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I Paid TikTok To Promote My Music. Was It Worth It

I Paid TikTok To Promote My Music. Was It Worth It?

Are you an aspiring musician looking to gain popularity and exposure? If so, you may have heard about TikTok's ability to make songs go viral and turn artists into overnight sensations. The platform's algorithm has been responsible for catapulting many artists, such as Lil Nas X, to stardom with their massive hits. As a result, people have started viewing TikTok as a one-way ticket to fame, believing that all it takes is one viral clip with their music, and they'll become millionaires with millions of followers and streams. Recognizing this perception, TikTok saw a business opportunity and introduced TikTok Promote in January 2022.

Curious about how effective this feature is, I decided to give it a try despite my skepticism. I prepared a low-effort TikTok video to promote my amateurish song called "Upset at You" and paid $300 to boost it through TikTok Promote. My expectations were not very high, as I had done some research that suggested the Promote feature was not worth the investment. Nevertheless, I went ahead with the experiment to see just how bad the return on investment would be.

Before using the Promote feature, I created five low-effort TikTok videos without any promotion. As expected, each video received about 300 views, which had no impact on my Spotify streams. It was clear that these TikToks did not attract organic viewers, so I decided to test the Promote feature to see if paying for views would make a difference.

I chose three TikToks to promote. The first one introduced me as a beginner songwriter, the second mentioned a program I used for vocals, and the third was a simple lyric video. I invested 100inpromotingeachofthesevideos,bringingmytotalspendto100 in promoting each of these videos, bringing my total spend to 300.

As I monitored the progress, I noticed that the view and click numbers were inflated. There were rumors that TikTok Promote's analytics were padded with bot accounts to make it appear more successful. Nevertheless, my promoted TikToks received around 30k views each, with a total of 1,528 clicks.

Unfortunately, not all the feedback was positive. I received a wave of hate comments, mostly from teenagers, criticizing my amateurish songwriting and vocals. However, there were also supportive comments from people who saw potential in my work. While the hate comments didn't faze me, they did make me realize that my music might not resonate with TikTok's teenage demographic.

Ultimately, the real test was whether the promotion translated into increased Spotify streams. From the 1,528 clicks on my TikTok videos, I estimated that only around 15 of them might have actually clicked on my song's Spotify link. With a conservative estimate of 0.005perstream,IearnedatotalofthreecentsfromsixSpotifystreams.Thiswasaminusculereturnonmy0.005 per stream, I earned a total of three cents from six Spotify streams. This was a minuscule return on my 300 investment.

In hindsight, I realized that I could have put that $300 to better use, investing in better equipment, marketing, or even a nice dinner. It became apparent that TikTok Promote was not the magic ticket to fame and success that some believed it to be. If you want your music to blow up on TikTok, it's best to let it happen organically without paying a hefty fee to a social media company.


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  1. Is TikTok Promote worth the investment for musicians?
  2. Can TikTok make an unknown artist famous overnight?
  3. How much does TikTok Promote cost?
  4. Are TikTok Promote analytics inflated with bot accounts?
  5. How effective is TikTok in driving Spotify streams?
  6. Should artists rely on organic growth on TikTok instead of paying for promotion?