So you want to be a TikTok star (2023)

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annals of music

Edition of December 12, 2022

The social media platform is transforming the music industry. Is this a good thing?

ByJuan Seabrook

So you want to be a TikTok star (3)

TikTok's algorithm can make almost any creator's video go viral, giving indie artists the chance for a big record deal.Illustration by Ibrahim Rayintakath


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(Video) Transforming My DAUGHTER Into a POPULAR TikTok Star

In December 2020, after spending nine pandemic months at home with her family, Katherine Li began posting her songs on TikTok. “I had nothing else to do,” Li, a 19-year-old University of Toronto sophomore, said when I visited her in Oakville, a leafy suburb of Toronto where she had taken refuge during the lockdown. with her father, Chengwu, her mother, Xiaohong (who goes by Maggie), and her brother, Vincent, who is five years younger. She also has a sister, Alice, who is nine years her senior.

“I was always in my room,” continued Li. “With the keyboard, writing fragments of songs. I thought, what am I going to do with this? Oh, I'll put them on TikTok!"

Like many Gen Z kids, Li grew up immersed in social media (she started using Instagram in third grade) and music, much of it conveyed visually. When Maggie Li was doing her master's in economics at the University of Ottawa, Katherine was born, in 2003, and Maggie sang in front of the TV with music videos or music-oriented programming while studying. As a preteen, Katherine became obsessed with Nickelodeon's "Victorious," a sitcom about a teenage musical artist, played by Victoria Justice; Ariana Grande was among the cast members.

“I would see all the songs and think, this sounds like so much fun! I really want to do this!” she told me. By the end of high school, I was still thinking, I believe in myself and I can totally do this!

Her mother had envisioned Katherine's future differently. Li, who speaks Mandarin at home, left Beijing for Canada in October 2001, "in search of a better life," as Chengwu Li, a mechanical engineer, put it. The middle daughter was an excellent student. “Best of all,” Maggie told me, with fierce pride. She thought Katherine would go to medical school and become a pediatrician. Alice was the family interpreter. She sang, modeled, acted, danced and won beauty pageants. “I've looked up to her all my life,” Katherine said of her older sister.

Katherine started taking piano lessons in first grade and could sight read music. Her masterpiece was "Mariage d'Amour" by Richard Clayderman. But aside from singing in the school choir and occasionally jamming with Alice (who was chosen as the official subway musician by the Toronto Transit Commission), her only public vocal performances were YouTube videos she made in her bedroom, in which she sang covers of songs by Taylor Swift, Julia Michaels and Shawn Mendes. I expected to follow the room to...billboardThe path was opened by compatriot Justin Bieber, discovered on YouTube in 2008, and, more recently, by Mendes himself, another Canadian, who invaded Vine, a platform for short videos, in 2013. But Katherine Li's videos on YouTube do not went viral. Fifty visitors, mostly friends, was a good sample. She started to doubt herself, wondering: are people interested? Is this realistic?

In 2014, Li downloaded, a user-generated short video sharing app that two Chinese entrepreneurs, Alex Zhu and Yang Luyu, launched in Shanghai that year and quickly became popular in the US. He posted videos of it. Lip-sync and dance to the hottest songs in the app. In 2017, was bought by ByteDance, a Chinese startup that previously created Toutiao, an algorithm-powered news aggregator; Douyin, a short video platform only available in China; and TikTok, a Douyin-like app for the rest of the world. ByteDance designed a new algorithm for and merged its users with those of TikTok.

By mid-2021, thanks to teenagers like Li, TikTok had reached 1 billion active monthly users. Facebook, by comparison, launched in 2004, has 2.9 billion monthly users. TikTok users are younger. Sixty-seven percent of all American teens use the app, and their parents are now joining in too. According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, the average user spends 95 minutes on the site, nearly double the time spent on the Gram.

At first, Li was just a viewer rather than a "creator," as TikTok flatteringly refers to anyone who uploads videos. To soundtrack their videos, TikTok creators can choose from a vast library of licensed sounds, most of which are parts of songs and range in length from a few seconds to a minute. The genius of TikTok's business model is that entertainment is made up almost entirely of user-generated video, which costs a tiny fraction of the $17 billion Netflix, for example, spent on professional content in 2021. According to the TikTok, is on track to make nearly ten billion dollars in revenue this year, mostly from selling ads against what is essentially free programming. Even so, that number is still well below the $118 billion Facebook made in 2021.

"I was on the 'For You' page a lot," Li told me. The "For You" feed algorithmically adapts to each TikTok user; Like snowflakes, no two "For You" feeds are exactly alike. Instead of the app displaying content you've chosen to view from a collection of friends and other accounts you've selected, a machine learning algorithm is sorting it out for you. Based on your usage patterns, your account settings, and data from your device, which may include information about people who are contacts on your phone, Facebook friends, and people you've sent TikTok links to or opened links to, the app predicts what content you really want to see. If you post a video in which you appear, biometric and demographic information, including gender, ethnicity and age, may be removed from your face and possibly added to the data mix.

However, TikTok's algorithm is based mainly on the "signals" compiled from your responses to your "For usted" feed: Me gusta, comentarios and the amount of time that looks at a video before moving on to the next one, moving your fingers towards Above. until then. Each action, or lack of one, tells the A.I. something about your "engagement" level - the caviar of social metrics. A user watching thirty-fifteen-second videos, for example, gives TikTok's algorithm far more signals than YouTube receives from a user watching a seven-and-a-half-minute video on its platform. These signals, in turn, allow TikTok's algorithm to focus more on your particular desires. After a few hours of swiping, TikTok users get personalized recommendations that make other feeds look out of the box. “The TikTok algorithm knows me better than I know myself” is a Gen Z expression I hear frequently in my reports.

Li's first original posts featured her singing sweet and sad melodies with lyrics about high school crushes, a TikTok-enabled genre loosely defined as "bedroom pop". She felt empowered on the platform, where, on any given day, the algorithm can make almost any creator's video go viral, regardless of how many followers they have, which is not the case on YouTube.

Okay, this is my chance, Li thought.

The music industry has been the canary in the coal mine of digital content since Napster made music free in 1999. As technology has steadily altered the form recorded music takes: vinyl became cassette, then CD , MP3 and streaming. The industry has found new ways to monetize what never changes: the emotional connection a song creates between an artist and a fan.

After lean years at the turn of the new millennium, when the industry saw CD sales plummet while its technophobic leaders hesitated to switch to file-sharing, the major labels figured out how to use streaming to their advantage. In recent years, the big three (Universal, Warner and Sony) have aggressively enforced copyrights and pressured Spotify and other streaming platforms to hand over as much as seventy percent of their revenue; profits and the value of music catalogs owned by record companies soared. In 2021 alone, the value of global royalties increased by 18 percent to $39.6 billion, according to a recent report by author and former Spotify chief economist Will Page.

