes by this formula:  chorus/intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, chorus, sometimes sounding repetitive.

Girl Using TikTok

A person being video taped doing a Tiktok dance, Amanda Vick, February 26 2019

 Movie soundtrack songs are also getting a Tiktok spotlight. Encanto, being one of the most known example of this, with songs from the movie soundtrack gaining popularity on TikTok shortly after the movie premiered in theaters in November of 2021. The song We Don’t Talk About Bruno eventually hitting number 1 on the Hot 100. The second Disney song to ever reach that point, the first being A Whole New World from Aladdin in 1993. 

Overall  TikTok has been and will likely continue to be the next big social network where the next generation’s stars will emerge and will continue to have a major impact on societal music culture. Though with its existence being seen as  controversial by some, and some bans on the app’s already having been or currently being issued, it remains to be seen whether or not Tiktok’s effect on music and the music industry will last.