TikTok's impact on the music scene

TikTok's impact on the music scene

May 20, 2024

Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has transformed the way we interact with music. Initially known for its creative and humorous videos, this platform has expanded its influence to become a major player in the contemporary music landscape.

Discovering New Talent and Reviving Old Tracks

TikTok has emerged as a showcase for new artists, offering an instant platform to expose their music to a wide audience. Emerging artists have found success through viral videos featuring their songs, propelling previously unknown talents to fame. Moreover, TikTok has reignited interest in older songs, introducing them to a new generation of listeners through dance challenges and musical trends.

Aside from its ability to highlight new talents, TikTok has also influenced how music is created. Trends on the platform have inspired artists to compose and produce their music in a way that resonates with TikTok users' expectations. Catchy hooks and specific sections are integrated into songs to facilitate their use in TikTok videos, creating a new model of collaboration between artists and their audience.


Copyright Issues

On TikTok, an issue arises concerning copyright: more than a third of songs are reportedly altered, thus depriving artists of their royalties. Indeed, users on TikTok often modify tracks, raising questions about copyright compliance.

Remixes, such as slowed-down versions ("slowed+reverb") or sped-up versions ("sped up"), are commonplace on TikTok, but they are generally created by users rather than artists. This means that rights holders see little financial benefit from the success of these remixes. It also raises serious concerns about artistic integrity, as works are often altered without the creators' consent. They are sometimes compelled to release a version of their music that may not necessarily align with their artistic vision but would enable them to reclaim the copyrights.


Tensions with Traditional Players in the Music Industry

Moreover, TikTok has sparked tensions with traditional players in the music industry, as illustrated by the recent dispute with Universal Music Group (UMG). Disputes over copyright and royalties have led to the removal of numerous UMG music titles from the TikTok platform, affecting 20 to 30% of the most-used songs on TikTok.

The battle between TikTok and UMG is not merely about copyright or royalties. It reflects a deeper tension between new digital economic models and traditional players in the music industry, each vying to secure its share in an ever-evolving market.

A Race for Virality

Finally, In contemporary music industry, a trend is emerging, revealing increased pressure on artists from their record labels. This pressure is notably manifested through an insistent demand for content production on platforms like TikTok.

Artists thus find themselves compelled to generate a continuous stream of content to maintain the popularity of their songs. It is becoming increasingly evident that some music labels require their talents to create buzz, encouraging them to publish a certain number of videos or challenges each week to ensure maximum visibility. This frantic race for virality seems to become the ultimate goal, sometimes at the expense of artistic quality and authenticity of creations.

In conclusion, TikTok has profoundly influenced the music industry, both in terms of discovering new talents and in the way music is distribute. As the platform continues to gain popularity, its evolution and impact on the industry in the years to come are far from over.