TikTok might be ruining the music industry - here's how
"Everything is marketing."
Like it or not, TikTok has changed the music industry for good.
The app has the potential to make a song a mega-hit overnight. One could argue that the video-sharing-app has been a positive thing for the music industry, allowing people to stumble upon new artists they probably would never have heard of. And clever marketers are now paying influencers to use certain songs in their videos to get them trending.
67% of users are likely to look up songs on streaming services like Spotify after hearing them on TikTok, according to a study by music-analytics company MRC Data. However, many artists and musicians aren't happy. Some are feeling pressured create viral videos or to curate their music for social media - which typically means shorter songs and more light-hearted subject matter.
The issue has been a point of conversation this week, after singer Halsey spoke out about their experience.
"Basically I have a song that I love that I wanna release ASAP but my record label won’t let me," they said. "I’ve been in this industry for eight years and I’ve sold over 165 million records. And my record company is saying that I can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.
"Everything is marketing. And they are doing this to basically every artist these days. I just wanna release music, man. And I deserve better tbh. I’m tired."
Ironically, the 30-second-video complaint did exactly what Halsey's label wanted - it got them their viral moment, gaining over 8 million views in 24 hours. And Halsey isn't the only musician speaking out about such issues. Singer Grimes took to Instagram to weigh in on the issue, saying: "This is really real. It's hard to focus on your art when you now have to be an influencer too."
In a viral tweet, @alluregaga2 shared screenshots of artist's talking about the new pressures, with the caption: "What tiktok has done to the music industry is upsetting like…"
They continued: "It’s not just about promo, I actually hate it more when you can tell when artists are forced to make 'TikTtok friendly songs'. Labels rely too much on this app hoping for it to do wonders rather than do actual promos… it’s okay if artists wanna do it and if it’s organic.
"Like they just trying to do what others do to go viral and purposely shortening the length of songs… it’s so annoying when it’s affecting the quality of music. that’s the most disappointing."
Another person pointed out that demands on artists are ever-changing, and TikTok is simply replacing radio in terms of importance:
"TikTok isn’t ruining the music industry please. Record labels have always wanted their artists to give them money. Artists were forced to get radio hits and now they’re forced to get tik tok hits. Same s**t."
Whatever the case, the app has undeniably caused a major shift in the way we consume music. Some artists have less control over what they create than ever before, and it seems like labels are less concerned about the music and more about social media views and likes.