Now music is finding a metaverse of sorts, in the form of the rapidly evolving sound, video, social media and marketing platform that is TikTok. Even before theCOVID-19-19, TikTok has become a powerful music discovery tool. In a minute on the site, a user like my fourteen-year-old daughter, Rose, could scroll through twenty or more short videos, each featuring a short snippet of music synced by the video's creator. Some songs are new, but many are decades old. If Rose hears an interesting sound, say "Walkin' on the Sun" by Smashmouth, she can click the record icon at the bottom and go to the sound page, where she can see the artist and name of the song. So, in theory, it could go to Spotify, Apple or another distributed streaming platform, where the entire song can be streamed and its owners paid. (In fact, it goes to YouTube, where streaming also pays, but at a lower rate.) On one distribution platform, song owners are paid per stream, but on TikTok there is no set royalty structure and it provides only paltry revenue, a growing point of tension with the music industry.

“I was always in my room,” says Katherine Li. “With the keyboard, writing”.Photography by Naomi Harris for The New Yorker

The videos act as a sort of trailer for the songs, but instead of a song's owners taking charge of the production, TikTok creators can sync the sound to the videos they've made about almost anything, every time. within community guidelines, which prohibit nudity and abuse. They can also slow down or speed up the music as per the latest TikTok trend. Syco Entertainment, founded by Simon Cowell, recently announced that sixty seconds of "Red Lights", a new song co-written by Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, Savan Kotecha and Ali Payami, would be available for TikTok creators to remix ahead of its release. . release.

One of the first TikTok champions in the music industry was Ole Obermann. In 2018, when he was the chief digital officer at Warner Music Group, he had an "Aha!" moment about TikTok, he told me. “The only other time I had a moment like this was when I first used Spotify,” he said, referring to 2007. In part because of TikTok's merger with, an app used primarily for battles. of synchronization. , many executives weren't using it. Obermann tried to get his skeptical colleagues to understand that TikTok was going to be the next big thing. He compared user-generated videos, which creators spend many hours on, to mixtapes that people have made in the past, "the ultimate form of fandom," he said. For me, he described TikTok as a combination of elements of Top Forty radio, music television, and streaming: "There's never been anything that could stick a song in your head like TikTok does."

In March 2019, "Old Town Road", a little-known song by Lil Nas X, went viral on TikTok, thanks in part to a video by a 21-year-old Boston creator named Michael Pelchat. In the video, Pelchat did a dance with a quick costume change into a cowboy outfit (a "transition", in TikTok parlance), which synced with the lyrics "I got the horses on my back". An explosion of videos of other creators using the song and the same gimmick followed over the next few months. A remix of the song featuring Billy Ray Cyrus led thebillboardHot 100 for nineteen weeks, an all-time record, turning most of the music industry's remaining skeptics into TikTok champions. Pelchat won $500 for his contribution to making "Old Town Road" a mega-hit. Lil Nas X gave him the money and said, "Thanks man for changing my life, here's $500 for you," Pelchat said.Rolling Stone.

The launch of the “Old Town Road” rocket demonstrated the essential role that creator videos play in a song's viral trajectory. Videos could spread a piece of music to hundreds of millions of listeners, who could stream the original version on another platform. TikTok has also proven that it can make hits with songs that were blocked early on. "Sunday Best", a song by Texas electro-pop duo Surfaces, became extremely popular on TikTok in early 2020, a year after its release, when the line "Feeling good, like I should" was synced to videos of dance. 🇧🇷 The song was re-released to radio in March at the start of the lockdown and became a worldwide hit.

Ultimately, TikTok proved that a forty-year-old hit could make a comeback. When a selfie video taken by Nathan Apodaca, in which he was skateboarding and drinking cranberry and raspberry juice from a bottle while vibrating to the opening lines of the 1977 Fleetwood Mac song "Dreams": "Now, here you go again you say i want your freedom / Well who am i to hold you back / It's only fair that you play how you feel” – went viral, song backbillboardcharts, in October 2020. A month later, Stevie Nicks, who wrote the song, sold the publishing rights to most of her catalog, including "Dreams", for $100 million. Apodaca, who was homeless at the time he made the video, earned no royalties but received donations, with Ocean Spray giving him a van loaded with juice; he also landed a recurring role on the most recent season of the Hulu sitcom "Reservation Dogs".

By this time, Ole Obermann had left Warner Music for a new role: TikTok's global head of music.

Katherine Li had already seen other musicians explode on TikTok. There were new superstars like Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, whose hit "Savage" caught fire on the platform in spring 2020. But both artists' careers predated TikTok and were supported by a major label. Although Li, like virtually all TikTok creators, yearned for fame, she couldn't imagine being that famous. She could, she told me, relate to "these smaller artists on TikTok, who were also getting so much exposure." In 2020 alone, over 70 new emerging artists on TikTok signed to record labels. “In a world before TikTok, it was difficult to draw a crowd, and artists used that process to hone their craft,” Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter, and music executive Billy Mann told me about the traditional path to a record deal. : playing live to ever-growing audiences. “Now you can start a crowd on your phone and pray the art reaches you.”

Li was also intrigued by the D.I.Y. TikTok artists who were monetizing their music careers through influencer deals with brands. That way, they were often able to keep the rights to their songs. He also cited Taylor Swift to me as a role model in the music business. Swift is currently re-recording albums she made early in her career for Big Machine, a Nashville-based independent label distributed by Universal, to regain control of her "masters," the industry term for original sound recordings; these copyrights are independent. of the lyrics and melodies of the composition, known as “edit”. Scooter Braun, the then owner of Big Machine, sold Swift's masters to Shamrock Holdings, an investment vehicle of the Disney family, against the artist's wishes. The “Taylor Version” teachers are her revenge.

“I learned from Taylor,” Li said. "You keep track of your masters."

Swift built her career during the file-sharing era, which changed the business model for many artists, shifting the main source of income from recorded music, which can be pirated, to selling tickets to live events. The pandemic wiped out the tourism economy almost overnight. Live-streamed concerts tried to fill the void, but they were pale substitutes for the real thing. With everyone stuck at home, TikTok has become the show.

Tours are back in full force in 2022, but TikTok's algorithm remains the sun around which the music industry orbits and the main arbiter of what's hot. Top ten songs on the radio and streaming charts usually start appearing first on TikTok. Record labels and individual musicians are releasing up to 100,000 new tracks every day on any number of platforms. Having a viral video attached to a part of a song is one of the few ways to get someone's attention. Virality also tilts the arcane economics of streaming in favor of copyright holders, because the value of any individual stream is based on the percentage of total monthly streams from a streaming platform that owns the music. In other words, many listens in a short period of time will earn you more money per stream than a slow-record.

