TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music


There has never been a music streaming platform that can attract more active users than Spotify. 

Recently, TikTok announced that monthly active life has exceeded 1 billion, which is three times that of Spotify. At least in terms of user data, TikTok, which grows on short videos, is hitting the absolute status of the world’s largest streaming media giant. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

What really makes Spotify and the entire music streaming industry “uneasy” is that TikTok is not just a short video platform, but is becoming a disruptor that may re-enact the industry’s gameplay. Following the trend of integration of music and entertainment, its barbaric growth is also accelerating the transformation of the entire music ecology. 

From artist discovery, work announcements to fan operations, TikTok is accelerating the overall transformation of the music ecology

On September 27, TikTok announced that its monthly active users exceeded 1 billion, making it the third social media platform to achieve this goal after Facebook and Youtube. While becoming a social media giant, TikTok is bringing a stronger impact to the music industry, and its current music-related data can be described as “slamming” the major music streaming media giants. 

According to the data of “Year on TikTok: Music 2020”, in 2020, there are 176 songs on TikTok with 1 billion video views, and 10 songs have more than 50 billion video views among more than 125 million creative videos. In contrast, “Shape of You”, the most played on Spotify, has only been listened to less than 4 billion times since June 2017. 

YouTube, the “big brother” in the audio and video industry, can hardly withstand the impact of this rising star. According to statistics from data analysis company App Annie, in some countries and regions, especially in Android systems, TikTok’s usage data is catching up with YouTube in all aspects. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

App Annie said that as of May, American TikTok users on Android devices spent an average of 24.5 hours per month on the platform, while YouTube users spent 22 hours on it. In the United Kingdom, TikTok’s lead is even more significant. Its British users spend 26 hours a month on the platform, while YouTube users only spend 16 hours a month. 

TikTok, which has a huge traffic and a “viral” mode of transmission, is much easier to make stars. In 2019, Lil Nas X became one of the most successful musicians on TikTok with “Old Town Road”, and TikTok has just released its first NFT work. 

The popularity of Lil Nas X inspired many unknown musicians, who began to copy Lil Nas X’s path to fame.

For example, with one based on a short video of their music works “Fast” creative, musician Sueco the Child harvested in a short time the number of the amount of playing millions, followed by the successful signing of Atlantic Records. Similar examples include Claire Rosinkranz, Dixie D’Amelio, Powfu, Priscilla Block and Tai Verdes. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

According to statistics, more than 70 musicians will enter record companies through TikTok in 2020. There is no doubt that TikTok’s ability to discover new talents has been recognized by the industry. On November 2 last year, TikTok and Sony Music signed a licensing agreement in which the latter announced that it would use the TikTok platform to discover and promote its own musicians. 

In the context of short videos that are both interactive and entertaining, TikTok puts more of the core business of traditional A&R—the power of discovering newcomers into the hands of the musicians themselves. Whether it’s Lil Nas X, who uploads works to the TikTok music library, or Sueco the Child who makes “MV” to promote the song, from releasing song fragments to get market feedback, to convenient and efficient song publicity, musicians are starting to use TikTok. I started my own A&R. 

Grassroots musicians are thinking about how to use TikTok to become popular overnight, and for those who have become famous, more consideration is how to use 15-second short videos to retain listeners-compared to music streaming platforms, TikTok Fan groups are more fluid. Therefore, musicians must not only divert from TikTok to the music streaming platform, but also ensure the audience’s sense of participation in the use of music. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

TikTok keenly captured the above-mentioned needs of musicians and held numerous themed challenges of designated background music. From #Yew Haw, which helped Lil Nas X become popular, to the challenge of the same name in “The Git Up” #GitUpChallenge, users followed the melody of the background music to dress up, dance, and lip-synch, realizing the viral spread of music in the second creation. 

In order to establish a deeper and more stable emotional connection between musicians and fans, TikTok also launched a new live broadcast topic-in Headstream, musicians will listen to their new albums with the audience and share their creative process. On July 2, Colombian singer J·Balvin’s sharing on Headstream attracted more than 450,000 views, and his album also broke through the sales of 5 million copies. 

