This Is How the Majority of Aussies Discovered New Music in 2021

In 2021, TikTok drew millions of users into an endless scroll of videos spanning categories like cooking, comedy and dance challenges, but it also proved to be a powerful tool for artists to have their music heard by a huge, untapped market.

In its Australia’s Year On TikTok 2021 Music Report, the app relayed that approximately 430 songs surpassed one billion video views as TikTok sounds in 2021, up threefold from 2020.

Meanwhile, over 175 songs that trended on TikTok in 2021 charted on the US Billboard Hot 100, cementing TikTok’s reign as the “top source of music discovery for fans of all backgrounds”.

A study conducted across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in June, about how its users interact with music, revealed that 80% of TikTok users said that “they discover new music on the platform and that it is the number #1 place for music discovery – more than other digital platforms, streaming services and friends”.

It added that 56% of that discovery is happening in its famous For You feed and that after listening to new music on TikTok, 47% add tracks to their favourites; 46% view the artists’ profiles, and 43% follow them on the app.

As for the top song on TikTok for 2021? It was Australia’s very own Masked Wolf with Astronaut In The Ocean with Ollie Wards, Director of Music, TikTok Australia and New Zealand, enthusing, “For the second year running we are beyond chuffed to have an artist from our region give us TikTok’s top global song – Sydney’s Masked Wolf with Astronaut In The Ocean in 2021. There’s also been the incredible success of The Kid LAROI Stay this year.

“With so much music being discovered on TikTok and artists being exported to global success, we can’t wait to support Australian and Kiwi artists into 2022”

Other Aussie artists who fared well thanks to the social media platform included Sia, BoxBoy, Iggy Azalea, Kim Dracula and Inoxia, who all saw a significant increase in followers over the course of the year.

And it’s not just new tracks and artists that find themselves enjoying bountiful success thanks to TikTok, with songs that have been out of the charts for decades also finding popularity with a whole new generation of music lovers (remember the Fleetwood Mac Dreams resurgence of 2020 thanks to @420doggface208 and his skateboard?).

Some artists even write songs that directly reference TikTok trends in the hope that it will help it gain steam on the app.

Promotional deals between music marketers and social media influencers have also become a common way for artists, and TikTok creators to earn money through the platform, with some users apparently earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single video where they promote an artist’s track and the artist themselves then earning thanks to the large number of people who will go on to stream their work.

So, while the platform might be to blame for countless hours you’ve lost staring at a screen, it’s likely also to thank for some of your favourite songs that got you through another weird and wonderful year.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.