TikTok releases first-ever music report, indicating a powerful music discovery role


“In 2020, TikTok cemented its position as the go-to platform for music discovery.” –TikTok MUSIC 2020 


In July of this year, Edison Research conducted a survey “New-Music Seekers, an Infinite Dial Report,” seeking to discover where American listeners (12+) go for discovering new music. The exact results depended on age groups:

Listeners age 12-34: YouTube (72%), Spotify (51%) and friends and family (49%)
Listeners age 35-54: YouTube (64%), AM/FM radio (53%), and Facebook (45%)
Listeners age 55+: AM/FM radio (70%), YouTube (57%), friends and family (53%) 

Note that YouTube was cited by each group, as the first or second most-used platform. We’ll take measured research over marketing slogans any day, but we can’t help noticing TikTok’s new end-of-year review of music use and discovery on its platform, and TikTok’s brag of being “the go-to platform for music discovery.” (That claim would certainly gain or lose traction depending on age demo.)

Whatever “go-to” might mean statistically and demographically, TikTok’s absolute numbers are eye-opening. Here is the headline metric:

Over 176 different songs surpassed 1 billion video views as TikTok sounds.

The company follows up with this, indicating that TikTok’s power in music discovery reaches deep into the music publishing establishment: “Just in the past year over 70 artists that have broken on the platform have received major label deals, including Claire Rosinkranz, Dixie D’Amelio, Powfu, Priscilla Block and Tai Verdes, and dozens more have charted on Rolling Stone’s Breakthrough 25.”

All of this is motivating TikTok to come out of the closet as a music promotion powerhouse, resulting in the company’s first year-end music report. See it HERE, for details about artists and genres, and links to influential TikTok videos.

In any comparison with YouTube, relative reach provides important perspective. YouTube’s overall user base (which includes music user among other uses) is estimated to b e two-billion. TikTok is estimated to serve 850-million monthly users.

Brad Hill