It might already feel like the video sharing social media platform TikTok has been around forever, but it actually only became available worldwide in 2018. Tiktok has its roots in China, established by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, it launched as Douyin (literally “shaking sound”) in Mainland China in 2016.
In 2017, ByteDance decided to expand beyond China with TikTok, a platform marketed under the same brand with area-specific content and similar but not identical features. Although Douyin and TikTok can be seen as two distinct platforms, something that unites them is that they’re both invaluable tools for artists and musicians to get exposure and reach the right people, whether it be potential fans or industry professionals who can offer recording or publishing deals. Nowadays, short video platforms are a key source of new music for listeners to discover. If their first impressions of your music from these 15-second previews are good, listeners are often then motivated to search for this music on their streaming platform of choice.
In 2021, TikTok attracted 1 billion active monthly users from 150 different countries, a growth of 45% on the previous year. The average age range of users may be one of the youngest (most popular with 16-25 year olds) among the top social media platforms, but these users are also some of the most enthusiastic and committed; the average user spent 21.5 hours per month on TikTok in 2020 compared with 17.7 hours on Facebook and 7.5 on Instagram.
The age range of the average user of Douyin, 35% of the total number of users, is a little higher (21-30 years old). In October 2020, the South China Morning Post reported that the average Douyin user spent 72.9 minutes per day on the app, that’s around 36 hours monthly.
Once described as a “lip-syncing app for teens,” TikTok’s interactive short-video content and cunning algorithms have caught the attention of a wider audience, in particular music fans that can reuse any audio clips that have been posted on the platform in their own videos. Your videos can gain traction when they appear in users’ personalised “For You” (#FYP page) feeds, this is how many artists like Lil Nas X, Ava Max and Joji have gone viral and hit the big time. Douyin also features a similar “recommended for you” feed to guide users to tailored content based on their viewing history. Using trending hashtags, participating in hashtag challenges and posting engaging content at times when your audience is most active are just a few of the many steps you can take to get your videos featured on For You feeds and grow your artist profile on TikTok.
Once you have your TikTok account up and running, why not get your content in front of China’s 600 million daily active users? Through Douyin, you can tap into a slice of China’s booming music streaming industry while resting assured that your music is safe there due to nationwide tightening of copyright laws. During the month of January, you can get one of your short videos distributed to Douyin’s music library for free when you buy any distribution product from Musicinfo, in addition to automatic distribution to China’s second largest short- video app Kuaishou. With our distribution, your song will be made available to Douyin users to select when creating their own videos on the platform. What better way to start your year than getting your music featured in user-generated content on one of the most popular social media platforms in China?
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