TikTok and the Rise of the Overnight Celebrity
In my day, discovering new music was reserved exclusively for radio-ridden car rides to school,
and when new music videos would break on MTV. My friends would come over and we’d make
up dances to Destiny’s Child, only to present to our parents at the family function.
Nowadays, the waiting room for content, is null and void. All you need to do is hop on TikTok,
owned by Chinese company—Bytedance, and you, yourself can discover tomorrow’s biggest
star. The app has over 800 million active users worldwide and has become the new analytic
based barometer for an artist’s potential success and major labels biggest marketing strategy.
A good example of this, is 24KGoldn’s “Valentino” which landed him a record deal with
Columbia Records after it went viral on TikTok. This song currently has 363 million streams on
Spotify and all it took was internet personality David Dobrik, to use this record in his TikTok.
Let’s look for a second at the success of StaySolidRocky’s “Party Girl.” For ten months, this
song went largely unnoticed, until TikToker Ansley Parkmann choreographed a dance, that
garnered millions of views. Famous Tik-Toker Charlie D’Amelio co-signed this dance and two
million dances and a record deal later, StaySolidRocky firsthand became an overnight celebrity.
And it really happens like this, over and over again.
By far the biggest viral moment happened with K CAMP ‘s Lottery (Renegade). 14 year old
Jalaiah Harmon, made the recognizable dance and first posted it on the app, Funimate, and then
Instagram. It got about 13, 000 views on Instagram but soon people started doing it on Tik-Tok.
Yet again, Tik-Toker Charlie D’Amelio did the dance, as well as celebrities such as Kourtney
Kardashian and Bella Thorne to name a few. Today, this song has 18.4 million Tik-Tok videos
made, the music video has an estimate 3.2 million views, and 137.4 million total. This song
made it to spot 25 on the Billboard Charts in 2020. If a hit is indeed a hit, TikTok can be the
single best marketing strategy to get the song out to the masses. Primarily amongst Generation Z
and Alpha, TikTok is the stamp of approval for any artist.
But my question is—is virality automatically mean longevity in this industry? Or if you go viral
once, does that mean you know the formula to make a song go viral again and again? Major
labels seem to be taking this risk, signing Tik-tokers left and right, and giving them the budgets
to continue to create.
One thing is for certain, however. We are living in the age of the bedroom artist, a time where
anyone can make it big right from the comfort of their own room. With the internet being
accessible in most middle-class homes, everybody can be your audience, and anywhere can be
your stage. One thing is an undeniable fact—TikTok is the best way to market your record today,
and as far as convenience, you don’t even have to leave your bedroom to make it happen.
If you feel your song would benefit from TikTok attention check out our TikTok Promotions, here.