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How TikTok is Totally Changing the Game for Indie Musicians


TikTok has become a massive deal and turned into one of the best platforms ever for finding new tunes. For independent artists trying to make it, TikTok gives you a super cool way to grow a fanbase and get your songs heard by tons of people so fast. Let’s talk about how TikTok is reshaping music promotion for indie artists and why you need to be using it if you want to make it!

TikTok is a Powerful for Music Discovery

For anyone who isn’t yet hooked on TikTok, here’s what it’s all about. TikTok lets you make short videos set to music clips. You can use any song you want and add fun effects and filters to your video. When a catchy track comes along, it often ends up getting used in so many TikTok videos.

What makes TikTok so awesome is it lets new artists get their music out there in front of a giant audience without already having a huge following. Even if you only have a few hundred followers, your song can still blow up if it’s used in the right TikToks. The app makes finding new music fun for users by letting them search out and promote new artists.

We’ve seen total strangers get huge just because their song really clicked and started a viral trend on TikTok. Artists like Lil Nas X have skyrocketed to fame from TikTok. But you don’t need a country-rap hit to get big. TikTok can launch any type of music as long as you jump on trends and give the people those catchy hooks they love! Read more about Tiktok music promotion and way to submit your music to TikTok influencers

Growing Your Fans Organically

While paying for ads can work on TikTok, you can gain a ton of attention just by having fans and collaborators promote your music. The key is getting your track in fun, engaging TikTok videos that match the vibe of the app.

Start by making some TikToks of your own featuring your songs. Come up with viral dance moves or challenges. Duet bigger accounts already using your tracks. Have your supporters make TikToks with your latest release.  Simultaneously, you can use additional music promotion services to promote your music. Check out the best Spotify promotion services out there.

Use relevant hashtags so your music pops up when peeps look for what’s hot. Aim to spark creativity and joy with your sound.

When your song starts popping off on TikTok, spread the word everywhere. Let your followers on IG and Twitter know you’ve got a hit brewing on TikTok. Use the viral hype to get more streams on other platforms too.

Scoring a Viral Hit Pays Off Big Time 

Let’s look at some real numbers from artists who blew up from one viral TikTok hit.

Nicky Youre saw his song “Sunroof” blow up huge on TikTok, which got him:

– 3.4 million Instagram followers

– 170 million Spotify streams

– A record deal with Epic Records

PinkPantheress gained millions more listeners just from TikTok success. Her chill pop track “Just For Me” has:

– 112 million Spotify plays

– 38.5 million TikTok views

– 5.4 million Instagram followers

Those are serious gains from one song taking off on TikTok. We’re talking potential career-launching stats from a single viral track.

Other artists like Masked Wolf, Doja Cat and Roddy Ricch skyrocketed into the mainstream through TikTok. This level of exposure and streaming cash is a total game-changer for indie artists.


Seeing TikTok Virality in Action

Now let’s look at real examples of indie artists exploding almost overnight thanks to TikTok. Their stories show how fast your career can change from one viral hit.

Lil Nas X

Before his huge hit, Lil Nas X was an unknown Atlanta artist dropping songs online that didn’t get much attention. But everything changed when his country-rap track “Old Town Road” started getting used on TikTok.

The song’s lyrics about horses and tractors inspired so many cowboy-themed TikTok videos. As “Yeehaw TikTok” blew up, so did Lil Nas X’s streams. The song initially ignored by big music biz went on to:

– Spend 19 weeks at #1 on Billboard Hot 100

– Earn Lil Nas X 2 Grammy Awards

– Go diamond with over 10 million units sold

All from the massive boost of TikTok hype. Now Lil Nas X is a household name and multi-platinum artist.

Scrub Daddy

You may know Scrub Daddy as the smiling sponge brand from Shark Tank. But last year, Scrub Daddy showed the power of TikTok by making a viral sea shanty.

They had singer Nathan Evans create a super catchy song about cleaning dishes with their sponges. The “Wellerman” sea shanty exploded on TikTok as users duetted singing along.

This led to the track charting in over 22 countries. Scrub Daddy got tons of brand awareness. And Nathan Evans scored a record deal from his TikTok fame.

Snow Capped Romance

Las Vegas indie band Snow Capped Romance saw their 2021 song “Frosted Flakes” go viral thanks to TikTok.

User @420doggface208 longboarded to the chill track while singing along and sipping cranberry juice. The feel-good video was a perfect encapsulation of the TikTok vibe and got millions of views.

In the first 24 hours after it posted, “Frosted Flakes” sales shot up 3000%. The band’s monthly Spotify listeners jumped from 3k to over 200k.

Snow Capped Romance is now signed to Elektra Records and “Frosted Flakes” sits at over 180 million Spotify streams.

@420doggface208’s fun clip showed any engaging video can make a song go viral.

Safia – “Take Me Out”

Indie pop trio Safia saw their career take a new direction in 2020 when their song “Take Me Out” blew up huge on TikTok two years after releasing it.

TikTok creator @trippie.hippie used the funky track in a video showing off his glowing LED hula hoop skills. It blew up and kicked off a wave of TikToks featuring Safia’s groovy jam.

As a result, Safia saw streams of “Take Me Out” surge from 200k to over 75 million across platforms. Their monthly listeners exploded from 115k to 5 million.

The band booked their first arena tours and played major festivals thanks to their sudden TikTok boost. Even old tracks can take off out of nowhere.


The Future is Bright Thanks to TikTok

Because of TikTok, things are looking awesome for independent artists trying to gain fans. Short video apps have made music promotion easier than ever.

Now it’s possible to go from complete unknown to globally viral with one 15 second TikTok. Instead of playing tiny clubs for years, indie artists just need one song to catch fire. We’re seeing this happen all the time as new artists blow up through TikTok.

The platform lets anyone with good marketing skills gain traction. As TikTok keeps launching new talent, indie artists have a huge opportunity.

More and more labels and managers will likely scout rising TikTok stars. We could see a tidal wave of artists with millions of TikTok followers scoring record deals.

TikTok is also influencing pop music, as labels ask for songs optimized for viral videos. The lines between social trends and pop culture hits will keep blurring.

While apps come and go, TikTok has fundamentally changed how artists can make it. There are now faster paths to success that sidestep traditional gatekeepers. It’s leveling the playing field for indie artists.

Winning on TikTok Now and in the Future

The viral formula on TikTok keeps changing so indie artists will need to stay flexible. Let’s talk about some recent trends and tips for succeeding with music on TikTok this year.

Chasing Trends

Your song will likely gain more traction if you strategically align with popular TikTok trends. Study what sounds and memes are emerging and tailor your content accordingly.

Hashtag challenges are a great way to capitalize on trends. Start a dance challenge with your track for others to join.

Even using certain outfits or filters can help you ride viral aesthetics. Connect your music to cultural moments.

Short Samples 

TikTok recently extended vids up to 10 minutes. But shorter clips still rule. The most viral sounds tend to be catchy 8-second hooks.

Hook fans immediately by highlighting your song’s biggest earworm moments. Remove slow intros and get right to the part that sticks in people’s heads.

Old School Songs

Vintage pop and rap gems often enjoy second lives thanks to TikTok. Lean into nostalgia by reviving old tracks in new ways.

The future is wide open for indie artists thanks to TikTok. With the right strategy, you can grow a huge fanbase and get your music career poppin’!

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