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Why Hadn’t I Heard This Song Before Downloading TikTok?

It’s clear to see that the impact of TikTok is insane. It’s astounding to witness how quickly an audio or part of a song could reach its way all over the world. But why are so many forgotten songs resurfacing now? How is TikTok bringing songs from the 90s back into the public eye in the year 2021?


Many used to compare the impact of TikTok to older social media apps like Vine and Dubsmash. But the main thing that separates them is the amount of songs that can be used and the duration of videos. Artists have the power not only to upload their own songs onto the app but also to create videos up to three minutes long. For example, ever since “Stay” by The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber and “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow reached popularity on TikTok, they became the top two songs on the Billboard Hot 100. 

In today’s day and age, the internet has changed so much about the way we live our lives. The way we consume music now is very different than it was 20 years ago. With all the information we desire available at the tap of our fingers, a simple 30 second audio clip can be found within seconds. This explains how songs can quickly resurface in popularity. For example, the song “GUY.exe” by Superfruit has trended on TikTok more than once in the span of two years and has become the group’s top song on Spotify, with 34,469,003 listens. 

It seems like producers and artists know that the internet has changed how people listen to music. According to an MRC Data study, 67% of users are more likely to search for songs after listening to them on TikTok. This is specially relevant considering that certain trends or memes use specific songs, so people are likely to discover that song when it spikes in popularity during a viral trend.

Another popular song is “The Assignment” by Tay Money, which has been utilized for many different scenarios by creators across the world. Home to over a billion creators, social media is beginning to look like the future of music. CDs, records and radio stations are not carrying the music industry like they once did. The next Madonna could be discovered on TikTok.  

Artists achieve ten times more exposure through the internet compared to a single play on a radio station. This allows them to branch out onto other apps, such as Instagram and YouTube, to dominate the music scene. Technology and social media in general is advancing every day. At this rate with growing influencers and artists, TikTok is not going away anytime soon. 

Julia is an intended Entertainment & Media Studies major. She enjoys all types of music (except country), anything with pesto sauce, and sitcoms. In her free time she loves exploring new places with friends and watching movies.
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