TikTok has taken the digital world by storm. The social media platform was downloaded over 115 million times in March 2020 alone. It’s no wonder that famous and amateur singers alike are flocking online to promote their material and become viral sensations overnight.
Video-streaming platforms are an invaluable resource for singers, and TikTok is fast becoming one of the hottest video apps. Whether you’re looking to collaborate, go viral, or even get paid for featuring on backing tracks, this app has got musicians covered.
Anyone has the potential to become TikTok famous; that’s what’s so great about the platform. But going viral won’t happen overnight, you’ll need to know how to get your music uploaded and get popular before you can be a famous TikTok singer.
TikTok for singers | How TikTok became famous
TikTok has been downloaded by over 1.5 billion users worldwide. In 2018, the video-sharing app became the most downloaded app on the Apple Store – beating the likes of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Youtube.
The app’s popularity has sky-rocketed in 2020, but the app’s origin story actually dates back to 2016. The social media platform was created by ByteDance, a Chinese app developer, four years ago. It was launched as a rival to the lip-syncing video platform Musical.ly.
In 2018, the apps merged and became known solely as TikTok. The merged userbase and rebranding caused the platform’s popularity to soar. The app’s fame surged in March this year when people flocked to download the app for entertainment during the coronavirus lockdown.
Famous musicians on TikTok
TikTok isn’t just home to amateur influencers and artists. You’ll find some of the biggest names in music right now on the trending app, regularly posting fun and quirky video snippets about what they get up to behind the scenes.
If you’re looking to join the TikTok hype and follow in your idol’s footsteps, check out the ten most-followed famous musicians on TikTok right now:
- Camila Cabello
- Ariana Grande
- Justin Bieber
- Jonas Brothers
- Little Mix
- Post Malone
- Panic! AtThe Disco
Is TikTok good for musicians?
Video streaming platforms have always been an invaluable resource for musicians to get exposure. Youtube has been the frontrunner in the field for a long time, but TikTok is fast becoming one of its biggest rivals.
TikTok is the perfect hub for musicians. Whether you’re an established artist, or just starting out, you can gain fans, fame, and potentially even record deals from the app.
If you’ve always dreamt of hearing your songs used as backing tracks on videos worldwide and being paid royalties for the privilege, TikTok is definitely your bag. TikTok is an instant hitmaker and opens up loads of opportunities to collaborate, duet, and build a community.
How do you get popular on TikTok?
It’s easy for famous singers to get popular on TikTok, as their celebrity status is enough to guarantee a following. But for up-and-coming artists or influencers, getting TikTok famous requires a lot more legwork. Here’s what you can do to boost your popularity:
- Find a niche and a specific genre of music and stick to it
- Post at least once a day
- Mix up your content by getting involved in video challenges
- Use the “Discover” tab to find out trends and what’s popular right now
- Go live once a week
- Share all your TikTok videos on your other social media accounts
How do songs get added to TikTok?
Once you get the hang of the site and start to build a following, you might want to take the next step and get some of your songs officially added to TikTok.
Like with Apple Music and Spotify, the easiest way to get your music onto TikTok is to use a music distributor. There are lots of online distributors who will bridge the gap between indie, unsigned artists, and streaming platforms like TikTok.
It’s worth using a digital distributor because TikTok has tightened its rules recently and users who have tried to upload their own original music files in other ways have seen the backing tracks stripped off their videos.
How to get your music on TikTok
CD Baby announced a new partnership with TikTok this year, making it a great choice for getting your original music onto the video-sharing platform. If you’re a CD Baby client, you can get your songs streamed on TikTok in a matter of days.
All you have to do is sign up for a free CD Baby account, upload your music and artist info, and CD Baby will do the rest.
If you’re submitting a new release and haven’t distributed to streaming platforms before, you’ll have to double–check you’ve got the right settings enabled to make your music eligible for TikTok. You can do this by editing your distribution level on your CD Baby account, which is quick and easy to do.
How do you get TikTok Famous?
