TikTok upends the music industry, and Spotify may be arriving

TikTok upends the music industry and Spotify may be arriving

September 7, 2022: -Zoi Lerma worked at a Los Angeles bagel shop in 2020 when she first heard the song “Supalonely” by Benee. She liked that she choreographed a dance to the tune and posted it on TikTok. Her video has collected above 45 million views, which turned her into a TikTok celebrity and helped to make Benee a global sensation.

As of September 2, “Supalonely” has appeared in over 5.7 million videos from thousands of TikTok users. Her famous song has gone platinum, meaning it’s sold the equivalent of 1 million copies in eight countries and has over 2.1 billion streams across all platforms.

Ben performed in two sold-out arenas and is showing in New Zealand in October 2020, and she was selected for a recent artist of 2020 at the People’s Choice Awards.

“When it was beginning trending on TikTok and is picking up on TikTok, I would hear it on the radio or in stores,” Lerma said, who’s now 20.

Far from her days in a hot Southern California kitchen, Lerma has 6 million followers on TikTok and making a living by promoting music on the app, which uses her influence to partner with brands. She’s part of the TikTok Creator Fund, which disburses popular contributors when their videos take off.

TikTok, which ByteDance of China owns, is turning the music business on its head by growing and becoming a reach-making machine. Artists can go from obscurity to global superstardom, appreciated to a viral video that a stranger could post. Even Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” reentered the charts the previous year after a clip of a man who drinks cranberry juice on a skateboard exploded on the app.

Record labels, artists, and creators are trying to figure out how to profit in the new TikTok-dominated world and ensure they’re not getting left behind.

“If a song is going famous on TikTok, and the artist is not signed, and as a result, it is getting a million streams on Spotify, the labels scrambles to sign that song or that artist,” Tatiana Cirisano said, a music industry analyst and consultant at Media Research. “They’re obsessing with expanding their market share and ensuring they don’t lose any market share to independent artists,” she added.

TikTok’s importance is undeniable. A year ago, the app was topping 1 billion monthly users. In the previous month, a Pew Research Center survey found that 67% of teens in the U.S. use TikTok, and 16% added that they are on it nearly constantly.

The rest of the social media industry is trying to play catch-up. For example,  Facebook and Instagram parent Met has been pumping money into its short video feature, Reels.

While TikTok’s financials are confidential because ByteDance is private, industry analysts say the app is winning a more significant piece of the online ad market as brands follow eyeballs.

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TikTok upends the music industry, and Spotify may be arriving
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TikTok upends the music industry, and Spotify may be arriving
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TikTok, which ByteDance of China owns, is turning the music business on its head by growing and becoming a reach-making machine.
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The Women Leaders
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