January 30, 2023 Guest Blogger

Finding New Music Through Social Media Influencers

The way we listen to and share music has changed drastically over decades. Starting from radio and word of mouth to now music apps, there is a new tool that has emerged to help share new tunes: social media influencers. Not only can social media provide a way to share and promote music, it also inspires others to create content with that music included.

From App to App

TikTok, a video based social media platform, has been the epicenter for music growth, since 2019. A big reason for this is because of the content posted on TikTok by revered social media influencers. Videos are typically supplemented by audio, typically a short clip of music or someone speaking. When a video goes viral, so does the sound, simply because of how many times people listen to that clip. Curiosity blooms within listeners of the viral audio, and they quickly open Spotify or Apple Music to listen to the rest of the song. Before you know it, that song is “from TikTok” as many might describe it as. A popular example of this pattern is the indie artist Steve Lacy. Lacy’s song “Bad Habit” went viral through the TikTok app because social media influencers of all popularity used it. At his concerts, you can hear the audience belt the chorus because they know that clip from TikTok. You don’t even need to be a fan of Steve Lacy in particular, but you just need to be on the right side of TikTok.

Social Media Influencers’ Impact

More specifically, social media influencers have expanded the types of deals they do. Record labels and individual artists will pay content creators with large followings to use their music in videos. Usually when social media influencers promote a product on their page, they use certain hashtags or there is a “paid sponsorship” label. With music deals, you would most likely have no idea that they’re getting paid to use that song. TikTok in particular has become such a popular way to know certain songs that there is a Sirius XM Radio channel called “TikTok” that plays songs that are popular on the app. 

More Music than Ever

Music genres are a way of categorizing and describing the types of music we listen to like Pop, Country, Metal, and more. Although social media platforms and social media influencers popularize songs, there is also the value in discovering new genres. Social media users are finding music they would have never sought out otherwise, which can be exciting. Furthermore, platforms have introduced a new way to discuss music and share opinions on what they hear or what is popular at the moment. Discourse around music brings people from different communities together, which is what music has been doing for decades as well. 

Not only can users become popular music artists in a matter of days, but famous social media influencers that you know and love are able to translate their success. Charli D’amelio and Dixie D’amelio are each famous influencers that now have music careers. The success of creators has opened up opportunities for them to explore additional career paths. As the GRAMMY’s approach, artists that have gained popularity from social media influencers have been nominated in multiple categories. Steve Lacy is nominated for a GRAMMY in three categories. It is no secret that we are in a new age of music sharing, and it is interesting to see how it will continue to develop.

Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Olivia Sullivan.

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