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How is Tiktok changing the music industry?

Tiktok
Source: Solen Feyissa (via Flickr)

By Catarina Vicente | Comment Editor

Tiktok took the world by storm – in the 5 years it’s been around, it has infiltrated every aspect of contemporary culture, cultivating dance trends, turning upcoming artists into celebrities, and changing the future of music forever. With its significance in the music industry, it bears the question – has this been for the better?

For artists, this has meant adapting to an entirely new platform. Upcoming artists who make the most of the app have higher chances than ever of becoming famous or even going viral, as well as scoring song promo deals and sponsorships; these new streams of income have been revolutionary for young musicians looking to enter the industry, and some would argue that it has ‘democratized’ the industry. As for already-established artists, this has meant old songs can become popular again, with the notorious example of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. This increased engagement by artists in the app has also meant users are exposed to more music which they are more likely to seek out outside the app, as a study conducted in November for Tiktok revealed.

However, some argue that the emergence of Tiktok has deteriorated, or even ‘ruined’, music. Music producers now analyze the songs to create songs that are more likely to go viral on the app, capitalizing on catchy and repetitive tunes or lyrics that can be shaped into a new trend or a ‘meme’. Such songs tend to become more popular enough to feature on the charts, and some musicians have called out this for being a contest of popularity rather than musical quality, as well as showing the control Tiktok has over what music becomes popular.

As Tiktok continues to grow, its impact on the music industry does as well, and although this significance is guaranteed for the near future, it is hard to tell whether it will be mainly positive or negative.

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