The Halsey TikTok trend complaining about record labels is a plant

“I’ve already pitched this exact idea to labels and artist management and got it approved,” said Charlie, a social media manager who’s worked with artists from four different music labels and asked. not to use his last name for reasons of confidentiality. told BuzzFeed News via text message. “It’s often harder to get the client to actually take action on publishing the posts because they sometimes think it’s cheesy.”

However sincere the complaints about pressure from record companies, Halsey’s message about not wanting to go viral ended up going viral. When the artist complained that “it’s all marketing,” extensive industry research explored by NPR, Rolling Stone and Billboard confirmed they were right. Music is a core part of TikTok, and music industry marketers are aware that the app has 1 billion users, and therefore 1 billion potential new fans of the music they are trying to promote.

George Howard, associate professor of music business and management at Berklee College of Music, told BuzzFeed News that artists’ complaints about having to create TikToks reminded him of what happened decades ago. , when artists were initially not thrilled about making music videos for MTV.

“There were a lot of artists like REM who said, No, I’m not going to make videos. It’s humiliating, and I didn’t sign up for it“, Howard said. “But there were other artists, like Duran Duran, who said, OK, I’ll do it, hold my beer.”

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