In a recent TikTok from Halsey, she opens up about the realities of being a musician and how controlling a record label can be. She vented her frustrations on TikTok, explaining to fans that although she has a song she wants to release, her record label refuses until they can produce a viral moment on the app. Although many musicians use TikTok to promote new songs on the app, which has proved to be quite helpful, Halsey is an established singer who already has fans and whose music does well, so many found it confusing that she would need to have a viral moment before releasing her song.
Fans agreed with this frustration, with one commenting: “why does it need to go viral on TikTok? There was a time when TikTok wasn’t a thing. Not every song needs to be TikTok famous?” one fan commented. In a follow-up video, the singer brings proof for her fans to see as a PR strategy is explained by a person off-camera. This is not the first example of the music industry being interested in TikTok as a marketing strategy. You might remember when Doja Cat released her hit song “Say So.” A TikToker created a dance to the song, which soon went viral, and was used by Doja Cat in her music video and later performed the dance at the Grammy Awards.
According to Business Insider, trending songs from TikTok “end up charting on the Billboard 100 or Spotify Viral 50. And 67% of the app’s users are more likely to seek out songs on music-streaming services after hearing them on TikTok, according to a November study conducted for TikTok by the music-analytics company MRC Data.” So, even though TikTok proves to help songs do better, one might wonder why Halsey would have to go viral before being able to release a song. Although the app can help new and budding artists, Halsey already has a popular name within the industry, so many found it confusing that she would have to do this.
Halsey discussed the issue on Twitter as well, writing “Talked to my label tonight after my TikTok tantrum. They said “wow the TikTok is going really strong!” I was like ok cool so can I release my song now? They said, “we’ll see!” Fans felt her frustration and did their best to support the singer. “Keep fighting Halsey, there are a lot of people in your position and they all need a voice. The industry has [way] too much control over artists and their art, in many different ways. We’re not oblivious to the issues. Tell us where we can help.” So, although having a music career looks fun and might not seem stressful to us, Halsey reminds us about the realities of the industry and how difficult it can be. Hopefully, it will all get worked out and Halsey can release the song soon.