From artist discovery, work announcements to fan operations, TikTok not only takes care of the record companies, but also divides the business of the music streaming platform. Obviously, it is growing into a music streaming giant with a difference. 

The new music ecology under the influence of TikTok: Is a true “creator economy” possible?

“The’Creator Economy’ is the biggest lie of music.” 

This is the latest evaluation of the music streaming economy by Tim Ingham, the founder of the global music business magazine. 

According to public statistics, in 2020, only 0.2% (13,400) of Spotify musicians will earn more than 50,000 U.S. dollars through streaming media platforms; among them, 7,800 people exceed 100,000 U.S. dollars, 1820 people exceed 500,000 U.S. dollars, and earn more than one million U.S. dollars. There are only 870 musicians. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

And these people have created at least $2.22 billion in revenue for Spotify. 

How to make the era of “creator economy” truly come? TikTok gave his answer. 

In the post-epidemic era, live music will inevitably come, and TikTok is also opening up here. In June last year, on the “TikTok UEFA EURO 2020 Show”, Ed Sheeran attracted more than 5.5 million viewers, breaking TikTok’s live-streaming audience record; this Valentine’s Day, more than 4 million viewers watched his on Justin Bieber’s personal homepage TikTok live; on May 16, TikTok’s Lotte Duty Free Family Concert in South Korea invited many well-known groups and singers, including BTS, Super Junior D&E, TWICE, ITZY, to perform, and the number of viewers exceeded 600,000. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

It is worth mentioning that in this small number of live performances in South Korea, users do not need to buy tickets, but only need to register as a member of the sponsor to get an access code. This new type of ticket sales has left more room for imagination to “monetize live broadcasts”. It not only tries to convert highly liquid live broadcast consumers into a stable source of customers, but this more sustainable profit model also increases the need for cooperation. The attraction of the party. 

In addition to innovations in ticket sales, TikTok also began to try to let musicians bring goods, sell some physical peripherals or other derivatives. This not only broadens the income channels of musicians, but also encourages musicians with a certain fan base to establish a deeper connection with fans, transforming the music preferences of listeners into an aesthetic consumption of inter-group identity. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

Of course, most of the musicians who get the effect from live music are well-known musicians, and for most musicians, it may be too early to make ends meet through live performances. How to find your own audience as soon as possible and build your own fan base is the more urgent proposition of the industry. Compared with the click-to-play consumption of streaming media services, the diversified participation on TikTok, such as watching, liking, sharing, and second creation, can enhance the deep connection between fans and musicians. 

At present, the main income of musicians comes from the playback of music streaming media platforms. To this end, TikTok integrated the functions of the independent artist distribution platform UnitedMasters last year. Through this feature, users can directly distribute music on TikTok to streaming media. Platform to help musicians achieve drainage. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

Of course, TikTok also has its own selfishness. In order to continue to create “popular styles”, it always pays attention to musicians with potential popping styles on the platform. Once it finds that a song has pop potential, TikTok will take the initiative to contact the author to help him edit, create a second, and reach more listeners. . At present, this service has been integrated. It is reported that TikTok will soon launch the SoundOn beta version, which will provide musicians with free song announcements and short video production techniques to help them achieve “self-recommendation” quickly and efficiently. 

In addition, TikTok has been committed to inserting music into digital advertising and making it for commercial purposes. Although there have been some entrenched obstacles in the business for a long time, Ole Obermann, head of TikTok’s global music, believes that with TikTok’s promotion, “we can In a short period of time, the scale of the entire music synchronization licensing (advertising use) industry has been expanded exponentially.” 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

Last October, TikTok with nearly 20 certified partners with the launch of its marketing partner program for its previously announced TikTok For Business platform. On October 7, TikTok also announced 6 new partners for the program, namely music production companies KARM and Epidemic Sound, creative music agency MassiveMusic, E lem ents Music, which specializes in producing music for brands , B2B music licensing company Songtradr, and Independent music distribution platform UnitedMasters. 

It is reported that they will fully support the brand marketing activities on TikTok from the establishment of a sound brand identity to the development of an evergreen content strategy for TikTok. In this regard, Melissa Yang, head of the TikTok ecosystem, said: “Sound is the universal language of TikTok. Brands need to embrace music and sound to appear on the platform more authentically.” 