But how does the algorithm launch viral trends on TikTok? Machine learning is a form of AI. that identifies patterns in data and makes predictions and recommendations based on them. Due to the complexity of their calculations and the sheer volume of data they ingest, it's hard to understand the exact workings of powerful AIs like TikTok's. Still, there are theories about TikTok's algorithm. Batch theory holds that the algorithm shows new content to small batches of users around the world, and if a video gains traction somewhere, the app sends the video to a larger batch of users and then to a larger batch of users. even larger pool of users. Within batch theory, there are more theories about how a video gains traction in the first place. Some would argue that the ratio of likes to views is the key metric. For others, it's whether people stick with a video until the end. It is likely that some combination of all these factors are at play. TikTok itself has confirmed aspects of this on its website, but without much granularity. There's no shortage of YouTube videos or Reddit threads delving into the mysteries of the recommendation algorithm for users who suspect ByteDance engineers periodically tweak it.

Viral videos are nothing new, of course, but trying to incorporate virality into how artists are discovered and their music marketed is. For record executives looking to hire and develop new talent, the challenge is understanding why a song goes viral on TikTok in the first place. Is it the music or is it the personality of the artist? Or is he the creator who started a sound-synchronized dance trend? Or is it the flash of a tattoo on a hunky creator's bicep, or the glimpse of a creator's cleavage as she leans in to press play before doing her sneaky dance?

“You could win eyes and fans for things other than music,” Mike Caren, former president of A&R at Warner Music, told me when I went to see him at APG, a boutique label in Beverly Hills, where he is C.E.O Caren, who is 45 and started in the business as an intern at Interscope Records when she was 15, continued: "Or you can have songs that go viral because of a six-second line in the song, but then when the People listen to the whole song, they say, 'This sucks!', so you have to look at all of that and ask: Is it really about the song?

Industry gatekeepers have long used data to try to gauge how deeply a song or artist connects with fans. Radio programmers have long relied on "call research," derived from playing a song's hook to a focus group, to help predict whether the song will be a hit. TikTok does something similar, automatically. It offers real-time global call data on all sounds on the platform, new and old.

Likewise, record executives have been looking for talent online since the early years of YouTube, launched in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006. But before the pandemic, few would have signed an act without first hearing the artist perform live. Caren remembers going to an underground club in London in 2010 to see an unknown artist named Ed Sheeran. “I had already seen data that prompted me to go,” Caren said. “He opened for a rapper and there was a d.j. of hip hop. In front of him. And Ed walks around with a guitar on his back. I thought, oh man, this is going to be brutal. People will turn their backs. But he was able to capture all of the audience, who weren't there for him, because of his passion." That show, Caren said, was "another data point. But it wasn't a numerical metric." Warner signed Sheeran several months later.

However, during the pandemic, signing acts based solely on social media presence has become the norm among large companies (your phone was the club), and the practice has persisted even as social media has returned. Some music professionals sadly say that if forced to choose between an artist with good social media numbers but so-so music and one with great music but mediocre socials, they would have to choose the former. Chioke (Stretch) McCoy, a veteran manager of hip-hop's top artists, told me he would always prefer artist talent over data, but added that while TikTok is great for music, it's not necessarily great for musicians. treated by record labels as if they were as disposable as their songs.

Caren mentioned a TikTok artist who recently had a viral moment. “If I had signed a deal last week, I would have gotten a few million dollars,” he said. "If you take a few weeks to close your deal and the data continues to rise, it could become more expensive for us."

What if your data goes down? “Some would back off. It's possible that no one will sign it."

In the weeks leading up to Christmas 2020, as Li worked on her college applications, she attempted to write "an original snippet" of a song for TikTok, usually just a few lines every other day. “Usually I only write thirty minutes before I post,” he told me. With the phone propped up on a small tripod, he recorded the snippet, singing the chords he played on a keyboard in her room and uploaded to TikTok. In the morning, she'd check TikTok as soon as she woke up, go downstairs and say, "Look mom, I've got thirty views!"

"Wow!" his mother would answer boldly.

The Lis weren't overly concerned about the politics surrounding TikTok, which some governments see as a major security risk. India permanently banned the app in 2021. In 2020, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13942, which stated that TikTok's "data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information". The Trump administration tried to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to Microsoft, Oracle or another US-based tech company or ban it, but the offer stalled in federal court. A bill aimed at banning TikTok on government-issued devices, sponsored by Junior Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, is currently in Congress. Christopher Wray, the FBI. director, recently told lawmakers that TikTok raises national security concerns. TikTok said in response: “As Director Wray specified in his comments, the FBI's input is being considered as part of our ongoing negotiations with the US Government, although we are unable to comment on the details of these confidential discussions. , we are confident that we are on track to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns."

On December 23, Li sat at his desk and prepared to shoot a new music video. Next to it was a handwritten list of goals for 2020, with a box drawn next to each goal, ticked or unchecked, depending on whether it had been met. The box next to "Go without WiFi for a day" remained unchecked.

Looking at the phone, Li sang the entirety of "Heartache", her last song, closing her eyes, her long black hair falling over her forehead:

we have a headache
And I hope you are fine.
That you're living rent free
In my mind

The clip is completely devoid of affection, a true moment of pure lyricism. It's like we're watching from the other side of a mirror as a sweet, innocent girl shares what's in her heart in the privacy of her bedroom. Li's vocal tone on the word "heartache" carries a piercing note of sadness that may have sounded especially resonant that pandemic holiday season.

Posting the video, Li climbed into her big round bed under colorful LED lights. light bands on the ceiling and went to sleep.

Jacob Pace was 19 when, in 2017, he took over Flighthouse, a account he helped turn into a small video studio for TikTok. At first, he told me, record companies and publishers wanted Flighthouse to pay a fee for a license so they could use copyrighted music, as is standard practice in TV and film. But Pace couldn't believe it. "They wantedfor uspaytheyfor using your songs!” he exclaimed recently, still incredulous at twenty-four.

Bro. What did you expect? That's how the industry survived Napster and its generation: by leveraging publishing and recording rights owned by the greats. But with the rise of platforms like and TikTok, the centuries-old model of paying royalties based on consumption has been replaced by a collaborative model, in which rights holders and online creators are partners in the risky viral enterprise. As a social media native, Pace knew what the music industry would soon collectively understand: that the balance of power had shifted from the music and its owners to the netizens who could make the song go viral. A new economy of TikTok creator-influencers was emerging, selling lightning in a bottle, and Flighthouse became an apothecary of virality.

