Explained

How TikTok Hit Songs Predict Radio Hits

By Editorial Staff

Let me ask you a question. Do you ever turn on the radio and instantly recognize the song that’s playing? Chances are, that song’s big on TikTok! In an age of virality and streaming, it’s no surprise that the incredibly popular music-based app, TikTok, is setting the trends when it comes to songs. In fact, it’s almost as if TikTok hit songs predict which songs will be major radio hits – and it’s no coincidence.

TikTok seems to be almost linked to commercial success for artists, singles, albums, etc. But what’s the reason behind this? In this article, we’ll decipher the secrets of TikTok songs going beyond viral. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how and why TikTok is influencing the world of radio and music in general.

1. Popular TikTok Songs Currently on the Radio

Before we get into the article, here are some examples of current popular TikTok songs that are on both TikTok and the radio.

SongArtistNumber of TikTok VideosStream Count On Spotify
SavageMegan Thee Stallion29.1M128.9M
Say SoDoja Cat20.4M475.2M
SupalonelyBENEE12.2M302.6M
RoxanneArizona Zervas2.5M797.3M
LalalaY2K & bbno$2.6M611.9M

2. What Makes a TikTok Song Go Viral?

The first step to a TikTok song making its way to general popularity and radio success is, you guessed it, going viral on TikTok itself.

While it may seem like these songs go viral by chance, there’s actually a reason why they do. Some of the most popular TikTok hit songs become popular because of…

  • Stand out lines. This is kind of a broad example, but it makes sense. If a song has a line that pops out or relates to someone or something, it can be used in various situations. It could be a funny line, a well-written lyric, basically anything that inspires someone to take action and make a video.
  • Catchiness. Yes, the reason why most songs become well-known in general. But it makes sense – if you can’t get a song out of your head and just want to sing and dance along to it, TikTok is the perfect app for that! The catchiness then causes a chain reaction in videos being made, and boom, the song’s a TikTok success.
  • Memes. This is somewhat similar to having a stand out line in a song, but this mostly applies to weird yet fun songs. Take the famous “Hit or Miss” meme for example. The song was a silly diss track at first, but then became insanely popular through the meme it was used in. It now has over 100 million views on YouTube, and it’s all thanks to the memes.
  • Dances. Whether the song has a dance in the music video or simply inspires content creators to make one, this is actually a key reason why many TikTok songs get big. It’s one way to inspire other users to jump on the trend and make videos doing the dance. As the amount of dance videos grows, the song will become even more recognizable, and therefore more likely to go viral.
@therock

First step. First rep. Repeat.Fresh #ProjectRock in my bio to motivate you #ThroughTheWork💪🔥

♬ ROCKSTAR – DaBaby, Roddy Ricch

After reading this, you can see the connections of how these reasons relate to some of the biggest TikTok hit songs that are trending at the moment. If a song has one or more of these, it’s safe to say that it will get at least some recognition on TikTok.

3. How TikTok Sets the Trends for the Radio and Charts

Now it’s time to get into the big reason why TikTok seems to predict which songs get played on the radio and reach the charts.

Viral TikTok hits seem to be played on the radio pretty much because of the fact that they’re viral. Streaming numbers on platforms, especially TikTok, are the first thing that networks look for when deciding which songs to choose (radio stations, the Billboard charts, etc.).

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it, as the Internet and social media are a big part of our world. If a song is trending online, the radio stations have to play it and keep up with the trends so that they don’t fall behind. In fact, there are even radio stations specifically for TikTok hit songs!

@addisonre

my mom thinks i’m keeping this in my drafts

♬ Savage – Megan Thee Stallion

TikTok is practically designed to make hits. If a song has what it takes to become popular (catchiness, stand out lines, etc.), then it will get big on TikTok, become a hit, and then played on the radio. It’s almost like a set process, but it’s just how streaming on the Internet works.

TikTok not only focuses on new songs but can also bring older songs back to life as well. If you go on certain artists’ pages on apps such as Spotify, their number one hit might not even be their newest single – it’s the hit that has the most TikTok uses. It’s safe to say that TikTok is the app that sets the trends, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon.

4. Artists Made Big Because of TikTok

As many musical artists out there have been made big due to the internet and apps such as YouTube, nowadays, there are tons who became big because of TikTok! It’s almost as if TikTok is key to new musicians reaching stardom. Below is a list of some artists who became successful because of TikTok. Have you heard of them?

@dixiedamelio

♬ Be Happy – Dixie D’Amelio

  1. Jennifer Smestad. She very recently was signed to a record label, all because of her song “Half The Man” growing in popularity on TikTok. The song has been used nearly 80,000 times on the app.
  2. Doja Cat. Doja Cat really became a known name due to TikTok. Her latest album, “Hot Pink”, has three songs that are commonly used on the app. Her album rose up to 19 on the US Billboard 100 charts and has stayed in the US Top 50 for months!  
  3. Lil Nas X. His song “Old Town Road” was one of the first global TikTok hits and really brought him into the spotlight. Nowadays, he’s a notable rapper that nearly everyone knows, even winning song of the year for “Old Town Road” at the MTV awards. The song and its remix both have over 500,000 uses on the app.
  4. Ashnikko. She was an underground artist who became known due to her song “Stupid” becoming increasingly popular on the app. It’s been used over 400,000 times on TikTok and has millions of streams on Spotify to date.
  5. Arizona Zervas. He’s another breakout artist. His song “Roxanne” nearly instantly became a viral hit, charting number 34 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart – all because of TikTok. His song has been used over two million times on the app!

This article was written by Rianon Gladura

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