You can see the importance of music in TikTok marketing plan more significantly, its unique musical ideas and a full range of integrated strategic advantage, is also expected to help tone music camp release pin industry potential. 

According to the research data released by MRC Data and Flamingo on TikTok’s influence in the music culture industry in July this year, 67% of creators and 56% of users will feel closer when they see branded videos on TikTok, especially when Brands release original content with a human touch, and this is often indispensable with the help of music. Therefore, when the brand side user TikTok favorite songs in the video, 68% of respondents said they are more accommodating and easy to remember to live the brand, 62% would like to express about this brand. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

The core of the “Creator Economy” is to allow creators to obtain income that matches the value they create. In the huge amount of short video playback, use, live viewing, and interactive participation, the value created by a song will be more difficult to estimate than on the music streaming platform. It is not unreasonable for TikTok to strategically target musicians. But to realize the real “Creator Economy”, these new gameplays have just begun and need time to verify. 

With musicians as the cutting edge , can TikTok’s new content ecology path be made possible?

In fact, on the two domestic and foreign race tracks, ByteDance chose a similar style of play, and both played a combination of “music publicity + music distribution”. . 

It can be seen that TikTok’s upcoming SoundOn will create a convenient way for musicians to announce, which coincides with the idea of ​​Douyin Music’s upcoming one-stop publicity service platform; and the integration of UnitedMasters is similar to this year in China. The ” Galaxy Ark ” launched is dedicated to helping musicians distribute their works to major mainstream music streaming media platforms. 

Former Douyin Music Director Cao Zhen once said: “The main job of Douyin Music is to strengthen the core competitiveness of the musicians track… so as to become an influential music creator platform on the whole network.” To put it bluntly, both SoundOn and UnitedMasters are aimed at attracting musicians to contribute more content through TikTok, using musicians as an incision to establish a new music content ecology that truly grows on TikTok. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

For a long time, TikTok has been acting as a “director” in the music industry. Not only has the traffic of popular songs converged on online music platforms, but musicians who have become popular on the platform eventually entered the record company. Therefore, in order to establish its own content ecology, TikTok began to start with musicians, trying to grasp the core link of content production, which is also the most important link in Bytedance’s establishment of the entire music industry chain.

TikTok has a unique advantage in establishing a content ecology based on musicians, but its “star-making” path seems to have an inevitable paradox. At present, it is a broader trend that music is more familiar and valued by listeners than musicians, and it is generally believed that short video music platforms have accelerated this trend. 

Today, TikTok’s monthly life has exceeded 1 billion, and the huge number of users means that the works on it will inevitably sink. Although the musician signing ecosystem is under construction, it is not yet perfect. Whether it is SoundOn or UnitedMasters, under the current environment, the songs that are left after being screened by users and platforms will be songs with “explosive” potential. This is likely to bring a large area of ​​homogenized content, and it is difficult for musicians to get rid of “Song celebrities are not popular, no matter how difficult it is to make golden songs” dilemma. 

TikTok, with a monthly livelihood of over 1 billion, is reluctant to follow the old path of online music

Now that Lil Nas X is mentioned, many people will think of the brainwashing melody of “Old Town Road”, but Lil Nas X’s other excellent works are hard to remember; Sueco the Child, who became a hit with “Fast”, No matter how hard it is to have a better work known. 

To make good content and announce it, accumulate copyright value, and realize the closed loop of the music industry, TikTok’s thinking is basically clear. However, copyright is a long-term investment. Good content requires a good creator environment. If you want to build its own content ecology under the attack of record companies and music streaming platforms, TikTok may also need more high-quality “explosive models.” Musicians and works. 

In the era of major reshuffle of the music industry, following the suspension of exclusive copyrights, the accelerated layout of ByteDance is stirring up a new round of industry changes with its huge user base and unique advantages. However, where the musicians coming out of TikTok will go in the future, and whether the platform can establish a new content ecology that is more beneficial to creators, and walk out of their own new paths, it still needs to be verified by all parties in the industry. 

Precedent topic

Topic content: From the discovery of artists, the announcement of works to the operation of fans, TikTok’s advantages have emerged. Do you think its new path of betting can work?

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