In 2019, Barbara Jones, a former marketing manager at Columbia Records who had her own "Aha!" Then on TikTok, he founded Outshine Talent, to represent the creators of TikTok and act as a conduit for labels and brands that need his influence. Charli D'Amelio, one of Jones's first clients, was a competitive teenage dancer from Norwalk, Connecticut, whose videos of herself doing choreographed dances to hip-hop songs in her upper-middle-class family's home made her very popular. on TikTok. , like the Kardashian neighbor. As of mid-2020, any song chosen by Charli had a decent chance of going viral. When Charli danced to K Camp's “Lottery (Renegade)” the music exploded. (It was later revealed that D'Amelio, who is white, appropriated his video's choreography from a black creator, Jalaiah Harmon.) Likewise, Flo Milli's "In the Party" had an increase in Charli's moves. But unlike Michael Pelchat, who helped "Old Town Road" go viral, D'Amelio, with Jones' help, monetized her influence.

Jones explained to me the prices creators charge to boost songs, distinguishing between "starters" who can start a fire in a song and "accelerators" who add fuel to it. Lower tier creators, with followers ranging from twenty thousand to one million, can charge between $250 and $1,000 per video; mid-level creators with millions of followers earn between $1,000 and $3,000; and the top tier, home to a TikTok elite like D'Amelio, can earn up to $75,000 for a position. However, warned Jones, “it's still very risky. You can't go viral." Would Nathan Apodaca's "Dreams" video have gone viral if he was a paid influencer? All a digital marketer can do is closely monitor what's happening organically on TikTok and hire creators to drive the trend.

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The Federal Trade Commission reportedly oversees these paid music endorsements, but unlike paid brand endorsements, which must be labeled as advertisements, hired music influencers are rarely identified as such. A source told me about the way record companies pay creators: “It's messy and dirty: 'Can you finish tomorrow? We will avenge you.'” The practice is not unlike payola, except that it does not appear to be heavily policed; it inhabits the same obscure mix of marketing and culture that permeates much of TikTok.

Jacob Pace moved from Flighthouse to Pearpop, an influencer marketing platform founded by Guy Oseary, a longtime talent manager, and Cole Mason, a former model, connecting record labels and brands with TikTok creators. Creators with fewer followers can participate in hundreds of different TikTok hashtag challenges listed on Pearpop. In a recent example, #frozenchallenge, the copyright holders of Madonna's 1998 hit "Frozen" are offering cash prizes of up to $1,400 for the most viewed videos made with a mix of the original song, in hopes themselves, to increase the value of copyright. (Oseary also manages Madonna.)

These hashtag challenges can spawn careers in their own right. Stacey Ryan, a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Montreal, exploded onto TikTok last December with an "open verse challenge," in which she sang the first line of the chorus of an unfinished song, "Don't Send Me One message when you're drunk" and invited the creators to contribute verses and "duet" with her. Forty thousand creator videos later, hundreds of millions of people on TikTok heard the hook, prompting her to sign a membership agreement. licensed for seven figures with Island Records, a division of Universal. He released a version of the song that he collaborated on with a creator, Zai1k. Ryan's manager, Nils Gums, founder of Creative House L.A., told me, "The influence he gained through TikTok has allowed us to keep his teachers and their posts."

The morning after his new song was published, Li checked his phone as soon as he woke up. “Heartache” racked up seven thousand views overnight, far surpassing any of her previous videos.

"Wow! That's a lot more than thirty!" her mother exclaimed after Li ran down the stairs, screaming. "I was bouncing off the walls!" Li recalled. It was her first viral moment. The video reached one hundred thousand. views that night and was close to a million within a week.

After going viral once, Li tried to make it happen again during the spring and summer of 2021. What made that particular video so successful with the algorithm? He studied the comments and responded to them. Users were generous, without the sarcasm of Twitter or traces of envy, the green-eyed monster that haunts Instagram. In subsequent videos, Li acted as a relationship coach for her fans, advising them on their own heartaches. “They feel like I do,” he said of his online community. “Thousand me” from all over the world, including many from India and the Philippines.

In August, Li posted a new snippet of music titled "We Didn't Even Go Out", which produced a second viral moment. A few weeks later, he got a call from two young men at Interscope Records in Los Angeles. Sean Lewow and Max Motley, both 24, saw Li's videos on their "For You" feeds, which, like everyone in A&R these days, they rely on to find new talent.

The music industry has always welcomed young people with hustle, and being a Gen Z TikTok native has given Lewow and Motley special status with the millennials they worked for. In addition to their Interscope appearances, Motley and Lewow planned to start their own record label and management company, focusing on the creators of TikTok.

“We had two great conversations,” Lewow said of his connections with Li. "We said to him, 'Hey, when these songs explode on TikTok and you put them on YouTube, you can't monetize them,'" because YouTube pays so little for a stream. They thought "We Didn't Even Date" had potential but needed proper production and introduced Li to Joe Avio, a Los Angeles-based producer. They also suggested that Li "regain the goodwill of the algorithm", as Lewow put it, by showing snippets of the song before releasing the finished song.

(Video) ‘I’m A Savage,’ Teen Who Wants To Be A TikTok Star Tells Dr. Phil

In December 2021, Li posted a few lines from a new song, "Happening Again", about its singular theme, unrequited love. “That song, when I first posted it, wasn't the biggest video I had,” Li told me. "But in the comments, people seemed to be a lot more into this song."

Li was not yet ready for a record deal; the idea of ​​leaving TikTok's bracing confines had little appeal. Lewow and Motley told him about SoundOn, a music distribution service TikTok planned to launch in spring 2022, with an emphasis on its D.I.Y. stars. That sounded perfect.

In the months leading up to the release of her album "Dance Fever" in May 2022, Florence Welch, the songwriter and vocalist of Florence and the Machine, kept hearing about TikTok from her label, Polydor. “What are you doing for TikTok? What are you doing for TikTok? they asked repeatedly, he told me. "And I was like, 'What the hell is going on?'"

It was explained to Welch that if he made a TikTok video it could go viral and that would help his streaming numbers. Welch responded to the hashtag: "Oh I really don't want to go viral. Every time something of mine goes remotely viral, it fills me with dread. Any kind of attention that isn't directly related to work or an album, I don't want it."

For artists of a certain age and temperament (Welch is thirty-six years old and has spoken about how social media has exacerbated his mental health issues), it can be difficult to understand why, having worked long hours in the studio to hone in to record perfectly, it is need to pre-release a video of themselves on iPhone, recorded with lo-fi audio, engaging in an activity that is both natural and memorable. Just a few years ago, most record labels went out of their way to stop music bloggers or mastering engineers from leaking songs before the official release day. (Hip-hop labels have long understood the power of strategic leaks.) These days, if there isn't a viral pre-release video, the song might not even be released.

