One thing that can be annoying about TikTok, and how its users approach participatory content, is that you often end up hearing the same song over and over and over again as you scroll through your “For You” feed.
Tracks that catch on get re-used throughout the app, which provides different takes, and makes it easier for everyone to contribute to trends (as it reduces the need for originality). But sometimes, hearing the same few bars over and over does make me swipe just that little bit faster.
But I’m likely in the minority, as many of these songs go on to become big hits, and today, TikTok has published its first ever “Songs of the Summer” listing to celebrate those earworms that you’ve also had playing in your head at random times throughout the day.
There’s no doubt some familiar track names are on the list, and if they weren’t playing in your head before, they probably are now. Apologies.
It’s an interesting overview of the latest music trends in the app, and with TikTok becoming a critical consideration for record labels, as they work to uncover the next hit, it’s also largely reflective of the tracks of the day, that are feeding into radio airplay.
If you listen to the radio. I guess, these days, most people are probably finding more new music online, which is why TikTok is such a powerful vehicle for artist promotion, with YouTube also playing a key role.
And on both, it's participation that really fuels that shift. One of the key developments of the TikTok era of social media is that we’ve gone from static memes to active trends, with popular tracks essentially becoming templates for a form of inspired creative expression.
As such, the bands that are able to lean into these trends are the ones that are winning out, which is also a key note for your own TikTok strategy, and understanding the participatory nature of the app.
TikTok’s also published a global listing of the top summer hits:
Each track has inspired millions of views in the app, and it’s interesting to note the latest trends, and to consider how each triggers expanded TikTok engagement.