TikTok Artist Accounts Have Been Surging, But Still Pale In Comparison to Instagram and YouTube — According to the Latest Data

tiktok for artists
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tiktok for artists
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How big is TikTok for artists? A new report has a data-supported answer to this question and a number of related queries. Photo Credit: Igor Omilaev

With the Universal Music-TikTok licensing showdown in full swing, just how big is the short-form app for artists? An upcoming analysis is shedding light on where the platform stands in relation to Instagram and YouTube.

In preliminary data from Chartmetric shared with DMN, TikTok now counts 17.2 billion cumulative artist followers as of 2023’s end. The platform is also continuing to grow rapidly when it comes to industry-specific promotional potential.

That’s hardly surprising. Interestingly, however, the figure (which climbed from 13.8 billion at the top of the year) remains well beneath both YouTube’s overall artist subscribers (26.4 billion at 2023’s conclusion, up 2.4 billion on the year) and especially Instagram’s artist followers (49.5 billion, up 6.2 billion), according to the resource.

Bearing in mind these points, it’s telling that the highly controversial TikTok arguably remains the most effective of the three in enabling artists to ride viral trends en route to securing massive fanbases. And while Meta’s Reels and YouTube Shorts are working to close the gap in this regard – both boast billions of daily views in their own right, and Shorts added music charts last year – they don’t seem to pack the same promotional punch as TikTok at present.

Of course, also significant on this front is the makeup of TikTok’s artist-followers userbase. Though it’s widely known that TikTok users skew young overall, Chartmetric has indicated that north of 71% of the app’s artist followers are under the age of 24 – well above the respective shares behind YouTube and Instagram. Moreover, a full 63% of TikTok artist followers are female, the report shows, against 56% for Instagram and 45% for YouTube.

The San Mateo-headquartered data company likewise tracked fresh artist profiles during 2023, when the United States, predictably, led the pack with about 68,404 debuting acts, per the document. Brazil is said to have followed with 23,933, against nearly 16,000 for third-ranked India, 13,364 for fourth-positioned Germany, and 11,397 for fifth-placed Mexico.

In a further testament to the quick-expanding and streaming-driven music spaces of Brazil, India, and Mexico, each nation accounted for a sizable portion of new artist followers across Instagram and YouTube for 2023, according to the report. (Brazil and Mexico factored heavily into TikTok’s new artist followers, but the ByteDance-developed app has long been banned in India.)

To be sure, Mexico (14.5%) and Brazil (10.8%) trailed the U.S. by share of new artist followers on TikTok during 2023. Regarding new artist followers on Instagram, Brazil (15%) finished below the U.S. (22.6%) and topped third-placed India (7.7%), with Indonesia (6.4%) in fourth and Mexico (4.2%) in fifth.

Somewhat surprisingly, given the massive number of on-demand streams attributable to India for 2023 as well as the strong YouTube viewership of many Indian artists’ releases, fans in the nation made up only 6% of new artist subscriptions on YouTube last year, according to the analysis.

The YouTube list placed the U.S. first with 19.4% and Brazil second with 13.8%, followed by Mexico (6.1%), the mentioned India (6%), and the Philippines (3.4%).