Influencer marketing in the music industry

Influencer marketing in the music industry

In recent years, the music industry has witnessed a transformative shift with the rise of influencer marketing. This dynamic approach to promotion has proven to be a game-changer for musicians, offering an effective way to connect with a broader audience and forge enduring connections. Social media influencers, once confined to lifestyle and fashion niches, have now become instrumental in shaping music trends and influencing the tastes of millions.

Influencer Marketing to reach a wider audience and create lasting connections

Ever wondered how some artists take their music to new heights of success? Well, the secret might not be in their tunes, but in their marketing tune!

young influencers preparing camera to start streaming

Genuine Connections

Influencer marketing has become a shining light for musicians who want to spread the word about their music. It’s not just about big followings; it’s about those special individuals who’ve built real connections with their audience. The impact of teaming up with influencers in the music industry is nothing short of amazing.

By partnering with the right influencers, their music becomes a natural part of a trusted circle, reaching listeners who are already inclined to appreciate their genre.

It’s not just about getting their music out; it’s about reaching the right ears – the ones most likely to become biggest fans.

Extra Layers of Creativity

Influencers aren’t just numbers; they’re creative souls. When a musician teams up with them, they’re not just promoting their music; they’re tapping into their creativity. Whether it’s an impromptu jam in an Instagram story or a TikTok dance challenge featuring their latest track, these collaborations make their music feel authentic and creative.


Increasing role of social media influencers in shaping music trends.

The increasing role of social media influencers in shaping music trends is transforming the music industry.

As influencers hold power to guide the preferences and tastes of their engaged audiences, they not only introduce new music but also have the ability to create trends and launch artists to the spotlight.  They have redefined how music is discovered, produced, and promoted, encouraging a move towards independent and DIY music production.

As they challenge the traditional gatekeepers, such as record labels, they are empowering  a new generation of musicians to take control of their careers. They are changing the game in the music industry, highlighting the value of authenticity, engaging directly with fans, and creative promotional activities.

What’s a Music Influencer?

A music influencer relates to any content creator who integrates music into their content or engages in the promotion, review, or discussion of topics within the music industry. These influencers are not necessarily high-profile musicians; in reality, the majority are not.

These influencers are key marketing assets. They shape their audience’s music preferences and buying choices. They can make a less-known song go viral in no time or help an artist climb the charts.

Artists whose careers took a turn with the help of content creators:

Roddy Ricch

Roddy Ricch’s track ‘The Box’ gained TikTok virality when the app’s top dancers crafted a dance routine for it. British Vogue reports a staggering 16 billion videos have been created using this song.

This transformed the artist from a rising rapper to a star dominating the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Top 40 charts. Today, Roddy Ricch shows no signs of slowing down!

StaySolidRocky's 'Party Girl'

Take the case of StaySolidRocky’s ‘Party Girl’—a perfect illustration. When the Virginia rapper initially teased the song, it didn’t go far with its initial release. However, a few months later, when a dance crafted by TikTokker @ansleysparkmann gained traction, streams started pouring in.

As a result “Party Girl” not only secured a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 84 but continues to rise. Rocky confessed he “didn’t even know what a TikTok was” until recently. Now, with two million TikToks and a record deal under his belt, we’re sure he now knows.

The Best Social Media Platforms

As seen in the examples above, Social Media has played a key role when it comes to skyrocketing an artist’s success.

Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch have become key in shaping music trends and taking artists to the spotlight. Let’s see which platforms work best for music influencer marketing.

The explosive rise of TikTok has had a profound impact on music discovery.

TikTok’s algorithm has created a realistic opportunity for creators of any scale to achieve virality on the platform. Serving as a central hub for Generation Z, TikTok proves to be an ideal space for the music industry to connect with a younger audience that predominantly favors music influencers over other content types.

With its short-form videos and engaging challenges, TikTok has become a breeding ground for viral music trends. Users, ranging from ordinary individuals to influencers, create content featuring snippets of songs, turning them into catchy, widely recognized tunes. This platform’s ability to make songs viral overnight has made it a powerhouse for emerging and established artists alike.

New generation of influencers and content creators
content creator


As a visual-centric platform, Instagram provides musicians with a space to share not only their music but also their lifestyles. Artists use Instagram to connect with fans on a personal level, offering glimpses into their creative process, daily lives, and behind-the-scenes moments. IGTV allows for longer-form content, such as music videos or exclusive interviews, enhancing the overall fan experience.

Similar to TikTok, Instagram boasts an extensive library of music tracks available for users to incorporate into their Stories and Reels. This feature has emerged as a highly effective method for content creators to captivate their audiences and introduce them to emerging artists. Moreover, given Instagram’s current focus on promoting Reel content, integrating music into short-form videos can significantly enhance the discoverability of your content.


YouTube is still big in terms of music consumption, with countless users turning to the platform for official music videos, lyric videos, and live performances. The accessibility and global reach of YouTube contribute significantly to an artist’s visibility. Additionally, the platform has given rise to independent musicians who can showcase their talent without the traditional gatekeepers.

youtube logo
Twitch screen on mobile phone


While primarily known as a platform for gaming content, Twitch has expanded into the music turf. Musicians use Twitch to live-stream performances, engage with fans through Q&A sessions, and even collaborate with other creators. The live and interactive nature of Twitch fosters a sense of community, allowing artists to connect with their audience in real-time.

Twitch’s popularity with musicians took off when the pandemic paused all in-person concerts and events. As a result, many took to the streaming platform to host virtual events, hold Q&As, and share their latest releases. 

But music industry professionals also use Twitch as a way to escape their day job and do some gaming. Artists like Post Malone and T-Pain are regulars on the platform and have leveraged it as a way to reach a broader audience.

