TikTok and social media’s explosion in music is barely going to get louder

This MBW op / ed comes from Luka Zak (pictured), founding partner of We Generate, a global marketing agency specializing in digital platforms. We Generate works on platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts and has run campaigns for music industry heavyweights like Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, as well as artists like Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber.

The last 24 months have of course been an enormous challenge, not least for many companies that are active in the music business.

However, as social media usage continues to surge and screen times have hit an all-time high, it has also opened up important new opportunities for industries like music that rely on digital platforms.

More emphasis is placed on strengthening social media across all industries. And this change in mentality could not have come at a better time – because a new generation of platforms is changing the face of the digital world and the way we market it.

Let’s focus first on TikTok and the headline stats that it officially topped one billion global monthly active users (MAUs) as of September this year.

To put that in perspective, it had 508 million MAUs just 21 months ago. Aka: TikTok has doubled its global audience in less than two years.
This growth rate can be seen in the world’s largest music market, the USA: TikTok had 39.9 million MAUs in the USA in October 2019, compared to well over 100 million today. Almost 3x growth!

TikTok went from “the app formerly known as Musical.ly” – famous for its short lip-sync videos and one of the youngest user groups of any platform – to the TikTok we see today: a platform that hosts live virtual concerts. hosts global superstars like The Weeknd and its main creators publish reality TV shows, hit tracks and lead actors in major motion pictures.

It wasn’t just the size of TikTok’s user base that changed during the pandemic – it was the global perception of the platform as well.
Dance routines will always be a cornerstone of TikTok, but it has become so much more. We now see the latest news, comedy sketches, instructional and cooking videos, sports highlights and much more that are causing a sensation on the platform every day.

“Greater diversity in creators’ outcomes has really made TikTok flourish.”

Generation Z was the first to use the platform and certainly the vast majority of the audience is in this demographic. Hence, content is picked up through a lens that makes sure that it speaks to them in the first place, but it has a much greater appeal now.

This greater diversity in creator performance has really allowed TikTok to thrive.

Inevitably, we’ve also seen the “tik-tok” effect across the digital industry – that is, the ripples caused by the platform’s overwhelming success.

In order not to be outdone by TikTok, Instagram recognized the need for bite-sized content and introduced reels late last summer.

Since that launch, we’ve seen a rapid global roll-out of Instagram for reels, as well as a notable focus on increasing user engagement on posts. (Fashion giant Louis Vuitton recently reported that all of its reels went viral, averaging nearly seven million views through the service).

“The first data looks encouraging for YouTube. Shorts now generates more than 15 billion views worldwide, up from 6.5 billion in March. “

We also saw YouTube launch its own TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts.

While the similarities are obvious, YouTube seems determined to bring its own USP to short videos, as well as its potential as a springboard for talent. This explains why YouTube recently announced a $ 100 million shorts fund to be distributed among the platform’s creators this year and through 2022.

The first data looks encouraging for YouTube. Shorts now generates more than 15 billion global views per day, up from 6.5 billion in March.

Naturally, we take a closer look at these different platforms than most industry observers – and whether TikTok, Shorts or Reels, we see many indications of constant further development in terms of offer and functionality.

TikTok, for example, is keen to establish stronger monetization processes for content in order to create a greater incentive to keep its top users posting to the app.
That’s why we saw the launch of TikTok’s own $ 200 million Creator Fund, which rewards certain creators directly for their videos. The higher the engagement of these creators, the higher the monetary rewards.

TikTok also enables global music superstars to sell physical merch directly through their channels. Ole Obermann, TikTok’s Global Head of Music, recently told MBW that for a recent merch sales process with Billie Eilish and Lizzo, “[the] Numbers were massive, ”added the results“ blew us away ”.

“This type of move is at the heart of TikTok’s e-commerce strategy, providing in-stream shopping tools, and generally providing a stickier experience for high-profile creators.”

This type of move is at the heart of TikTok’s ecommerce strategy, providing in-stream shopping tools, and providing a generally stickier experience for high profile developers who can generate revenue on the platform in a variety of ways.

All of this is part of TikTok parent Bytedance’s goal of enabling more than $ 185 billion in e-commerce annually by 2022.

An ambitious goal? Keep in mind that Bytedance’s platforms (thanks largely to its Chinese TikTok sister product Douyin) sold around $ 26 billion in makeup, clothing, and merch in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Many companies and brands are beginning to understand the range of opportunities this new landscape offers. But growth is so fast that it is not always easy to keep up – and implement a digital strategy that is fully integrated into new developments.

One of the big realizations the music industry has made in these disruptive last 24 months is the sheer time and investment it takes to get the most out of TikTok, Reels, Shorts and other competitors like Snapchat Stories and Trills.

“Growth is so rapid that it is not always easy to keep up – and to implement a digital strategy that is completely” connected “to new developments.”

The landscape changes daily: What yesterday was a good list of influencers, sites or content creators for a song / artist may be completely different tomorrow.

This is of course good news for a company like WeGenerate – we pride ourselves on our constantly evolving expertise in the world of social media and use that knowledge to maximize ROI for our customers.

To make matters worse, the most effective type of marketing for artists on TikTok et al. today can be a highly targeted one. Therefore, a strategy is needed when accessing communities, creators, accounts, and pages with synchronized analytics.

But the basic principles of audience building on these platforms – from TikTok to reels, shorts and beyond – are nothing new to record labels, music publishers and artist managers.

While we’ve seen some YouTubers gain huge audiences after a big viral video, most success stories involve slow build-up over many months and years – and are simply rooted in well-produced, compelling content.

“The basic principles of audience building on these platforms – from TikTok to reels, shorts and beyond – are actually nothing new for record labels, music publishers and artist managers.”

Whether you’re starting from scratch or building on an established creator / artist’s brand, having a consistent flow of this compelling content is the number one key to growing a page’s audience.

Ultimately, as we have seen many times before, that audience will reach critical mass – which brings with it multiple revenue streams.

As these platforms continue to explode worldwide, these revenue opportunities will explode with them only.Music business worldwide

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