Let’s TikTok About It

First things first; the title of this post is going to be, without a doubt, the best title I will ever write. I can’t deny it, you can’t deny it, we’re both just going to have to accept it.

Now, if you’re not someone who is constantly yearning for something to fill the void that Vine left after it’s untimely demise in 2016; you may not know what TikTok is. TikTok is a video sharing app where teens can make everything from lip-syncing videos that only appeal to their 12 year old audiences to videos where they make jokes that you thought we left in 2011 and yes, both types of videos hold the same chaotic energy.

Despite what that amazing title may suggest, I’m not here to talk about the app TikTok itself, unless someone would like to hire me as a media reporter then by all means I will talk about TikTok; I’m here to talk about TikTok’s impact on music, and streaming as a whole.

One song that’s a perfect example of how TikTok has been able to influence music consumption, is Doja Cat’s, ‘Say So‘. First, yes, I’m going to use this opportunity to mildly flex that I listed her in Who to Watch: 2019 because let’s not lie, she’s one of the biggest growing names in music right now. Secondly, there’s no denying that TikTok played a part in the recognition that this song received, mainly due to the dance challenge created by TikTok user yodelinghaley


and here’s the dance🤪🥰 and THANK YOU FOR 10 MILLION HEARTS OMG THAT’S CRAZY

♬ Say So – Doja Cat

 At the time of writing this, that video has more than 6.9 million views and the song has been used in over 132k videos on TikTok alone. As the dance challenge became more popular, being done by the likes of Ashley Tisdale and Judy Hopps of Zootopia fame the song, in turn, also rose in popularity. While not initially a single from Doja Cat’s sophomore album, Hot Pink, Say So was sent to United States contemporary hit radio as an official single and is currently sitting at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Now, I’m strong enough to admit that TikTok might have more impact on the streams a song than the one screenshot I post on my Instagram story of me listening to said song. While I was posting about Doja Cat’s single with the caption, ‘wait this is so good’, TikTok was inspiring dance challenges, animated videos and covers; one of those covers was done by a Tik ‘Toker’ named Carson Elliott. Carson’s cover was unique due to the fact he used a voice box and it provided us with a rework of the chorus that, ‘hits different’, as the kids say. 


I can’t dance but I love this song so I wanted to participate with the talkbox 🥺#fyp #wintersports #givemeasign #strangepets

♬ original sound – carsonsmelliott

The 7 second video (RIP Vine) was so well received that the cover was essentially turned into a full song and is now available for streaming and let me tell you, I’ve been streaming it a LOT. It takes me to a place where I’m watching a reboot of Less Than Zero  but it’s produced by A24, it stars Hedges, Chalamet and Kaluuya and it’s actually true to the book.

Anyways, you’re not here to listen to me talk about dream film adaptations; you’re here to listen to me talk about TikTok! “Say So” isn’t the only song I’ve noticed this affect with. “Sugar” by Brockhampton, a group you just know I love, was also a common soundbite you couldn’t help but hear if you frequented the app for more than 10 minutes.

With help from Shia Labeouf, a TikTok dance that was simple, but not boring, and a passionate fanbase that is steadily  growing, “Sugar” eventually want Gold in America, Platinum in Australia and Platinum in New Zealand. This was also yet another instance where the user who created the dance was noticed by the artist and was featured within the music video. These aren’t the only two songs of course! I wouldn’t pull you in just to leave you with only knowing about two songs that’s Tik Tok’s had impact on.


While the current music climate seems to be focused on grassroots marketing more than ever; “The Box” by Roddy Rich really shows how influential the use of repetition and digital sharing is. You may not know it, but you’ve probably heard “The Box”, well, at least the introduction; an unmistakeable sound that can only be written as ‘eee err’ and sound like a door with rusty hinges. By February, “The Box” was used in over 1.5 million videos and charted #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, beating out Justin Bieber’s first single “Yummy“, a song I think most of you like to forget about. 

Now, now, now, I don’t want to bore you by bringing attention to every song that TikTok has been able to have impact on, because trust me there’s a lot; I did want to bring attention to the fact that TikTok is not only an app for people to post text based comedy in video form (it makes more sense when you see it, trust me) but also something that has the capability to increase accessibility, acknowledgment, and streams. Personally, I think TikTok has the capability to influence the music industry in a way that wasn’t projected from the start; at least not from the side of the consumer. I’m interested in seeing how artists make use of this and if they actually do intend to make use of it.

Drake is already of ahead of it marketing wise, as he normally is. His latest single “Tootsie Slide” was first sent to TikTok personalities before it even dropped as a way to market the song and let me tell you it has worked. The sound is currently being used to on over 180K videos and there’s no doubt this number will grow.  Anson Seabra, an artist who’s song had an increase in streams due to TikTok made, well, a TikTok, talking about the impact TikTok had on his single and showing the date. That’s right, we bring MATH to ThisIsHowYouMusic, just please don’t ask me to do it.


why tik tok runs the music industry

♬ original sound – ansonseabra

So what do you think? Do you think you learned more about an app you had initially written off as a place for Magcon 2 to fester? If so, fair, we don’t really need that happening again. Did you come away from this post knowing just a little bit more about something? If you did, well then I think I did my part don’t you? If you enjoyed, who am I kidding, of course you did; please feel free to comment below, like us on Facebook and Instagram and share this with your friends; even if it’s just so they get a kick out of the title. 

Song Recommendation of the Week: Anything from my Who To Watch: 2020 playlist. 

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