How TikTok has shaped the 2023 music charts

Central Cee performs at the Reading Music Festival, England, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.
Central Cee performs at the Reading Music Festival, England, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Copyright AP Photo
By Jonny Walfisz
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TikTok has released its annual report on the influence of the wildly popular social media platform on the music industry.

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In 2023, the majority of number one singles in the UK and US were connected to TikTok engagement.

The Year on TikTok Music Report tracks the effect of its platform on the music industry. This year, 13 of the 16 UK Number Ones were paired with viral moments on the platform. Similarly, 13 of the 18 songs to top the US’s Billboard Hot 100 also followed trends driven by TikTok.

In the UK, Lewis Capaldi was one of the biggest features this year with two songs ‘Pointless’ and ‘Wish You the Best’ from his album ‘Vertigo’ topping the charts. Capaldi has described himself as the “King of TikTok” and has amassed 8.4 million followers since joining the platform.

Lewis Capaldi performs during the Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Saturday, June 24, 2023
Lewis Capaldi performs during the Glastonbury Festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Saturday, June 24, 2023AP Photo

The biggest UK artists by TikTok community are, after Capaldi, Sam Smith, Central Cee, Anne Marie, Ed Sheeran, Prinz, KSI, the Rolling Stones, Pink Pantheress and Calvin Harris.

It’s representative of many of the year’s trends in music. Central Cee’s hit song ‘Sprinter’ with grime artist Dave was the first number one single for the British rapper and the third for Dave. ‘Sprinter’ broke records for UK rap as the longest-running number one song in the genre’s history.

‘Sprinter’ was the year’s biggest UK song for the platform. It's been used as the background in more than 1 million video creations and Central Cee has promoted the song heavily through TikTok himself. One video he posted with his girlfriend soundtracked by the song garnered nearly 60 million views.

The return of the Rolling Stones with ‘Hackney Diamonds’, their first album in 18 years also coincided with the legendary band joining the platform this year, quickly becoming the eighth biggest musician account in the UK. On the other side of the spectrum, 18-year-old Prinz has seen a massive growth in popularity through his social media presence without any reliance on an established brand.

Globally, the biggest artist on TikTok is Mexican singer Kim Loaiza. With over 80 million followers on the platform, Loaiza is the seventh-most followed user of anyone on TikTok. The 25-year-old first started posting make-up videos on YouTube in 2016 before beginning a musical career in 2019.

The majority of the 10 most followed artists on TikTok are female and show the large influence K-Pop has over contemporary music worldwide. After Loaiza, the top 10 most followed musician accounts on the platform are Selena Gomez, BLACKPINK, BTS, Feid, ENHYPEN, Karol G, Le Sserafim, NewJeans, and Shakira.

The most popular song on the platform in 2023 globally was K-Pop group FIFTY FIFTY’s sped-up version of the song ‘Cupid’. A large part of its popularity was the result of its use as a backing track for viral videos across the platform.

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