“My fans, the people who follow me, are not going to believe that I suddenly decided to do TikTok,” Welch told the outlet. Until now, social media would not have been an issue for an artist of Welch's caliber. The label would assign a social media manager to prepare content for their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds. But TikTok's user-generated culture requires the artist to engage with the content to increase its chances of going viral. And unlike Instagram, where artists have control over their image, on TikTok the creators are your collaborators, whether you like it or not.

Digital natives like Charlie Puth, the 31-year-old singer-songwriter who built a fan base on YouTube, thrive on TikTok. Puth shared snippets of his hit "Light Switch" with his fans on the platform as he was writing it. But for other artists, especially those with an established following, TikTok is just one more in a growing list of online marketing tasks that keep them from making and playing music. “That's not what they signed up for,” a young industry executive at a major label told me. "There's a big fight between artists who aren't talk show hosts and don't come up with content ideas every day and those who do." He added, “Some artists want to be trained on TikTok. It's like hiring a personal trainer."

“I don't want to pretend to be someone else,” Sheila Mohebpour, a 27-year-old digital marketing manager at Range Media Partners, one of Los Angeles' top talent agencies, said of working with artists on TikTok. 🇧🇷 "The artist has to pull his own weight." Mohebpour said she doesn't think of what she does as marketing: "It's community building."

The radio call survey traditionally tests the chorus on audiences. But on TikTok any part of a song can go viral. "It's not necessarily the chorus," said Tor Hermansen of production duo Stargate, who, with Mikkel Eriksen, produced several of Rihanna's biggest hits. “It could be the surprising moment that happens after the second chorus. Or a fun random lyrical line.” The lyrics to Lizzo's "About Damn Time", which have inspired over two million creator videos to date, consist of the end of the chorus and the first lines of the second verse: "Okay, it's about time / In a minute I'll I need a sentimental man or woman to cheer me up / Feeling restless, riding around in my Balenci-ussy's / Trying to bring out the fabulous Ultimately, it's the users who will decide.

Ultimately, Welch agreed to make a TikTok video: "I was about to go into another meeting about this release and they're going to ask me why I didn't do something." The video, in which the artist sings part of "My Love", song from the album, became somewhat viral, and "Dance Fever" later debuted at number 7 on the chart.billboardalbum chart Reading viewer feedback, Welch grew to like the TikTok community, "which I found anarchic and fun and weird in a way that I really liked," he told me. He continued to make TikTok videos, although Polydor stopped asking for them.

“I feel like it's a platform where you can be weirder,” Welch said. "If I just want to drink fake blood in a cemetery, TikTok is an environment that would accept that."

Like CD Baby, DistroKid and TuneCore, SoundOn is a music distribution service that gives independent songwriters and artists access to streaming platforms, in exchange for a cut of royalties, while allowing them to retain their copyright. The name refers to the default audio setting for TikTok videos which, unlike YouTube, is always on. Beyond distribution, SoundOn provides its artists with best practices to keep users' attention deeply diverted. This includes staying authentic, finding a niche and staying there, using SoundOn analytics to understand how many people are listening to your music and featuring it in your TikTok videos, and being able to react quickly if any TikTok data shows that your music may be winning. .traction somewhere on the planet.

Some see SoundOn and ByteDance's streaming platform Resso as the emergence of a sort of parallel music industry, which could erode the value of the traditional industry in a way that independent services like TuneCore, which lack the tools for music discovery. TikTok's music and global reach, never could. Barbara Jones of Outshine Talent speculated on ByteDance executives' future plans: "They could say, 'We've got the artists, we've got the fans, we've got distribution, we've got the algorithm, there's no reason why we're not establishing ourselves as a record label with streaming.'” Resso currently operates in India, Indonesia and Brazil, and is, according to a recent article inWall Street Journal, planning to expand to more countries, a fact that Ole Obermann, TikTok's head of music, told me he could neither confirm nor deny. If Resso were available in the US, users would be able to stream music without leaving TikTok.

Obermann, who works from home in Spain, explained on a recent Zoom call how SoundOn helps artists like Katherine Li. “The entrance to the giant coliseum that is TikTok can be a little intimidating for music creators who are still at the beginning of this journey,” he said. “So we are going to build a separate entry that can only be accessed by these unknown and unsigned creators. We keep an eye on them, work with them on their journey” and, he explained, introduce them to influential creators who “match their sensibilities and who could make a video to increase their chances of success.”

SoundOn also matches its artists with brands big and small. Until the arrival of TikTok, advertisers had to pay an expensive sync license to use a well-known song or go with commercial music that the brand itself had commissioned. Now, an advertiser can pay a TikTok creator or a SoundOn musician a relative pittance to use their original music to attract their followers and hope to catch a viral wave on the platform. The ad, in turn, promotes the artist's music. Obermann pointed to SoundOn artist Nicky Youre and his warm, summery song "Sunroof":

put my head out of the sunroof
I'm blasting our favorite songs
I only have one thing in mind

The song first gained popularity on TikTok in late 2021 when smaller brands used it in advertising campaigns. “Then creators with a following stepped in and music won the hockey stick,” said Obermann, meaning streaming numbers rose sharply. As of mid-September 2022, “Sunroof” ranks fourth on thebillboardCaliente 100.

Among the brands that approached TikTok for music to use in ads in spring 2022 was American Eagle, the Gen Z-focused clothing company. Craig Brommers, the company's director of marketing, explained to me that his team was looking for a "back to school anthem" to build on its fall advertising campaign. “And while we have the brand strength and budget to work with most of the biggest stars in music today,” he continued, “there was something in our head that said, 'This Gen Z entrepreneurship is something we need to pursue rather than of just working with Shawn Mendes or someone of that nature.'”

TikTok introduced several of its artists to American Eagle, including Katherine Li. "We were looking for someone who had an instant phone connection," explained Brommers, "who didn't feel made up, someone who felt they had a personal story, whose music was real but also leaning toward optimism." After reviewing SoundOn's listing, Brommers' team decided that "Katherine was perfect for what we were looking for".

Li had less than 400,000 followers at the time, a minuscule number compared to, say, Charli D'Amelio, who currently has nearly 150 million. But the 2020 TikTok that spammed D'Amelio in everyone's "For You" feed is not the 2022 TikTok. As more people have joined the platform, affinity groups have developed, becoming subcultures. There's comedy TikTok, football TikTok, alternative TikTok, cooking TikTok, conspiracy TikTok, and BookTok. What was once just TikTok is now known as Straight TikTok.

