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Here's how Social Media Algorithm Helps Artists Amplify Music Independently to Earn Millions

A study unveils massive earnings for viral hits like The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights."
Cover Image Source: Musicians are earning millions on TikTok | Unsplash | Photo by Collabstr
Cover Image Source: Musicians are earning millions on TikTok | Unsplash | Photo by Collabstr

Gone are the days when artists needed major record labels to discover them and release their tracks, or when independent artists could reach a limited audience with small gigs. Social media and music streaming platforms have changed all that, as musicians have even utilized the ability to amplify their own work to achieve stardom. A recent surge in TikTok's influence is proving to be a game-changer for music artists and record labels, potentially translating viral success into millions of dollars, experts reveal, via AOL. According to a study by, songs that gain traction on TikTok are reaping substantial rewards off-platform. The hit track "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd, which achieved viral status on TikTok, garnered a staggering 1.65 billion streams on Spotify alone, estimated to have generated over $7.2 million in revenue for the artist.

Pexels | Photo by George Milton
Songs that gain traction on TikTok are reaping substantial rewards (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by George Milton

The study highlights a broader trend, indicating that a compilation of TikTok viral sensations collectively amassed earnings surpassing $100 million, with a staggering 23 billion plays. Jason Falls, a senior influence strategist at Cornett, explains that the platform's addictive nature prompts users to consume more music, presenting a lucrative opportunity for musicians to not only amplify their reach but also significantly bolster their earnings.

Alan Cross, host of the Ongoing History of New Music radio program, underscores TikTok's evolving role as a pivotal promotional tool for both emerging and established artists. Cross notes that TikTok's significance in the music industry has soared, particularly amid declining revenue streams from traditional avenues such as CD sales and live performances.

Unsplash | Photo by Thibault Penin
Spotify (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Thibault Penin

Recently, Fleetwood Mac's iconic album "Rumours" soared into the top 10 charts for the first time in 42 years following a viral TikTok video featuring a man enjoying cranberry juice while riding a longboard. The resurgence of interest in the band's music was driven by the viral success of their song "Dreams," as reported by a study from Remarkably, "Dreams" re-entered the charts in October 2020, marking its first appearance since its original 1977 run.

In a significant move, TikTok announced a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, aimed at amplifying the exposure of songs from Sony's extensive roster of global artists within the TikTok ecosystem. This collaboration provides TikTok creators with access to a vast library of sound clips, spanning current chart-toppers to timeless classics.

Unsplash | Photo by Solen Feyissa
TikTok (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Solen Feyissa

Cross anticipates that such alliances will not only benefit artists but also enable record labels to capitalize on their investments in music catalogues, as they seek to unlock untapped value in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

In recent years, artists such as Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, Ava Max, and numerous others have experienced meteoric rises in their streaming numbers and social media fanbases, all courtesy of their breakthroughs on TikTok. TikTok's algorithm generates a personalized content stream for each user known as the 'For You Page' (or #FYP). As users engage more with the platform, their #FYP content gets customized to their preferences.

By selecting popular or frequently searched hashtags, you enhance the likelihood of your video surfacing on TikTok's "Discover" and "For You" tabs. Diversify your hashtags when posting content, and incorporate a combination of personalized tags relevant to your content along with broader ones.