TikTok announced the launch of the #NewMusic search hub on Friday (May 12) to provide a focal point for app users who are looking to find fresh releases.
In a statement, Paul Hourican, TikTok’s global head of music operations, called the hub “a global discovery platform that celebrates and champions artists of all genres, from up-and-coming talent to international superstars.”
“TikTok is already a destination for artists who want to preview their newest works, and for music fans looking to discover new music, and this new feature will give artists a new way to connect with our global community,” Hourican added. “It presents an exciting opportunity to inspire artist creativity, spark connections, and foster a diverse musical landscape that embraces the unique talents and passions of artists and fans worldwide.”
TikTok has been one of the key drivers of music discovery since at least 2019. This is especially true among the younger demographic. MIDiA Research’s Q3 2022 consumer survey found that YouTube is the most common place that listeners find new tunes (52% of respondents), followed by the radio (42%). But among Gen Z consumers, TikTok was the second most popular source of music discovery (38%, as compared to 16% in the overall population).
However, as TikTok has become increasingly popular and bombarded with marketing efforts — not just by record labels, but also by deep-pocketed brands and movie studios — artists and their teams have found it increasingly challenging to get noticed on the app. Viral moments “are becoming fewer and farther in between, because the platform is so saturated,” a digital marketer told Billboard last year. And even if an artist lucks into that viral moment, it doesn’t necessarily translate into streaming consumption the way it once did.
“You can do your best to manufacture something on [TikTok], but I haven’t seen too many people be super successful,” Cassie Petrey, CEO of the social media company and management firm Crowd Surf, said last year. “There’s an illusion of control people think they have over TikTok because we can pay influencers and push more video usage.”
The #NewMusic hub will give marketing teams a new avenue to try to reach the app’s billion-plus users.