How TikTok created 70 major record deals and billions of video views in 2020
The report says over 70 artists who first went viral on the app signed major record deals this year.
These included 16-year-old Californian native Claire Rosinkranz, social media personality Dixie D’Amelio, Canadian rapper and singer songwriter Powfu, country music troubadour Priscilla Block, and Tai Verdes, the 24-year old whose 6’7” height made him consider a career in basketball and who was rejected by singing shows like American Idol and The Voice.
Over 176 different songs exceeded 1 billion video views each as TikTok sounds.
Drake’s ‘Toosie Slide’ reached that milestone in just three days, and superstar collab ‘WAP’ by Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion in two weeks.
Not all of the 176 were by major stars such as Billie Eilish, Ying Yang Twins or The Black Eyed Peas.
Some like rappers Sada Baby (Detroit), BeatKing (Houston), Popp Hunna (Philadelphia) and WhoHeem (Pennsylvania) were virtual unknowns before.
Hip hop was the biggest genre on the platform, followed by pop.
According to TikTok, its community “gravitates to songs that are confident, empowering, sonically unique, and danceable”.
“It should be no surprise that TikTok’s most popular artists of 2020 are experts at creating these kinds of bops,” the report said.
An example of this was Megan Thee Stallion, the most listened-to on the app this year, with viral singles as ‘Savage’, ‘Captain Hook’, ‘WAP’ and most recently.
‘Savage’ alone made it in over 30 million TikTok videos while ‘WAP’ featured in over 10 million. Both blew up because they were in dance challenges.
TikTok continued: “People who discover music on TikTok are taking the power of popularising songs and artists into their own hands, making TikTok the most democratic platform in the world, freed from the limitations of programmed radio or streaming playlists.”
TikTok also brought back hits from yesteryear.
Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ returned to the charts after 43 years, with the popularity boost starting out on a casual skateboarding clip.
An unidentified shoplifter helped Jack Johnson’s 2009 hit ‘Upside Down’ back into the spotlight. A TikToker who bought a TV set at a second-hand shop discovered it was stolen from an Arby’s restaurant and only displayed its menu. He made a video about his problem using ‘Upside Down’ in the background, and it soon had 3.5 million likes and 50,000 creators made reaction videos.
Among those also being reactivated were ‘It’s Tricky’ by Run DMC, ‘Bullletproof’ by La Roux, ‘I’m Just A Kid’ by Simple Plan, ‘How Bizarre’ by New Zealand’s OMC, ‘Beautiful Boy’ by John Lennon, while L’Trimm’s 1988 classic ‘Cars That Go Boom’ generated 2.6 million creations.
Corey Sheridan, TikTok’s head of music partnerships and content operations said that in 2021 the platform would continue to “operate best when we are both proactive and reactive in marketing both artists and content”.
“Ultimately, we want to ensure we are doing right by the TikTok community and timing is everything.
“If we are focused on our community, everyone wins.”
MRC Data/Nielsen Music reported that 52% of Generation Z (people ages 13 to 23) in the U.S. use a short video clip sites such as TikTok and Triller in a typical month. 48% of these watch videos about music artists.