How TikTok Took Over Music

‘If You Can Get Famous Easily, You’re Gonna Do It’: How TikTok Took Over Music


In just 12 months, the video app TikTok has transformed from a curio to a service mentioned in the same breath as YouTube

Earlier this year, Leanne Bailey spent an entire day making 100 cookies for a birthday party. She was paid $300 for her efforts. 

Later that week, she went on the app TikTok, which allows users to make 15-second videos set to music, and created a pair of cookie-decorating posts under the name TheBaileyBakery. She netted $1,000. “She’s a 40-plus-year-old lady from Kentucky, she has four kids, and TikTok videos are helping to financially support her,” says Devain Doolaramani, an intern at Arista Records who also manages Bailey — along with over 20 TikTok users who reach a combined 70 million in audience — on the side. Bailey alone has over 4 million fans. “We get 10 to 15 inquiries a day from artists and labels wanting to pay us to use their song,” Doolaramani says.