As TikTok climbs up the app charts, and currently sits at the top of the Top Free Entertainment chart on the App Store, it is solidifying its connections with the music industry. The platform is drastically influencing music trends, with songs resurfacing from history due to being part of TikTok trends. YouTube has realised this and has sought out to do the same, with new insights and the goal to boost musicians and amplify their content.
According to YouTube, they have paid over $4 billion towards the music industry in the last year, through various elements that enable musicians to directly monetise content in the app.
“YouTube is the world’s largest stage...with over 2 billion users watching music videos monthly...Fan-powered videos have always flourished on YouTube, helping artists grow their audiences...We’re thrilled it’s become a meaningful source of revenue alongside music content.” says YouTube.
If you were secretly hoping the pop-up ads for YouTube Premium might disappear soon, this quote implies that that’s not going to happen. There also seems to be a slight reference to TikTok, where its hashtag and meme trends are now the main sources of engagement for the latest music. The message in this feels like YouTube is saying they generate money for artists. While TikTok is the trending app in this context, YouTube is making the point that they can build musicians’ business interests, not just trending amongst dance clips.
Although the full revenue potential of music is difficult to quantify. As mentioned above, TikTok is helping to resurface songs from previous decades, thus generating revenue for their artists, an example being Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ from 1977, re-entered the Top 100 in 2020.
In regards to music promotion, it’s hard to say which is the better platform, but YouTube claims that its revenue potential is more direct than TikTok’s and can link directly from the platform’s processes and tools. Even though TikTok is higher in the app download charts, YouTube is the clear leader in sharing online music videos, and this is something that should be set in stone due to TikTok’s 60-second video limit.
As TikTok gains traction, YouTube is planning to focus on keeping it down, compete against potential competitors and continue to highlight the potential of the revenue. It is a strong reminder for both musicians and marketers, of the significance of YouTube as a music platform for its outreach.