young musicians filming music for TikTok

4 reasons your music needs to be on TikTok

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Should you start promoting your music on TikTok? We’ve got four compelling reasons to join the latest online hotspot.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

I’ve held out addressing TikTok for a long time. So many others have discussed why artists should be on TikTok, I wasn’t sure I could really add much to the conversation. While I’m on TikTok every now and then, I just don’t use it that much because I don’t need another social media app to get sucked into. And believe me, it’s easy to get sucked in.

But, unlike me, you’re an active music artist. You need to get your music out there. You need to build your fan base. People need to discover and hear your tunes, and TikTok is built around music.

TikTok has one billion users and counting

Right now, TikTok has one billion active users every month. Literally one in every five people worldwide with any kind of Internet access is on TikTok. If you’re one of the few people on the planet not yet on TikTok, let me present four reasons why your music will benefit from you getting on the platform.

1. You could be exposed to a large number of potential fans — for free

TikTok is what’s known as a “discovery network,” meaning the platform emphasizes showing new content to new people. When you catch the algorithm just right, your fun, organic video has the potential to be seen by thousands, maybe even millions of people.

Not only that, if you have distributed your music so it’s available to be used on TikTok, people can share your music in their content, which also has the potential to reach millions of other people. This snowball effect has happened many times already, resulting in artists getting major deals. Two examples: Mae Stephens signed with EMI/Universal, and Philadelphia’s Armani White is now with Def Jam Recordings.

Users are also using TikTok as a search platform. In fact, TikTok has become one of the top search engines, just like Google and YouTube. And that means you can appear in searches for things like “cool rock music” or “epic opera aria” or “Jaco Pastorius bass solo for beginners.” So check out what’s being searched and things related to you as an artist and perhaps you can create some TikTok videos that’ll go to the top of the search results.

2. TikTok can help connect you with your niche audience

Just as TikTok can cast a wide net, you can be as specific and unique to your audience as you want to be and find users who will resonate with your content.

This could include doing explainer videos of you mixing a song, breaking down a popular song if you’re a producer or engineer, or talking about how you connect nature or Greek mythology into your music as a source of inspiration.

3. You can grow your brand on TikTok

TikTok is great for connecting with others and growing your brand. You can encourage people to collaborate with you or jam along to your music, or you can do the same for them and post yourself jamming to their music to reach their audiences.

Ask users to share your song in their own video, or tell a story, like what inspired you to create the song. That shares your personal story and attracts tons of engagement. Go live, introduce yourself, tell people about what inspires you, and use TikTok to your advantage. Join in on trends that resonate with your vision — it’s a great way to make authentic connections with others and grow your brand. And hey, you can even get into some influencer marketing with other brands out there for additional income and opportunities.

4. You can promote and sell your music and merch

TikTok gives you the opportunity to share your music — brand new, deep catalog, or even unreleased — that can be discovered and supported by people. It can lead to revivals for legacy artists, chart-topping releases for major and indie artists, and can help new artists get discovered.

And being a visual platform, you can share your merch and encourage others to check out your web store, which can lead to sales of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and coffee mugs — just by posting and telling people where they can buy your merch.

Should you be on TikTok as a music artist?

Hopefully, that’s been answered clearly by now: Yes, you should be on TikTok and have your music available there. It’s a thriving hub for music discovery, you can connect with your niche audience, you can grow your brand, and you can even promote and sell your music and merch.

When should you be on TikTok?

You should be on TikTok now. If you’ve released a bunch of music already, share it and reach tons of potential new fans. If you’re just starting out, share your progress and encourage people to join you on the journey.

Is TikTok just for kids?

The data may say TikTok is most popular among younger audiences, but the data also shows it’s becoming increasingly popular among adults and older audiences every day. You can reach tons of potential new fans by being your genuine self on TikTok and there are plenty of people on there who are sure to enjoy your music. It can be life-changing for artists, especially independent ones.

Start becoming adept at using this platform now: your existing fans will find you there, and more importantly, you have a good shot at being discovered by new fans.

How do I get started?

I wouldn’t advise that you immediately start recording stuff today and putting it on TikTok. Take a little time to learn the platform first. Become a user. Figure out what others users are doing. Figure out what other music artists are doing.

What do you like about what they do? What do you dislike? What gets them lots of fan interaction? Give some thought to what kind of information and content you can share in an engaging, interesting, and compelling manner that will get the TikTok algorithm to push it to others.

When you’ve got your ideas, then you’re ready to start recording and sharing. Once you’ve started posting on TikTok, figure out what works well. What gets more engagement and interactions? Do more of that. Keep experimenting, keep testing, and keep paying attention to what’s working. Before you know it, you’ll be a TikTok expert!

Watch more great videos on the Disc Makers YouTube channel.

Tony van Veen is the CEO of DIY Media Group, the parent company of Disc Makers and BookBaby. As a college student, he played in indie bands, created his own LPs, cassettes, and t-shirts, and sold them at shows. Today, he collects CDs, vinyl LPs, and concert t-shirts to support the artists he loves.

The 90-Day Album Release Planner

Tony van Veen in the Disc Makers lobby

About Tony van Veen

Tony van Veen is the CEO of DIY Media Group, the parent company of Disc Makers and BookBaby. As a college student, he played in indie bands, created his own LPs, cassettes, and t-shirts, and sold them at shows. Today, he collects CDs, vinyl LPs, and concert t-shirts to support the artists he loves.

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