How to make money with your music: TikTok

The present and the immediate future of social media is on TikTok. More than one billion monthly active users are the best proof of it. And it’s even more impressive if we take into account that this platform emerged just 4 years ago. We are therefore talking about an absolutely exponential growth, and most importantly, with no signs of extinction. These are enough reasons for you, and especially your music, to be present on TikTok. If you are not convinced or do not know how to do it, we encourage you to read this article.


What is TikTok and how does it work?

TikTok is a social media platform for short videos, their duration ranges between 15 and 60 seconds, in vertical format. So far there is nothing excessively revolutionary in it that explains its overwhelming success. The most interesting thing about TikTok is its simplicity and its participatory and collaborative nature.

Using TikTok is very intuitive. Recording and editing a video from the platform and joining the latest trends is extremely simple, which is why virality is such a common phenomenon on this platform.

One of the engines for creating content on TikTok are games or challenges. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about singing, dancing, acting, humor, etc. All content is structured around the latest trends, so user engagement is key to success.

As in any other social network, the TikTok algorithm creates a content source for each user, and it does so based on the type of videos that they consume the most and with which they interact with the most. In this way, the more time you spend on TikTok, the more specific its recommendations are for you.


Music on TikTok

Music has an absolutely leading role on TikTok because it works with all types of videos. The platform has its own music library, this means that any user can choose a song that is included and add it into their video.

Perhaps it is better understood with an example: imagine that you create a challenge with your latest song. Several users see it, like it and decide to record their own version and publish it. The algorithm detects this trend and reinforces it. Therefore, the song appears to more users and more and more participants are added. You already have the necessary ingredients for exponential growth and virality.

In fact, it is proven that an increase in presence on TikTok translates into an increase in listeners on streaming platforms such as Spotify and YouTube. This means that not only does the song gain popularity, but you as an artist do too.


Monetization on TikTok

At this point you are probably wondering how you can include your music on TikTok. As an artist you cannot do it directly, you need the services of a technology company like Republic Network that can distribute your material. You can choose, for example, to upload an original recording or an acoustic performance so that users can make use of that audio. But, you must bear in mind that by doing that you choose to transfer the rights to the public alongside everything that this implies.

As for the monetization that you can obtain through TikTok, there are the active and the passive ways. The active is derived directly from royalties. Like any platform that makes use of copyrighted music, TikTok pays for the exploitation of that song. Passive stems from increasing your visibility and popularity. As we have already mentioned, from TikTok your music expands to other social networks, streaming platforms, etc.


Tips for promoting your music on TikTok

  • First and the most fundamental, make sure you do not incur any property conflict with other distributors, labels, artists, etc.

  • Familiarize yourself with the platform. See what other similar artists are doing, how they use TikTok, and apply trial and error.

  • When choosing a song, opt for one that has a hook, a striking letter or that includes an unexpected twist. It can be a new song or one that is part of your catalog.

  • Don’t just focus on the choreography. Make use of other video formats such as duets, reactions, playbacks or tutorials. You can even create your own contest. Just make sure to include a unique hashtag and offer an attention-grabbing prize.

  • As always, originality and authenticity are especially valued.

  • And don’t forget to interact with your community, thank them for their participation, react to their videos, etc.


Pic ©Solen Feyissa