Exploring how TikTok is changing the music industry for brands, artists and audiences

A Europe-wide quantitative study helped TikTok to better understand how their audiences interact with music on the platform and how this impacts the music industry.

People looking at smartphone
People looking at smartphone


How it started

With a global reach across 150+ countries and ranked as one of the most downloaded apps across the world in 2020, TikTok has seen unprecedented levels of growth. Central to the TikTok experience is music. As such, TikTok Europe wanted to explore the overall perception and value of music on platform engagement, content creation, and music discovery and consumption.


How we inspired change

Human8 ran an online survey in 2021 with N=4,000 people across five markets (i.e., the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain), looking at:

  • whether TikTok fuels music discovery amongst users;
  • what immediate actions and thoughts follow the discovery; and
  • more broadly, how that impacts their engagement with the platform and wider content in the future.

The research looked at both users and creators, deep diving into what role music plays in the content-creation process and how they look for sound to fuel creativity.


How it lives on

80% of those on TikTok say that they discover new music on the platform and that it is their number #1 place for music discovery – more than other digital platforms, streaming services and even friends! The impact of TikTok on the music industry is therefore profound. Audiences are discovering new songs, artists and sound-tracking trends, and that success lives off the platform, as tracks popularised on TikTok storm to the top of charts.



“The research shows that what starts on TikTok has the power to transcend the platform. Our community often research, stream, and buy songs they hear while browsing the app. This opens up new possibilities for the music industry as a whole and creates a new paradigm for sharing, creating and discovering artists and their music. Ultimately, sound is the hashtag for a new creative language. This presents a unique opportunity for brands to leverage this and increase ad recall in their content by ensuring their selected sound lines up with their visuals.”

Paul Hourican
Global head of Music Operations, TikTok

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