The music industry is still getting to grips with TikTok as the major new platform to deliver potential hits and help break artists.
The short-form video sharing app has already helped power global smashes by artists including Lil Nas X, Lizzo and DJ Regard.
In our end-of-year bumper edition of Music Week, we investigated the rise of TikTok. Its app has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times, though it has run into licensing rows.
One early adopter was Fanbytes CEO Timothy Armoo. Appearing at the Music Week Tech Summit in September, he spoke about the influencer marketing agency’s work utilising the platform for campaigns featuring artists such as Major Lazer.
Here, Armoo opens up about what TikTok can do for artists and where it’s heading in 2020…
How important has TikTok become as a platform for music and breaking tracks and artists?
“Massively important for both independent and major artists. For both of them, it provides a shortcut to emotionally connecting with fans. Rather than just people's first touch point with you being the song, if the song is found through a hashtag challenge or skit, it suddenly strikes an emotional chord with users. In theory, this should then create further fan loyalty. The campaigns I'm proudest of are the ones we've done with artists who are just on the cusp of becoming a household name, and our campaigns then end up supercharging their growth."
As with any platform, the demographic will age – it happened with Facebook and Snapchat
What do you expect to happen next with TikTok – how will the platform and the campaigns evolve?
“TikTok massively lends itself to a scheduled TV-like behaviour, which I think is indicative of the future of social media. Especially when you're interacting on the app, it's very much like you're tapping into different channels and communities, with the algorithm then recommending more of that content. I think the brands and campaigns that are going to win are those who are going to take advantage of this behaviour and create episodic-style content.”
Can it reach beyond a younger demographic?
“I think there is the stigma that TikTok is primarily for the younger demographic – and this isn't true. Over 60% of the audience is over 18 and there are several sub-cultures, like #grandparents and #gardening, which lend themselves to older audiences. As with any platform, the demographic will age – it happened with Facebook and Snapchat. This will also happen with TikTok. However, due to the subculture nature, I think older people will come to the platform and find their tribe.”
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