Going viral and becoming TikTok famous is every TikToker’s dream. Luckily, fame on TikTok is within reach of everyone. You just have to make videos that are memorable, original, and daring, and – most importantly – you have to tap into TikTok’s algorithm.
Going viral on TikTok is essentially an algorithm; the more people who feature your song or challenge in their video, the more users your music reaches. Your content will spread from your followers to your followers’ followers, and so on.
But this algorithm won’t happen by itself; you’ll need to chase as much exposure for your videos as possible. The key to getting TikTok famous is going viral. You can do this by tapping into trends and hashtags and making your song or video feature on as many users’ “For You Page” (also known as #FYP) as possible.
How do you make your TikTok song go viral?
On such a densely populated platform, you’ll need to adopt some optimisation tactics to get your videos to stand out and beat the competition. Try out all of the following techniques to increase your chances of going viral:
- Use trending hashtags
- Collaborate with popularTikTokinfluencers who have bigger fanbases
- Submit your music toTikTokSpotlight
- Create your own challenges and contests and get your own hashtag trending
- Share yourTikTokvideos in your Instagram stories
Joining TikTok Spotlight is one of the best ways to make your songs go viral on the platform. The music programme is specifically targeted at indie and unsigned artists and is TikTok’s very own initiative to help musicians on its platform to get support and get discovered.
TikTok Spotlight launched in 2019 and worked alongside 21 different labels and publishers in its first year.
Joining the programme allows Spotlight artists to access a special channel where musicians can upload their music. Their songs will then be made available to TikTok users globally, who can use the indie artists in their own video posts.
TikTok is a music–driven platform, which makes it the perfect hub for musicians to upload and promote music. But you’ll have to think out of the box to engage an audience on TikTok and promote your songs, as a conventional sales-pitch-style post won’t get you far.
TikTok is all about exciting, compelling video content. It might sound counter-productive, but to promote yourself as an artist, you might want to try uploading some videos of things other than you singing.
Likeability sells, so by uploading videos of yourself doing lots of different things (like getting involved in challenges, duets, and recording behind-the-scenes videos), you can promote yourself as a person as well as promote yourself as an artist.
How to build a community on TikTok
The most important part of promotion is your audience. Building a community on TikTok (and other social media platforms) is all about understanding and engaging your audience. There are lots of ways you can overcome the digital barrier and build your virtual community:
- Share a poll on your other social media accounts asking your existing followers what they’d like to see on your TikTok account
- Look at what similar artists to you are doing on TikTok for inspiration
- Tailor your content to your target audience and ask for their feedback and opinions
- Post your videos at peak times
- Like and comment on content that compliments your brand
- Create CTA’s for your followers to take part in
How to collaborate on TikTok
Collaborating on TikTok is another great way to boost your engagement and following. If you want to team up with an influencer, you can usually find their contact details on their bio and you can try reaching out to them directly to propose your project.
Influencers with a bigger following are less likely to reply to direct messages. To submit a proposal to more established influencers, you can try contacting them via an influencer marketing agency instead.
Using an influencer marketing agency will not only put you in touch with influencers, but it will coach you in unlocking the best strategies and tactics on TikTok. Three of the highest-recommended TikTok influencer agencies are Viral Nation, NoGood, and Fanbytes.
TikTok collaboration to promote your song
Bagging yourself a collaboration with an influencer on TikTok is a massive deal. But it also poses the question: what’s the best way for an influencer to promote your song?
You’ll want to make sure you get the most out of your collaboration, so spend some time exploring the different options for how you can work with a TikTok influencer. Some ideas include:
- Ask an influencer to lip-synch the lyrics to one of your songs
- Get influencers to use your song as a soundtrack to one of their videos (and credit you in the caption)
- Use TikTok’s duet feature to record a duet with an influencer, and get them to post it to their channel
How to duet on TikTok
Duets are a great way to promote yourself as an artist. You can perform a duet with an influencer and get yourself noticed by all their fans, or you could record a duet with an existing video on TikTok to create some fun content.
