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The County Chronicle

The TikTokification of the Music Industry

As a society, we used to measure the success of a song or album by how much critical acclaim and support it received. Now, we judge songs based on how viral they go on social media. 

The influence of social media on modern music is a complicated dynamic. The rise of said influence primarily started during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no concerts or events that artists could use to promote their music, so the only route that gave good results was the route of social media, especially TikTok.

TikTok is an app where users can create short videos making whatever the user wishes. Once completed, the video is posted for everyone to see. This accessibility made TikTok the easiest way to reach large audiences during the pandemic, and that’s exactly what artists did.

For example, Jason Derulo, a globally successful pop artist, created videos of him dancing to his own songs. Another example is Dua Lipa, another successful singer, who auditioned dancers for the music video of her song Levitating, using TikTok.

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Artists were clambering to drum up publicity on social media, but the reverse of their mission started to happen as well. Suddenly, professional recording artists weren’t the only ones trying to sustain their music careers, famous social media stars started to make their own music as well.

These social media stars usually have no recording or performing background, but yet they still made music. Why? They did it because they could. At that time, social media influencers were the main pipeline for brand deals and other business ventures. It seemed as if the entire culture was determined by what they were interested in at the time, so they became the culture.

Influencers started to appear in cinema and TV. Some started their own brands of clothes and makeup. Most significantly, they were all over the music industry. For example, famous TikTok star Dixie D’amelio released mediocre music with no cultural impact whatsoever, and other influencers followed suit.

This diaspora of social media creators into the music industry resulted in the industry becoming watered down and boring. This is because these influencers often had no real talent in the first place, and it has taken a long time to restore the music industry the prestige they knew before the pandemic. 

This example of non necessity should make everyone ask themselves the question: Just because we can do something, does that mean we should  do something. As a society, we should aspire to artists such as Billie Eilish and Frank Ocean, who earned the right to produce music in a way that’s authentic and relevant.

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Justin Goodhart, staff writer

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