Artists who conquered their dreams using the Power of Social Media


A beautiful example of how social media platforms can launch an artist’s career is the case of Marshmello. This enigmatic DJ and producer gained immense popularity by utilizing platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to build anticipation and engage with fans. By sharing behind-the-scenes footage, teasers, and interacting with followers, Marshmello created a sense of mystery and excitement around his brand, leading to a massive following and numerous chart-topping hits.

Collectively, these social media platforms have democratized music promotion, enabling artists to reach diverse audiences without solely relying on traditional channels. The growing influence of content creators on these platforms signifies a shift in how music is discovered, consumed, and shared, placing the power of influence directly into the hands of both emerging and established musicians.

Lil Nas

One of our favorite stories is how Lil Nas went from Twitter to the Grammys!

All started on Twitter. Memes and music links, that’s all it took. His meme game was so strong that he stopped dropping Soundcloud links and focused on creating memeable content.

“I’d post a funny meme and get 2,000 retweets. Then I’d post a song and get 10” – Lil Nas X.

And we all know the song that did it for him – “Old Town Road”. He crafted “Old Town Road” with the specific intent to be memeable, catchy, and funny. He went viral. His memes went viral. His song went viral. And then came the Billboard controversy – got him more attention, more fame.

Only 5 months earlier, he was a broke college dropout. Now, he’s a global sensation.

The Best Content for Music Influencer Marketing


Duets on TikTok provide users with the opportunity to create collaborative videos, presenting a side-by-side display with another content creator. These joint efforts have become synonymous with some of the platform's most amusing and heartwarming moments.

For the music industry, leveraging Duets is an excellent strategy for raising awareness about a new release, as it facilitates the creation of shareable content that encourages follower engagement. It also serves as a delightful way for fans to become co-stars, showcasing their talent alongside the featured artist.

In a significant case, Stacey Ryan devised an open verse challenge for her track “Don’t Text Me,” leading to a flood of duets from various artists on the platform. It felt like every artist on the app contributed their own interpretations of her song.

Ultimately, Stacey chose @zai1k to be prominently featured in the official release. This decision played a major role in  the success of the song, marking a turning point in their careers.


In 2018, rapper Drake joined forces with gaming sensation Ninja for a Fortnite session, breaking records for the highest viewership on an individual Twitch stream.

This collaboration highlighted the significant crossover between the music and gaming industries, showcasing the potential for a massive audience when two worlds unite.

Drake’s partnership with Ninja marked just the start of his ventures.

The rapper has since continued collaborating with social media influencers, notably featuring 23 creators in a music video for his latest album. In the lighthearted video titled “Fallen,” beauty influencers play the roles of Drake’s 23 wives, receiving individual shoutouts from the rapper and having their Instagram handles displayed at the end of the video.

This exposure contributed to the video’s success with more than 18 million views on YouTube.

Willow Smith & Tyler Cole

For a considerable span, TikTok was immersed in the resonating tunes of "Meet Me At Our Spot" by The Anxiety, a duo comprising Willow Smith and Tyler Cole.

This track claimed the coveted title of TikTok’s 2021 song of the summer, captivating creators from various backgrounds who infused their unique interpretations into the musical phenomenon.


TikTok dances, seen by billions, have catapulted lesser-known artists to fame.

While not for every brand, collaborating with dance-savvy creators can boost your music or product strategically.

In this article, you’ll find incredible examples of dancers that became viral thanks to TikTok and the NPC Trend.

Lip Syncing

TikTok creators gaining massive views and engagement through lip syncing is another trend.

With minimal effort, the catchy tune and a likable creator can create viral moments. This extends beyond music to lip syncing movie/TV dialogues or any words for playful fun.

Nostalgia Magic: Retro Hits Brought back by Social Media and Content Creators

We couldn’t leave out the appeal of second chances. And how the revival of classic hits given a new life by influencers brings a touch of magic to the music scene.

Or how Sophie Ellis-Bextor is back on top of the charts after 20 years with Murder on the Dancefloor.

In 2001, the song reached No 2. And it is here again – thanks to the hit film Saltburn and the power of Gen-Z and TikTok.

One Saltburn TikTok trend shows rich people are dancing through their mansions to ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’

@dddelulu im sorry but i had to do this trend #saltburn #christmasparty #nyeparty #salburnhouse #fyp ♬ Murder On The Dancefloor – Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Fleetwood Mac

But that’s not the only old classic that has found its way back into the spotlight. Thanks to a viral TikTok video, Fleetwood Mac’s hit “Dreams” got an unexpected revival and has entered the Top 10 on Billboard’s streaming songs chart. 

“We love this!” – Fleetwood Mac’s reaction to the TikTok video.

It all happened when the Idaho Falls resident Nathan Apodaca was going to work on a regular day when his vehicle broke down. The video of him skateboarding down the street, sipping cranberry juice, and lip syncing to “Dreams” quickly went viral, earning 16.1 million US streams in a week!

Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks also posted their own versions of the video, with Nicks singing along to herself while lacing up roller skates.

TikTok capitalized on the trend by making a TV commercial from the original video and its knockoffs, which ran during Major League Baseball playoffs .


In conclusion, the fusion of influencer marketing and the music industry is reshaping how artists connect with their audience. Genuine connections formed through influencer partnerships offer a unique way for musicians to access trusted circles, reaching audiences predisposed to appreciate their genre.

These collaborations bring an additional layer of creativity, making music promotion authentic and inventive. As a result, Influencers not only introduce new music but also redefine how it is discovered, produced, and promoted.

Essentially, influencer marketing has become vital when it comes to shaping the modern music landscape, emphasizing authenticity, direct engagement with fans, and bringing innovative promotional strategies.


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