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Top of the Tiktok: the global phenomenon finally introduces its very own charts for its viral songs

After a sensational launch in 2016, the endlessly-trending app TikTok has finally teamed up with Billboard to give the creators of our favourite anthems the recognition they deserve in a long-awaited TikTok Billboard Top 50, being the first ever chart to monitor and keep track of the rapidly escalating popularity of music on the social media platform.

The app known for its enticing red, white and blue quaver note has gained significant momentum as it appeals to both younger and older generations from a plethora of different backgrounds and circumstances. Despite years of success, TikTok’s partnership with Billboard simply means that all of the songs we fall in love with whilst watching cooking videos, celebrity couple compilations and so-called ‘day in the life’ videos can be rewarded, as well as promoted further for the benefit of users.

A TikTok takeover appears to be pending

Originally famous for its countdown dance videos, the app has grown to provide a versatile purpose for its array of users. Many have become ‘TikTok famous’ for wholesome family content, comedy and even influencer podcasts. For a medium that holds so much social power, the future is seemingly limitless and a TikTok takeover appears to be pending.

Proven by the app’s niche short-video feature, which becomes addictive due to its fast-paced sense of urgency that captures users’ attention almost automatically, TikTok is a fruitful form of promotion for budding artists in the industry. The introduction of the Billboard charts can only elevate the triumphs further as it could likely be the start of a TikTok music industry. Naturally, chart sitters could progress to receiving an award or signing deals associated with TikTok. Despite the aim patently being to use TikTok as a segue for breaking into the original charts and industry, fame and opportunity in the world of TikTok seems as if it could be equally as appealing to gain popularity. An entirely new world of music, packed with all your favourite shower tunes on repeat from the video you watched the other day would be greatly beneficial for artists and listeners alike.

A survey conducted by the music analytics company MRC Data in November 2021 concluded that 67% of the platform’s users are more likely to seek out songs on music streaming services after hearing them on TikTok. This proves the immense authority it has over an escalating technological modern-day society. As concluded by YouTube’s music executive Lyor Cohen, short-form video has allowed the music industry to find incremental business value, showcasing the force of the media format.

Global music industries have, without a doubt, hit the jackpot with the creation of TikTok

Not only is this marketing strategy prolific for upcoming superstars, but also past legends. TikTok videos have seen the rebirth of an abundance of old-time hits, such as Akon’s ‘Lonely’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’. In the early stages of the Covid-19 quarantine, which played a prodigious part in TikTok’s rise, Simple Plan’s 2002 single ‘I’m Just a Kid’ suddenly spiralled its way to a platinum certification 15 years after its release after being used in a viral TikTok trend. Similar trajectories took place with L’Trimm’s 1998 ‘Cars With the Boom’, and Lizzo’s 2017 ‘Truth Hurts’. Plenty of old and new tracks have been reincarnated for the TikTok trend generation. With a new chart system in place, the future of music is on track for monumental changes.

Global music industries have, without a doubt, hit the jackpot with the creation of TikTok and now a chart system to propel their profits further. Working hand in hand with TikTok’s most loved influencers, music marketers can ensure that users earn up to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for simply promoting an artist’s track on one of their videos. By capitalising on this exposure and revenue, both parties can simultaneously benefit as artists can get the exposure they need, and users can make a substantial amount of money. The cofounder at the upstart record label Homemade Projects explained that ‘‘The way the TikTok algorithm works, it’s hard to know what’s going to be successful. Instead of paying a premium for a D’Amelio [referring to TikTok superstar sisters Charli and Dixie D’Amelio], you could pay a micro-influencer $200 and their TikTok could get 10 million views. Because of this, it’s better to cast a wider net”. The question must be put forward as to whether these crazes that gain widespread recognition are credited to the quality of the music or rather the adulation of the influencer personality, of which the latter is objectively a very likely reality considering the trend-obsessed, easily influenced 21st-century culture.

It looks like TikTok has a potent potential to break not only the internet but our entire understanding of what it means to be on the charts. The Official Big Top 40 is a normality of our morning traffic and casual conversations, but it is no secret that some of the catchiest choruses come from TikTok so just hold tight for TikTok Billboard Charts to become the next hot topic.


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