Canadian artists on TikTok: This is the place to be. In fact, you GOTTA be there.

TikTok is becoming increasingly important to the ecosystem of the recorded music industry. If you want a better chance of being discovered and having a hit, you gotta be on TikTok. This story from Nick Krewen in the Toronto Star underscores everything. And yes, I’m quoted.

“Holy cow patties and a side of pickles!”

That was the reaction of Robyn Ottolini to the fan frenzy that ensued following her first use of TikTok, the Beijing-based mobile app that allows users to create short videos lasting anywhere from 15 seconds to three minutes.

Ottolini, an Uxbridge-based country music singer and songwriter, posted a 15-second video snippet of her song “F150” — a breakup song that prominently mentions the model of a Ford truck as its point of reference — and then her world exploded.

“I posted my video and then I started noticing people starting to use my sound,” says Ottolini, referring to the trend when a TikTok viewer “borrows” a song to use as a soundtrack to either dance or lip sync for their own video post.

“Overnight, 1,000 people used my sound. Then I looked at my Spotify, there was an exponential increase in my streams — 100,000 streams in a day!”

Ottolini noticed similar results on her other platforms, including Apple Music, as her TikTok fan base rocketed to 35,000 people.

But that was just the beginning: ultimately, 10 labels reached out to sign her.

“That’s how the labels found me: they were like, ‘Who is this girl who is getting insane amounts of streams out of nowhere?’”

Keep reading.

And then there’s this from today’s Music Ally Bulletin:

TikTok says it helps 80% of its users discover new music

“It’s not just Twitch that is commissioning research to show how marvellous it is for the music industry. TikTok is doing the same. Yesterday, it published the results of a study it conducted across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain about how its users interact with music.

“According to TikTok, 80% of them say ‘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. Other data points from the research: 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.

“’Our community often research, stream, and buy songs they hear while browsing the app,’ said its head of music operations UK Paul Hourican.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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