Concerns over Chinese surveillance and inappropriate content have led to a crescendo of voices supporting a ban on TikTok in the United States—which would then follow bans on the app’s use on government-issued devices in the U.S. and several other countries as well as a total ban in India. Although it’s far from clear how the U.S. government could implement such a ban, the possibility is leading many industries to contemplate how it would affect their businesses. Near the top of that list is the music industry.
After six years of hyper-rapid growth, at least one source shows that TikTok currently has the third-largest user numbers of any social network, behind Facebook and Instagram (both owned by Meta) and ahead of Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat. Although entertainment is the largest content category of TikTok videos by a wide margin, it’s not known how much of that is specifically related to music. That’s in part because the categories within “entertainment” are blurry on TikTok: many TikTok stars get famous through their lip-syncs, dance routines, or other videos set to someone else’s music, while a much smaller number of people are artists who distribute or even promote their own music on the app.
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