By Rey Banuelos
There is nothing new about songs being popularized on the social media app TikTok. The app allows users create 15-second clips, usually set to music. Most of the times, popular influencers or users can make a song trend on the platform.
However, Drake was able to promote the song directly into a challenge. The lesson here is that the social media app allows artists to directly promote their music into a challenge to gain more streams, fans and followers. TikTok was second only to WhatsApp in global downloads last year.
Drake has taken shelter-in-place seriously, wearing a face mask and gloves while staying home like so the rest of us. He posted a video of himself dancing on his social media on April 2, 2020.
“It goes right foot up, left foot slide / Left foot up, right foot slide,” he sings, while demonstrating the moves in his lobby. Drake’s simple, easy-to-copy choreography was perfect for the new style of video-based social media platforms like TikTok.
TikTok’s new way of engaging not only lets influencer and famous artist to directly target their fanbase but allows anyone who wants to dance or show-off their ingenuity create short-length video. These videos themselves can be easily streamed among all users on the platform with the chance of one making it big.
In recent years, artists have used Twitter, YouTube and Instagram as methods of promoting new releases. However, TikTok allows listeners to get a sneak peak of their music. Additionally, TikTok prioritizes content discovery over influencer popularity. The algorithm learns from viewing preferences and therefore rewards engagement and retention over popular content.
The platform cannot go unnoticed for how anyone can create a song; unlike many other apps, people are actively seeking new music to listen to. Tiktok has created a new way to listen to music. The 15-second clips can be used to attract listeners to a catchy chorus, powerful beat-drop or a combination of both.
“Toosie Slide” is a great example of writing a song for the platform. Drake had intention of doing this when he partnered with dancing influencers, Toosie, Hiii Keyy and Ayo & Teo. Drake and the group all got together on FaceTime to create the dance. It is a tactic that appears to be paying off.
After the first four days of its initial release, the “#toosieslide” hashtag had already hit over 20 million. Many influencers attempted the dance such as Justin Bieber, Carli D’Amielo, Kristen Hancher and Addison Rae. Those influencers by themselves have an audience captaincy over 100 million followers.
TikTok the capability of being a music marketers heaven. Record labels saw what Drake was able to do in a short amount of time. In the world where marketers are trying to gain new audience combine that with young user’s quick media retention, TikTok allows artist to push their music on the platform for marketers and influencers to use.
Artist can take advantage of the snowball effect that leads to mainstream music success on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. TikTok allows the users to click links the redirect them to the song on the following digital platforms.
In March, “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd started trending on its TikTok’s featured song category. The song itself has gained over 64 million listen in a span of a two weeks. “Old Town Road” is a famous example of the power of TikTok. Lil Nas X’s was a new artist whose career grew greatly in part due to the viral song. It was one of the most popular songs of 2019.
“Toosie Slide” is just another song that has gone viral on TikTok; however, Drake sophisticated its marketing value for many artists.
Featured image by Rey Banuelos.