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TikTok’s Knack for Connecting Fans With Songs & Brands Examined in New Study

A new study helps artists and executives understand how songs go from being popular on TikTok to becoming a hit beyond it.

TikTok’s influence on popular music is by now undeniable, as challenges and trends on the video-sharing app routinely propel songs up the music charts and turn emerging artists into stars. But song uses on TikTok don’t automatically translate to streams, and artists and executives have had little data to understand how songs go from being popular on TikTok to becoming a hit beyond it.

A new study by TikTok and MRC Data released today (July 21) provides some answers.

According to the results of the study, which was conducted on U.S. TikTok users in November 2020, 67% of TikTok users are likely to seek out a song they heard and connected with on TikTok on a music streaming platform. The study also reflects TikTok’s reputation as a destination for music discovery, as three-quarters of TikTok users discover new artists through the platform, and 63% of users heard new music on the platform they had never heard before.

The study also notes that TikTok users often have “heard it on TikTok” moments in their day-to-day lives: 72% of users agree that they associate certain songs with TikTok.


The study also sheds some light on best practices for brands looking to connect with TikTok users through music. When brands feature songs that are popular on TikTok, 68% of users say they remember the brand better; 58% say they feel a stronger connection to the brand; 58% say they’re more likely to talk about the brand or share the ad; and 62% say they’re curious to learn about the brand.

In all, the study provides data to confirm things the music industry anecdotally already knows. But this alone is valuable, helping connect the dots of how songs travel through and beyond TikTok.

“TikTok has become an integral part of music discovery, connecting artists to their fans and introducing brands to every corner of the community,” TikTok global head of music Ole Obermann said in a press statement. “TikTok is the home for music trends that permeate the industry, charts, and culture. From emerging artists to small business owners, the research from MRC Data reinforces that by associating with the right music or sound on TikTok, creators, artists and businesses alike can see a major impact.”

Read the full results of the study, which also includes insights about TikTok’s influence on cultural movements, here.