TikTok is a social media app known for its short videos and audio clips. Recently, the sounds used by TikTok influencers have infiltrated radio stations and music charts. Whether the listener realizes it or not, most of the popular songs on the radio either got their start on TikTok or quickly rose to the top of the charts after becoming the audio of the latest trend.
Many audios feature new songs such as “Backyard Boys,” a song featuring Claire Rosinkranz. Another such example is “Put Your Records On” by Ritt Momney. Much of these songs’ success can be attributed to their presence on TikTok.
The 60 second time limit for video recordings leads to one of the larger issues concerning music featured on the social media app. This results in many users only knowing the chorus of a particular song or one specific verse. Knowing this also causes artists to modify their songs. By having a song with a shorter length, more of the song is featured on the app. “Backyard Boys” is two minutes and nine seconds long with the main lyrics simply being repeated with a slightly different sound in the second half. While Rosinkranz’s intention may not have been to have a great audio that is easily adaptable to TikTok, it certainly appears that way.
TikTok not only skyrockets new songs to the tops of charts, but the app also revamps older songs such as “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. This song is featured in the Romeo and Juliet challenge which shows the camera moving away and dance moves to a new beat that was added to the song. Another example is “Bulletproof” by La Roux that was released in 2009, and it is now featured in the Hurt My Feelings challenge.
While every video may not feature a popular song, the ones that do seem to receive more attention than others with trends centered around them; just scrolling through the app, the songs seem benign. The truth is revealed when listening to the radio. Nearly every song has received much of its popularity due to the app. On the 103.1 Radio M radio station based in Rome, Ga., “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, “death bed (coffee for your head)” by Beabadoobee and PowFu and “Dynamite” by BTS were the first three songs heard by a Carrier staff member tuning in, and all three of these songs are prominently featured on TikTok.
As avid TikTok users, we should not be happy with hearing the same songs on radio and on TikTok. Diversity is a large part of listening to music, and radio should be a place that is separate from the effects of TikTok trends. Other songs are out there, and surely they have not received their share of exposure on TikTok. By hearing different songs on the radio, we can spread more exposure and allow other artists to see the same success that popular TikTok songs have.
We should also be vigilant when it comes to TikTok trends. By viewing these videos and streaming the songs on music apps, we are endorsing the success of these songs outside of TikTok. Separating our listening experience is a crucial part of distinguishing radio and TikTok songs into different worlds. The music industry is made of so much more than what can be found on social media apps, and as listeners, we have a responsibility to seek that out and make it a part of our lives. While finding music on TikTok may be more convenient than looking through other music streaming apps, it creates its own microcosm of songs that are heard over and over again with no diversity being added and no other exposure.
Diversifying your music library will subsequently improve your own knowledge and experience. Listening to genres outside of TikTok allows us to be exposed to different cultures and styles of music. We will become better individuals because of our well-rounded music background, and we can engage and communicate with more people and better understand what they are feeling and experiencing if we understand their music taste. Getting off of TikTok more can be difficult and taking your attention away from it may seem like a difficult task, but in the long run, when the app fades to the back of our minds and is no longer relevant, your friends and community will thank you.