“TikTok shows you what you want to see,” Max Bernstein, founder of viral marketing agency Muuser, told me. "So if you're targeting people who like cosplay and manga comics, you're not even going to reach them with a Charli D'Amelio video." From a marketing perspective, a creator with a small but intensely engaged following who can start a trend at least semi-organically in their community may be preferable (and much cheaper) than a creator with a large following like D'Amelio, whose ability to “authentically” start trends diminished as their celebrity grew; now there's a D'Amelio family reality show on Hulu. The snake ate the tail.

“This Gen Z audience is not stupid,” said Brommers, who previously headed marketing for Juul, the e-cigarette company. “They are fully aware that many creators are working with brands. But Gen Z also has a strong shit meter. If a creator is associated with a brand that doesn't make sense, they will report it. And it can get ugly very quickly.

"I'd like to order a large pizza with traditional ingredients that have stood the test of time and two big, risky options that everyone will hate."

Asher Perlman cartoon

copied link

(Video) The TikToker that Had to Kill a Fan

American Eagle asked Li to rewrite some of the lyrics for "Happening Again" to mention the brand. The company also paid for a professionally produced 11-minute music video, filmed in a former high school, in which Li, dressed in fall clothes, and a cast of extras portray her crush.

In late August, American Eagle launched a three-day hashtag challenge, in which Li invited creators to make music videos for her music, wearing her own American Eagle jeans. The winning video would be shown on the Jumbotron in the company's Times Square store, and the winner would receive a $3,000 gift card. Lewow and Motley negotiated the terms of the deal, under which American Eagle paid Li just over $100,000.

When we spoke in early September, Brommers was delighted with the numbers the challenge had produced. One and a half million creator videos used the hashtag #AEJeansSoundOn. “It sounds crazy, but the challenge has yielded over three billion views,” he said, factoring in all the views generated by the creator's videos. "That's a big problem for us." He added: "This is a real boy. We could have gone a superstar route. But this seems extremely effective.”

In the 1984 film "Footloose", Kevin Bacon stars as Ren, a teenager who moves to Bomont, a small God-fearing town that has banned dancing and rock music; Ren convinces the city council to allow an elderly man's dance, reversing the ban. When I asked Brendan Carr, one of four current federal communications commissioners, about his testimony before Congress in July in which he portrayed TikTok as a serious threat to national security, he began by referencing the film: "I'm the guy who Goes into." and says, 'Stop dancing!'”

The F.C.C. It regulates certain types of network hardware that can compromise national security, but TikTok, being made of data, software and math, is outside its jurisdiction. That didn't stop Carr, a Republican commissioner, from calling for the app to be banned from Apple and Google's app stores.

"You can say, 'I don't understand,'" Carr noted. "'What is the national security problem with uploading popular dance videos?' That's just the sheep's clothing. Below that, TikTok really functions as a kind of sophisticated surveillance tool. It collects everything from search and browsing history to keystroke patterns and biometrics, including facial prints and voice prints - that's a lot of data you don't choose to carry." He added: “China has the most sophisticated data operation in the world, which they use to control their own people. Why would we be okay? with private and sensitive data about millions of Americans being brought into this surveillance operation is beyond me." In Carr's worldview, TikTok isn't "Footloose"; it's "The Manchurian Candidate" with a sick beat.

ByteDance disputes these claims, saying through a spokesperson: “It is regrettable that despite meeting with members of our policy team for a briefing on our privacy and security efforts, Commissioner Carr continues to make unsubstantiated claims. about our service, which he knows to be false."

In October 2021, a TikTok employee stated in sworn testimony before Congress that TikTok user data collected in the United States is stored in the United States and Singapore, not China, implying that no one in China has access to These information. But in June 2022, Emily Baker-White, a former Spotify policy manager turned journalist, published a story on BuzzFeed News about the audio leak she reviewed from a September 2021 ByteDance meeting. with Baker-White, it might be hearing a US-based member of TikTok's trust and safety department say, "Everything is seen in China."

In response, TikTok insisted, "We now direct 100% of US user traffic to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure," an Oracle-managed service based in Austin, Texas, "and we continue to work on additional safeguards in the US." peace of mind for our community.”

“The TikTok guarantees were nothing more than gaslighting,” Carr told me, referring to the Baker-White reports. (Baker-White is now inForbes, where he continues to cover ByteDance and TikTok). I mentioned ByteDance's engineering project to hijack TikTok data within the US on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, called Project Texas internally. Additionally, ByteDance has committed to allowing independent auditors access to how the TikTok algorithm works.

“Does that ease your concerns?” I asked.

"No," Carr said.

When I asked Li recently if he was concerned about his TikTok data being misused in any way, he said, "None of my business." We were having dinner at a sushi place in Oakville. Li had just started her second year at university, where she is studying commerce, which she thought would be easier to combine with a music career than medical school.

Although Li's parents told me they were satisfied with American Eagle's payday, there was a difference, at least in their minds, between a career as an artist and one as a brand presenter; Li didn't change medical schools because of this. While her daughter remained at U.T. and got her degree, Maggie Li told me, she would be happy. Accounting, her field, was also Katherine's focus.

At the restaurant, however, Li told me that he might not finish the course, at least not in consecutive years. When he said, "The window of opportunity is now open," I could hear Lewow and Motley's advice.

In late August, Li introduced her music to an audience for the first time at School Night!, an industry showcase in Los Angeles where Billie Eilish played one of her first shows. “Crush(ed)”, an E.P. of six original songs, hit streaming platforms in mid-October, and one, "Never Had a Chance", quickly surpassed ten million streams. Later, Li needed to hire an experienced manager to complement his team of Lewow and Motley, as well as a publicist and tour agent, the kind of support that, in the old days, an artist of Li I's stature would already have. have

"Tourism!" She li said nervously. She put her head down and closed her eyes, dreading the prospect of leaving the TikTok incubator, going on tour and selling tickets to her concerts, which remains the ultimate engagement metric.

In the meantime, he would be posting on TikTok every other day to stay in the goodwill of the algorithm. I mentioned the unchecked box next to one of this year's goals on her dorm list: "Read three books."

"I know!" Li said. “I still have time!”♦

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Juan SeabrookHe has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1989 and became a member of the writing staff in 1993. He has published four books, including his most recent, “The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory.”

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(Video) Mark Adams BEST TikTok Compilation


How do I get big on TikTok? ›

How to Grow Your TikTok Followers
  1. Identify your target audience.
  2. Leverage TikTok trends.
  3. Educate your followers.
  4. Use hashtags effectively.
  5. Cross-promote your videos.
  6. Post on TikTok at the right time.
  7. Create and participate in TikTok challenges.
  8. Engage with other TikTok creators.
29 Jul 2022

How can I make my TikTok successful? ›

Tips for starting a TikTok
  1. Jump on current trends. ...
  2. Use the right hashtags. ...
  3. Boost your account authority. ...
  4. Follow up on your content, and fast! ...
  5. Keep videos short and snappy. ...
  6. Use cross promotion for extra engagement. ...
  7. Know who is on TikTok. ...
  8. Know when to post.

