Here’s who and what makes Tik Tok tick!

By Bryan Durham - June 25, 2019

And how the popularity of the medium is driving music consumption

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Tik Tok “stars” are quickly becoming the first and last word in ensuring that songs get maximum reach in an already crowded music marketplace that vies for every single view.


Here’s who and what makes Tik Tok tick!

Formerly two separate apps, and Tik Tok merged to become a single entity called Tik Tok after being bought by ByteDance for close to $1billion in 2017.

The idea behind the app was to get “musers” ( users) to lip sync to their favourite songs, something that continues to this day. users could record 15-second to 1-minute videos in one or multiple shots, lip-syncing to sounds or comedy.

Today, it’s the world’s most valuable “unicorn” — a term meaning a startup worth more than $1 billion.


Maddie Ziegler, who appears in almost all Sia videos now, was an early muser, after her time on Dance Moms.

Here’s who and what makes Tik Tok tick!

Social media influencer and singer Jacob Sartorius promoted his single Sweatshirt on


Here’s who and what makes Tik Tok tick!
  • Mr Faisu – 22.3 million fans
  • Jannat Zubair – 18.6 million fans
  • Riyaz Aly – 14.5 million fans
  • Avneet Kaur – 12.7 million fans
  • Awez Darbar – 12.5 million fans
  • Hasnain Khan – 11.8 million fans
  • Garima Chaurasia – 11.7 million fans
  • Manjull Khattar – 11.4 million fans
  • Adnaan Shaikh – 10.0 million fans
  • Aashika Bhatia – 8.9 million fans

That’s right, while India’s film stars and singing superstars have verified Tik Tok accounts, they aren’t Tik Tok royalty.


Time and again, the app in each avatar became the most downloaded app on smartphones for some time. Viral trends now begin on the app, Instagram influencers have had to share space with tiktok stars, with songs (mostly long forgotten ‘catalogue’ songs) rising to fame.
Also, regular celebrities now flock to it thanks to its popularity.

It doesn’t just offer an opportunity for artists and music labels a chance to have musers discover and engage with new as well as catalogue (formerly released) music, it also offers the industry a good indicator of what’s working in new music.

If you ever find a formerly unheard song appearing on the top of Shazam or streaming platform charts, you can be dead sure it’s trending on tiktok for some reason.

Here’s who and what makes Tik Tok tick!

Case in point, the top 10 songs on the Shazam charts in India at the moment — a mix of known and unknown songs — are all there because they are trending on tiktok.

Think about this, more than 150 million users consume music online directly from streaming performs, but close to 300 million Indian users are on tiktok and Byte Dance’s family of apps.


Byte Dance, the owner of tiktok, has just poached a former senior Facebook executive to further its plans of world domination. But they’ve not just stopped there. They’re reportedly working on building a smartphone that comes with its built-in library of apps.

And if industry insiders are to be believed, it’s on course to starting a streaming platform with free and premium tiers.

From what we hear, Byte Dance is eyeing India as a key market for its music app. The company has been in discussion with local music labels T Series and Times Music for rights and is in talks with other labels as well.

Surprisingly, when asked about tiktok’s partnership with music labels last month, Todd Schefflin, tiktok’s head of global music business development, told WSJ that music is part of the app’s “creative DNA” but it is “ultimately for short video creation and viewing, not a product for music consumption.”


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