The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

How TikTok is changing the music industry

By Michelle Chang
Staff Writer

Tiktok is currently one of the most used social media platforms on Earth, with over 800 million active users as of July 2020. The app, formally known as Musical.ly, was launched worldwide on August 2, 2018 and as of October of 2020 amassed over two billion downloads worldwide. The app’s concept is rather novel; anyone is able to create a three to 60-second video looping genres such as comedy, dance, music, and many more each having their own trends.

With the daily altering trends on the app, music is involved with almost all of them introducing us to small artists daily; record labels have been catching wind of that and now track to see who the next person to sign is. Dances to songs that soon become trends get artists like Lil Nas X to get over 2.5 billion streams on his hit “Old Town Roads” and Conan Gray with his hit “Heathers,” that amassed over 100 million streams, granted them almost to get instantly signed.

“Yes, TikTok has introduced me to small artists, maybe not recently because I’ve been trying to stay off to study, but I have added many songs and artists to my playlists and listen to their songs on repeat,” senior Mackenzie Soltis said when asked if TikTok has altered her playlists before.

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The app’s personalized algorithm allows you to scroll almost endlessly and can personalize what new songs or trends you may want to follow based on what you like. It even allows you to press a button that acknowledges you’re ‘not interested’ in a certain video, easily creating a fresh layout of new video clips. This may introduce a new artist to a larger audience, making it easier for them to find their voice based on what the potential viewer already likes.

Now that the music industry is watching the app like hawks for what may soon be their new muse, smaller artists are rapidly getting offers from big-name record labels. Some even refuse to sign, a phenomenon quickly gaining traction. This new rapid wave of indie artists—like Curtis Waters, famously known for his hit song “Stunnin’”—have been emerging from TikTok, shining light on the boycotting of major record labels, proving that it is possible to trend without having to be signed.

This new open door of not having to be signed by a major record label can spawn more space for creative freedom. And as long as TikTok is around, there will be an everlasting change to what new songs are trending. Maybe you could be the next overnight sensation.

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How TikTok is changing the music industry