Is it Easy to get TikTok famous? ›

You've probably heard that it's easy to get famous on TikTok. And that's true. But only in comparison to older social networks like Instagram and Facebook. That's because the TikTok algorithm doesn't recommend content based on follower count, making it much easier for new users to rack up views and grow their accounts.

Are TikTok stars paid? ›

TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion active users in the Q3 of 2022 and has earned $1567 million in the same quarter. With the launch of TikTok Business last year, it comes as no surprise that more influencers are earning insane amounts of money on the platform.

Do TikTok stars get paid? ›

Some of TikTok's most popular accounts are also enjoying big profits. Smart TikTokers who capitalize on the app's reach collectively earned over $55.5 million last year, according to Forbes. You can earn up to 4 cents for every 1,000 views on your video.

How does TikTok pay? ›

TikTok does not directly pay creators to produce and upload videos. TikTok does offer funding for creators in the form of the TikTok Creator Fund (more on that above), but payment varies based on factors like the number of video views, the level of engagement, and the authenticity of users engaging with the post.

How much you get paid on TikTok? ›

As for the TikTok Creator Fund, you can earn between 2 and 4 cents for every 1,000 views. This means you might expect $20 to $40 after reaching a million views. Learn more about the TikTok Creator Fund here.

How do I earn money on TikTok? ›

How to make money on TikTok
  1. Join the TikTok Creator Fund.
  2. Sell merch to your fans.
  3. Go live and collect virtual gifts.
  4. Partner with influencers or other brands in the TikTok creator marketplace.
  5. Create in-feed ads with the TikTok ads manager.
  6. Crowdfund projects by collecting donations from fans.
10 Oct 2022

What's the best time to post a TikTok? ›

Best time to post on TikTok in the USA
  • Monday: 6 am,10 am,11 pm.
  • Tuesday: 2 am, 4 am , 9 am.
  • Wednesday: 6 am, 8 am, 11 am.
  • Thursday: 9 am, 12 pm, 7 pm.
  • Friday: 5 am, 1 pm, 3 pm.
  • Saturday: 11 am, 7 pm, 9 pm.
  • Sunday: 7 am, 8 am, 4 pm.
19 Oct 2022

How can I get 1k followers on TikTok? ›

Tips&tricks to get first 1000 followers on TikTok
  1. Customize your profile information.
  2. Use a good video file and editor.
  3. Be passionate, unique, and dedicated.
  4. Make specific, short videos.
  5. Post videos at the right time.
  6. Be regular, active, and respond to comments.
9 May 2022

What time is the best time to post a TikTok? ›

The chances of these best times working wonders for you are relatively good. To sum it up, the best time to post on TikTok is between 6 am to 10 am and 7 pm to 11 pm, whereas the best days to post on TikTok are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

How many followers do I need on TikTok to be famous? ›

What Is TikTok Famous? TikTok famous is when you have more than 500 thousand followers to engage with. Of all those influencers who have a lot of TikTok success with many followers, some may have become Tiktok famous overnight.

How many TikTok followers do you need to go viral? ›

Anyone can blow up on TikTok, whether they have 2 followers or 200K. It's not by accident. The app's algorithm provides an equal opportunity to all users to go viral and build an audience over time.

Why am I not getting famous on TikTok? ›

Consistently Post High-Quality Content. Like most social media platforms, posting content consistently is key to getting more followers on TikTok. It's best to post at least once per day, every single day.

How much does TikTok pay for 1 like? ›

It's estimated that TikTok pays around 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views on a video. That's all thanks to the TikTok Creator Fund, a program where they committed $300 million to pay creators who use the platform and apply for the program.

Who is the richest Tiktoker? ›

Here is a look at some of the richest TikTok stars and how they make their money.
  1. Will Smith. Net worth: $300 million. ...
  2. Charli D'Amelio. Net worth: $20 million. ...
  3. Addison Rae. Net worth: $15 million. ...
  4. Dixie D'Amelio. Net worth: $10 million. ...
  5. Kimberly Loaiza. Net worth: $8 million. ...
  6. Spencer Polanco Knight. ...
  7. Zach King. ...
  8. Bella Poarch.
21 Oct 2022

How much money do you get for 1000 followers on TikTok? ›

TikTok begins paying you starting from 1500 followers, so as your subscribers increase, they will pay you more money. It is estimated that Tik Tok pays around US$ 100 for every 10,000 followers for live shows. But one of the easiest and most effective ways to get money from TikTok is through sponsors.

Who's the highest paid Ticktocker? ›

1. Charlie D'Amelio. The 18-year-old takes the crown with TikTok's largest following. Charlie D'Amelio rose to fame with her dance clips and has since secured some impressive brand partnerships, ranging from Invisalign, Morphe cosmetics, Dunkin' Donuts, and her own Hulu Series, The D'Amelio Show.

How much money do you get for 10000 followers on TikTok? ›

For example, US-based users with over 10,000 followers can make up to $5,000 per post, while those in China with over 1 million followers can earn up to $50,000 per post.

How much does TikTok pay for 500k views? ›

How much does 500k views on TikTok pay? You will get $15 for 500,000 views. TikTok pays its content creators around $0.02 – $0.04 per every 1,000 views. However, if you combine brand deals and partnerships, you can also get paid between $500 – $1000 per sponsored post depending on your engagement.

Who owns TikTok? ›

TikTok, known in China as Douyin (Chinese: 抖音; pinyin: Dǒuyīn), is a short-form video hosting service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. It hosts a variety of user-submitted videos, from content such as pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes and dance, with durations from 15 seconds to ten minutes.

Does TikTok pay monthly? ›

They pay out once a month. The bad news is that the payout is very low. You earn between 2 and 4 cents per 1,000 views, according to this source. So that means a 1,000,000-viewed video would earn you between $20 and $40.

Is 20k followers a lot on TikTok? ›

Around 30 percent of TikTok influencers had between 5,000 and 20,000 followers in the examined period.

Is 1000 views on TikTok good? ›

Videos that get between 1000–3000 views mean you have a mid-tier account. Videos that get 10,000+ views mean you have a “head” account. Viewing completion. This is one of the most important factors.

