Music Business

For musicians, TikTok is more important than YouTube – Here’s why

The runaway success of TikTok has been highlighted in a recent report, which reveals that TikTok has overtaken YouTube for user time spent on the app.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

TikTok’s users now spend more time each month watching content than YouTube users, according to a report from app analytics firm App Annie. In the US, ByteDance’s app first overtook YouTube in August last year, and as of June 2021, its users watched over 24 hours of content per month, compared with 22 hours and 40 minutes on YouTube.

The difference is even more apparent in the UK: TikTok overtook YouTube in May last year, and users there now reportedly watch almost 26 hours of content a month, compared to less than 16 on YouTube.

App Annie’s report’s reliance on Android user data may not accurately represent mobile users as a whole, but then again, it easily could. TikTok has witnessed a meteoric rise in recent years, and its influence as a music discovery platform has grown with it. Virtually every story about a new viral music sensation begins with a TikTok video in 2021. YouTube only enters the conversation later, after budgets and executives get involved.

In this Music Biz update, host James Shotwell shares insights from App Annie’s report to explain why artists hoping to maximize the value of their time should focus on TikTok instead of YouTube. Such a suggestion goes against over a decade of conventional music marketing thinking, but it’s a necessary change to meet the evolving demands of audiences. Video is dead! Long live video.

MORE: TikTok has passed YouTube in average watch time

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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