December 16, 2021

TikTok has changed the music industry. What’s next?

When looking to connect with audiences on social, music discovery is an increasingly popular and emotive marketing opportunity for brands. 

It won’t come as news to most marketers that Gen-Z audiences primarily discover new music through social media – we have TikTok to thank for this. Data from Spotify shows social media is far and away the leading discovery source, followed by recommendations from friends (of course) and from other streaming services.

Music has become integral to Gen Z’s social media language and identity. Just look at how the likes of Lil Nas X have come to prominence through their music being used in TikTok memes.

TikTok is now often used as an important platform to help bolster music marketing campaigns. And now similar formats like Meta’s Reels on Instagram and Facebook provide similar opportunities in more places.

Another form social recommendation takes is the curation of playlists. Spotify’s Culture Next 2021 report explains how curation of music is “much more than just aggregation; it’s become creation, pure and simple — and young creators are tapping its generative power as a form of artistic expression.”

Spotify recommends branded playlists as a way of connecting with Gen-Z. This can be done using QR codes in the physical world to open playlists directly on your audience’s phones. And if you’re working with influencers or celebrities, why not ask them to curate a playlist of songs your audience will love?

While understandably skewed towards the benefits of Spotify in particular, the report is well worth reading to gain a good understanding of how young audiences connect with music.

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