TikTok has had an eventful year, and the video-sharing platform has given a report. The platform focused on how music has been its mainstay and how it has helped push the careers of artists whose songs went viral in videos.
The social media platform calls itself a “playground where artists and creators can interact, combining their unique sensibilities and talents to propel trends to the forefront of culture.” This claim has largely been accurate as content creators jump on new songs from both known and new artists.
TikTok reports that 430 songs appeared in videos watched more than one billion times in 2021, a massive 300 percent over 2020. The most popular song garnered more than 20 billion views in total.
The platform has helped artists reach new audiences, and it reflects in the performances of the songs on the charts. Over 175 songs that went viral on TikTok charted on the Billboard Hot 100, double the figure for 2020.
According to Ole Obermann, head of music at TikTok, “TikTok opens the door to new artists, new sounds, underground and DIY scenes as well as the classic hits, connecting them with a global audience and passionate music community like never before. 2021 has been a huge year for music and TikTok and we’ve been humbled how the industry and so many artists have partnered with us to make this magic happen across so many different countries.
From the Beatles to Sea Shanties, J Balvin to Abba, and of course who can forget Taylor Swift’s entry – the last 12 months have provided so many music moments, inspired our community of one billion, and shown the world that music starts and lives on TikTok.”
While touting its global impact on the music scene, TikTok also points out how it has helped in unearthing the “next generation of music stars, helping usher artists as diverse as Olivia Rodrigo, PinkPantheress, and Måneskin to stardom.”
To back up its claim, TikTok cites a report that says three-quarters of US TikTok use the platform to discover new artists, and more than two-thirds admitted they hear some songs for the first time in TikTok videos.
In 2020, TikTok said artists that used the platform as a stepping stone to stardom included The Kid Laroi, Tai Verdes, and Tate McRae. Tai Verdes was a Verizon store employee when he released his single Stuck In The Middle and quickly ascended to the status of one of the most exciting young stars. This year, the list is longer and more diverse with respect to the artist’s origin.
For example, CKay, a Nigerian artist, had a blown-out year with his song “Love Nwantiti” appearing in more than one million videos, counting the numerous remixes. The exposure propelled him to the number 2 spot on Billboard’s Global 200 songs list.
Maneskin, an Italian rock band, also had a big year, with their song Beggin appearing in more than 10 million creations.
YungManny also used his TikTok fame to move his career forward. Aside from entertaining TikTok videos, the teenager scored features from Sada Baby and Flo Milli.
However, not only new artists went viral this year. Established names like Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Cardi B, Drake, and Soulja Boy had a massive impact on the platform.
Similarly, classic songs did very well, too, including tracks like Rasputin by Boney M, The Hustle by Van McCoy, Careless Whisper by George Michael, More Than a Woman by Bee Gees. These songs, released more than 25 years ago, found their way into creator videos.
TikTok also reports a category it calls Comeback Tracks that covers music that is old but is not yet a classic. It includes Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child, Day ‘n’ Nite by Kid Cudi, Gimme More by Britney Spears, and Please Don’t Go by Mike Posner.
The most popular artists feature well-known names, with Megan Thee Stallion taking the first position and Doja Cat following behind in the second spot. Popp Hunna, a rapper, came third, a position occupied last year by the late Pop Smoke.