TikTok helps to shape music industry, claims Uswitch study

A new study by price comparison site Uswitch has revealed how the influence of TikTok sounds is changing the music industry.

TikTok has become one of the world’s most downloaded apps with around 689 million monthly users and claims anyone can go viral due to its unique algorithm and “for you page”.

Using popular TikTok sounds, Uswitch was able to monitor the changes in trends in chart position, streams, social media following, and therefore Spotify earnings revenue for artists going viral through the platform.

Taking the top spot in terms of earnings is Popp Hunna’s ‘Adderall (Corvette)’. Since the single’s release in October 2020, the sound has had over 27.1 million videos made. In the last 90 days alone, Popp Hunna has made $35,087, which is almost more than the UK’s national wage. 

#WAPchallenge helped Cardi B gain over 400,000 Spotify followers 

In comparison, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ might have climbed to number 1 on the UK Top 40, but the pair have only made £11,086 this year through the TikTok sound, much less than Popp Hunna.

Fleetwood Mac’s classic album ‘Rumours’ also re-entered the charts in October 2020. This is the first time it re-entered the Hot 100 chart since its 1977 release. This was thanks to a viral video of a man skateboarding while sipping cranberry juice to the song. Spotify users in the UK streamed ‘Dreams’ more than 10 million times in the following 10 days after the TikTok was upload – demonstrating the immense power and influence the platform has on reviving classic songs.

Similarly Run-DMC’s ‘It’s Tricky’ found success on TikTok, with 5 million videos using the sound. This means that Run-DMC could pocket £27,681 a year just from TikTok.

From #SeaShanty to a record deal

In January 2021, Olivia Rodrigo’s heartbreak anthem took the app by storm. With over 3.5 million videos under the sound, the song quickly shot to number 1 on the US iTunes charts. ‘Drivers License’ could make up to $45,000 from TikTok‘s influence in 2021, and has boosted her Spotify followers by nearly 500,000 since its release.

Meanwhile, Nathan Evans shared a cover of ‘Wellerman’, which quickly led to the sea shanty craze taking over TikTok and landed him a record deal. The hashtag #SeaShanty has over 3.1 billion views and has been featured on the BBC and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and even was the feature of TikTok‘s recent television commercials.

As more sounds begin to take off, could we see TikTok stars as the next mega musicians of the 2020s?

Says Rehan Ali, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com:

TikTok is changing the way Gen-Z listens to music. It’s also given new and established artists alike another platform to promote their songs.

“Artists always have to adapt whenever a new social media channel takes off, and TikTok is undoubtedly the latest to make a big impact in the music industry. It’s hard to predict the next trend, but TikTok‘s eclectic mix of old and new music shows that anything has the potential to be a viral hit on the app’s sound feature.”

Top 50 tracks with the highest earnings through TikTok in the last 90 days



Chris Price