Music business decisions are increasingly driven by innovative insights and the discovery of new trends, artists, and opportunities to engage audiences. As such, music creators and their teams can really benefit from a diverse analytical toolkit to help them better understand their performance across all kinds of music-related digital platforms, including TikTok.
Today, TikTok’s importance for the music industry, especially when it comes to breaking new artists, can’t be overstated. And that’s why artist success on the social video-sharing platform is vital to understanding artist success across other streaming and social platforms and music industry verticals.
Virality and music have been baked into TikTok’s DNA from the start. The app, which was developed by Beijing-based technology firm ByteDance, first hit the Chinese market in September 2016. Originally called A.me, ByteDance rebranded the mobile platform as Douyin (抖音), which is roughly translated to “shaking sound” or “vibrating sound” in English.
Within a year of its release, Douyin had 100M+ users with roughly 1B videos viewed each day, making it the No. 2 most downloaded app on China’s Apple store. In September 2017, ByteDance took Douyin global, launching the international version as TikTok.
While the look and feel of the Chinese and international versions are pretty similar, the two apps actually run on separate servers to comply with Chinese censorship guidelines. In effect, Douyin is only available in China, and TikTok is only available outside of China. But whatever content differences there may be, the addictiveness is truly universal.
Within a year of TikTok’s initial international launch, ByteDance acquired lip sync video app musical.ly for an estimated $1 billion, merging its technology and 100 million active users into the TikTok app. By the end of 2018, ByteDance’s $75 billion valuation made it the world’s most valuable private startup.
As if that weren’t enough of a success story, TikTok now has an estimated 800 million active users worldwide and around 30 million of those are in the United States, where the app was downloaded roughly 120 million times — about a tenth of global downloads for the app.
Remarkably, according to some statistics, 66 percent of global users are under 30, and American users have spent more than $23.1 million on TikTok’s virtual currency.
Part of what has made the TikTok app so engaging for users around the world, beyond its AI-powered personalizations, is advanced music integrations. Users can easily choose background tracks to soundtrack their brief video creations, making TikTok an impressive marketing platform for aspiring influencers, artists, and songwriters alike.
On a scale from video streaming to social media, TikTok lies somewhere between YouTube and Instagram, so understanding TikTok analytics depends upon what kind of account you have and whether you’re looking to use the platform for video insights, music insights, or potentially both.
TikTok analytics are only available for Pro accounts, but fortunately, switching over is easy. In your privacy and settings, you can click “Manage my account” and then “Switch to Pro Account” at the bottom. From there, just choose your preferred account category, enter your phone number, and the “Analytics” option in your account should be activated. Now, you can access your personal TikTok analytics dashboard, which offers you a variety of important insights. It’s a lot like switching over to an Instagram Creator or Business account.
Your dashboard should be separated into three main categories: overview, content, and followers. By clicking through each tab, you’ll be able to see videos views, profile views, follower count, and follow demographics in terms of gender and geography.
Of course, this will only give you insight into your own TikTok account. If you want to see how your profile stacks up against other profiles, platforms like Pentos, Cloutmeter, and several others offer engagement, comment, and likes metrics for profiles and hashtags. Those analytics can be very important for connecting with the right influencer or optimizing a marketing campaign.
For artists and their teams, having detailed insights at the video and profile levels makes TikTok analytics an absolutely essential part of any music industry toolkit in today’s increasingly data-driven world.
TikTok has offered the digital marketplace a unique merging of viral music and viral videos. Sometimes, a track piggybacks on the viral success of a video, sometimes a video piggybacks on the viral success of a track, and oftentimes, the relationship is mutual.
With our Weekly Top Tracks chart, you can break down what tracks are performing well this week based on the amount of videos being shared that have added those tracks. For a longer view of TikTok success, our All Time Top Tracks chart shows the total video counts that the top performing tracks have received.
If you want to track success at the video level, our Top Trending Videos chart ranks the top performing videos daily, showing what tracks are associated with each video, along with the number of likes, comments, and peak positions of charting videos. All TikTok chart data is based off of TikTok’s Trending videos (not all-time highs), which is what is more useful in understanding what’s shown in TikTok’s influential “For You” section.
Beyond just understanding the current chart positions of TikTok tracks and TikTok videos, you can drill deeper into a track’s TikTok success by looking at historical charts, rank trends, and velocity.
Our unique 7-day velocity metric can show you not just who is already at the top but who is rising the fastest and who might be at the top next week, next month, or next year. That can give you a better idea of what might be the next viral success.
Importantly, you’ll also be able to see what users are posting videos that tend to trend, so you can start building out your own TikTok curator list to help grow the digital presence of your music.
With Artist Pages for the 2M+ artists in our database, compare and contrast individual performance on Apple Music and various other platforms across the digital music landscape.
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