Luckily, it’s really simple to set up a duet on TikTok. There are just four simple steps:
Launch the TikTok app and press the “Share” button when you find the video you want to duet with.
Press on the “Duet” button (which looks like two overlapping circles) at the bottom of the screen.
Start recording your video (the video you’ve chosen to duet with will play on the right-hand side of your screen, while your recording will be on the left side.)
Once you’ve finished recording, you can tap the “Special Effects” button to add stickers or choose a cover for your video. When you’re ready, press “Post” to share your duet.
How do you promote music on TikTok?
If doing a TikTok collaboration isn’t your thing, there are plenty of alternative ways to promote your music on the platform. Give these four engagement-boosting tricks a go:
- Choose the best 15 seconds of your song to post a clip of
- Post songs with memorable, catchy lyrics or chorus
- Set challenges for your followers and award them meet-and-greets or merch prizes
- 4.Build a community by interacting with fans and supporting other people’s content
Do artists get paid from TikTok?
After putting in so much effort to cultivate a following and go viral on TikTok, you might wonder whether you’ll get paid for being a popular artist on the platform. The short answer is yes, TikTok will pay royalties to artists whose songs are used on the platform.
But artists shouldn’t get their hopes too high, as TikTok has a reputation for paying artists a tiny cut for their music while the company keeps the lion’s share for itself.
Not receiving the royalties you deserve is infuriating for artists sharing their music on any streaming platform. Sometimes not getting paid can be a worthwhile trade-off for up-and-coming artists, though, just to get the exposure for your music. TikTok might not be the best-paid music platform out there, but it’s a proven hitmaker.
Singers who found fame on TikTok
Video-streaming platforms are a proven way for artists to get discovered; just look at the success stories to come from Youtube. But in recent years, it’s the singers finding fame on TikTok who are taking the world by storm.
There are dozens of artists who became famous overnight by getting their songs on TikTok and going viral. You’ve undoubtedly heard of these huge TikTok-born singers:
#1 Lil Nas X
Everyone everywhere has heard of Lil Nas X and his hit track, “Old Town Road.” The American rapper credits the success of his catchy single entirely to TikTok, where he uploaded his track to in 2018.
“Old Town Road” quickly became a viral sensation on TikTok, growing from a meme to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks. Lil Nas X is the most famous TikTok artist and has made over $14million with his TikTok-born hit.
The American rapper started out as a YouTuber, but it was when Ambjaay took his music onto TikTok that his popularity exploded. Over 2 million TikTok clips have been made featuring Ambjaay’s song, “Uno”, and his track even fuelled a dance challenge on the platform.
The 19-year-old was snapped up by Columbia Records after he became a viral sensation on TikTok.
#3 Sueco the Child
Before he found fame on TikTok, Sueco the Child was living in the back of his Dad’s house with 1,300 followers on Instagram. The 22-year-old musician signed up to TikTok and uploaded his first song “Fast,” to the platform and tapped into viral trends.
TikTok influencers were instantly all over Sueco’s track and boosted it across the platform, turning it into an overnight hit. Sueco’s since announced that he’s been signed to Atlantic Records off the back of his TikTok success.
TikTok is an instant hitmaker – you only have to look at Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” to see how TikTokers can become overnight sensations. But even if you don’t get famous instantly, TikTok is still a great promotional tool and way to get exposure for singers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is “TikTok Singers Better than Real Artists?”
“TikTok Singers Better than Real Artists?” is a trending series of Youtube videos that pitches TikTok singers against real artists, getting people to vote and comment on who they think is better.
- How do I find out TikTok trending hashtags?
All the hashtags trending on TikTok right now will be listed on the search page. The number of times each hashtag’s been used is listed next to it, indicating which is the most popular of all the trending tags. Any headliner or sponsored hashtags will appear at the top of the search page in the graphic banner.
Do you have a TikTok account? Leave a link in the comments and we’ll check it out!