We’re all familiar with the tale of how TikTok helped ‘Old Town Road’ become a big hit in its initial version. Now there’s a new case study from the buzzy social app.
Billboard has the story of how a 2015 track called ‘Dissolve’ by artist Absofacto (aka Jonathan Visger) blew up on TikTok early in 2019, eventually sending it into the top 30 of the Alternative Songs chart earlier this month. According to label Atlantic Records, around 1.3m TikTok videos are using the song, with a meme that saw people pretending to fall through their mirrors. And no, this wasn’t a viral created by the label: in fact, Visger says he traced it back to a single TikTok user, a Marine, who’d seen the mirror trick used for another song, and thought it would work better with ‘Dissolve’.
The article does a good job of explaining how the label DID get involved, capitalising on the TikTok meme to re-service the track to radio. That’s the key thing: as much as music-industry conferences like to chew on the question of ‘how to go viral on TikTok’, it’s more useful to think of this as ‘what to do elsewhere to capitalise when your song goes viral on TikTok without you having anything to do with it’.