How does TikTok with 1k followers make money? ›

Making Money on TikTok: 7 Ways to Start Today
  1. Become a TikTok Influencer. ...
  2. Grow and Sell TikTok Accounts. ...
  3. Publish Sponsored Posts. ...
  4. Sell Your Own Products. ...
  5. Collect Donations. ...
  6. Become a TikTok Consultant. ...
  7. Start A TikTok Talent Management Agency.
18 Jan 2022

How much is 500 TikTok coins? ›

Given this rate, the prices are as follows: 100 coins – $1.29. 500 coins – $6.45. 1,000 coins – $12.9.

What happens when you get 1000 followers on TikTok? ›

You Gain The Ability to Live Stream

As you may be aware, live streaming allows creators to engage with their audience in real time. Once you have 1,000 followers on TikTok, you unlock the LIVE tool, which includes features such as live events, donations, gifts, Q&A, and going live with other creators.

How many views should my first TikTok get? ›

An average like to watch ratio is around 4% or 4 likes to 100 views. Anything above that ratio is considered above average or good. Mid-Tier accounts are considered an average of around 1000-3000 views, you can calculate base on this average.

How many TikToks should I post a day? ›

How often you post can also affect how your content is distributed on the platform (TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times per day). To find a posting schedule that will please both the TikTok algorithm and your fans, keep a close eye on your performance until you find a frequency that works.

Can a TikTok video go viral later? ›

TikTok videos can go viral days, even weeks, after they've been posted. So, there's a good chance that with a consistent posting cadence, one of your videos will land a spot on the For You Page.

Can I buy TikTok followers? ›

Currently, offers five top-standard packages to buy real TikTok followers. The lowest packages start at $7 and give 250 TikTok followers and the highest package costs around $80, which gives 5000 TikTok followers. Apart from this, you can also buy TikTok likes, views, and shares for your videos.

How long does it take to grow on TikTok? ›

With daily work and consistency, you can build an audience in less than 24 months. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. By now, it's no secret that TikTok is the platform of choice for creators looking to build an audience in 2022.

How do I get 10k on TikTok? ›

Proven strategies to get 10k followers on TikTok include revamping your profile, posting high-quality videos, posting at the right time, using hashtags correctly, adding a call to action to your videos, joining trends, and using trending music on your videos.

How do you go viral on TikTok 2022? ›

10 Best TikTok Tips and Tricks
  1. Stitch top-performing or relevant videos.
  2. Use the green screen effect.
  3. Leverage trending audio.
  4. Try vlog-style videos.
  5. Incorporate both niche and trending hashtags.
  6. Reply to comments with video.
  7. Add value with 'How To' TikToks.
  8. Leave a CTA in your description and/or comments.
26 Sept 2022

Do hashtags work on TikTok? ›

Do hashtags work on TikTok? They certainly do! Just like on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, hashtags help users share and find content and join conversations about topics that interest them. TikTok users can build communities around hashtags, too.

How many hashtags should I use on TikTok? ›

If you use too many different hashtags, the AI will find it difficult or impossible to categorize your content. As a result, there is a risk that your video will not play well or will rarely be suggested to viewers. Three to four hashtags for a video are recommended.

How many followers do you need to be a TikTok star? ›

What Is TikTok Famous? TikTok famous is when you have more than 500 thousand followers to engage with. Of all those influencers who have a lot of TikTok success with many followers, some may have become Tiktok famous overnight.

How much do stars cost on TikTok? ›

The TikTok stars can charge as much as a half million dollars for a single post, though most generally earn an average of between $100,000 to $250,00 per post, more than double the rates from that previous list in 2020.

How much do TikTok stars make per video? ›

It's estimated that TikTok pays around 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views on a video. That's all thanks to the TikTok Creator Fund, a program where they committed $300 million to pay creators who use the platform and apply for the program. Creators receive their funds based on a combination of factors: Number of views.

Does TikTok pay you for 1000 followers? ›

To make money on TikTok directly you must be 18 years of age or older, have more than 10,000 followers, and have at least 100,000 views over the last 30 days. You can then apply to the TikTok Creator Fund in the app.

How much does TikTok pay per 1000 view? ›

TikTok pays you for views using their Creator Fund(if you qualify). While the company doesn't fully disclose how much they pay creators, many have managed to calculate what the average rate is. The best estimate is that you can make 2-4 cents per 1,000 views.

How much does TikTok pay you if you have 10000 followers? ›

TikTok begins paying you starting from 1500 followers, so as your subscribers increase, they will pay you more money. It is estimated that Tik Tok pays around US$ 100 for every 10,000 followers for live shows. But one of the easiest and most effective ways to get money from TikTok is through sponsors.

What does TikTok pay for likes? ›

On average, TikTok pays anywhere between two to four cents per 1000 views on your video. The pay scale may vary from one user to another depending on multiple factors. However, TikTok has not disclosed these factors publicly. Due to this, every user may earn different on their videos.

How often should I post on TikTok to get famous? ›

But reaching a wide audience on TikTok is not just a matter of when you post. How often you post can also affect how your content is distributed on the platform (TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times per day).

Who is the richest TikToker? ›

Here is a look at some of the richest TikTok stars and how they make their money.
  1. Will Smith. Net worth: $300 million. ...
  2. Charli D'Amelio. Net worth: $20 million. ...
  3. Addison Rae. Net worth: $15 million. ...
  4. Dixie D'Amelio. Net worth: $10 million. ...
  5. Kimberly Loaiza. Net worth: $8 million. ...
  6. Spencer Polanco Knight. ...
  7. Zach King. ...
  8. Bella Poarch.
21 Oct 2022

Do TikTokers get paid for gifts? ›

Each diamond is worth 5 cents. So, the Drama Queen will be worth $125. But TikTok retains 50% of what you earn, so when you cash in your 2,500 Diamonds, TikTok will pay you $62.50. At the moment, TikTok requires you to make a minimum amount of $100 for a withdrawal and not take more than $1,000 a day.

How much do TikTok pay per 100 views? ›

TikTok pays between 2 and 4 cents per every 1,000 views. So, if you have a million views, you can expect to make somewhere between $40 and $50 (or around £35 to £43). This is just an estimate, though, as TikTok pays creators based on a variety of factors, including: Geographic location.

Do TikTokers get paid for likes on live? ›

The Creator Fund isn't the only in-app monetization tool for TikTok creators. Some TikTokers also make money by receiving virtual "gifts" during livestreams, which can be converted into cash.

How much does 100000 TikTok followers make? ›

The averages suggest that you can most likely generate $200 to $1000 monthly with 100K followers and $1000 to $5000 monthly with 1M + followers on the platform. Moreover, it is possible to increase these earnings by selling merchandise, providing affiliate links, and promoting your other social media accounts.


1. Tik Tok In Real Life! 😱
(Shiloh & Bros)
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