16 September 2021: TikTok’s UK music operations chief Paul Hourican has highlighted the platform’s surprising synergies with physical record shops in a rousing keynote address at the Entertainment Retailers Association’s AGM.

Just under three years after launch, TikTok has over 100m monthly users in Europe and the same again in the US. As a measure of its influence, Hourican said that so far in 2021 92 songs with trends or partnerships on TikTok in Europe have hit their local charts, and 13 of these songs have reached #1 in their market.

Yet despite the preconception of the platform as being focused on lipsynching and dance videos, said Hourican, its appeal is far broader and highlighted two examples of how it works for the independent retail sector.

Hourican’s own first job was in the 12” department of the former Virgin Megastore in London’s Oxford Street.

“Where I started was the record store,” he said. “I know this matters to you, it certainly matters to me and it matters to our industry. It would be remiss of me not to mention one of the stores who are quite literally smashing it on TikTok. Banquet Records down in Kingston have used the platform brilliantly.” - (see link here)

Significantly, he said, it’s not just individual stores that are using TikTok to great effect. As we’ve seen we’re all about communities and connecting people, and this has been brought to life through the joy of physical product, the joy of records and your campaign Record Store Day. It’s so great to see our community sharing their love of vinyl and the buzz of buying a new record. - (see link here)


Hourican highlighted the role of TikTok in supporting new artists:

“Liv Harland is great example of a new artist using TikTok to build her fanbase and supercharge her music career. She began using TikTok to ‘digitally busk’ from all over the north. She worked hard to build an online fanbase and promoted her busking sessions on TikTok and on other social platforms. We worked with her to tell the story and she’s been featured in The Times on the BBC and has got herself a label partner and is working on new material. Another compelling story of how great talent and pure creativity is finding a home with us.(see link here)

“There’s also the brilliant Pink Pantheress. You may have seen that she was crowned TikTok’s breakout artist of the summer here in the UK, having experienced record growth in video creations using her music. Her single ‘Just for Me’ features in over 1 million creations - a huge achievement for an artist who was uploading tracks from her uni dorm rooms.

“As she said in a recent BBC interview, she’s used TikTok as a testbed for her tracks: “I post a snippet of something, and if people like it I'll go and record a full version,” she said. She rams home the fact that TikTok can bring communities and fans together and I quote again – “The algorithm is crazy on TikTok, you can post a video and you can have zero followers and it can do well.” Quite simply anyone can take off on TikTok and connect with a fanbase and community anywhere around the world.”

For the future, said Hourican, “We want our role to grow in the UK music industry and in the markets we’re working in across Europe and beyond. We want to be a good partner, to be value add and contribute to the ecosystem that keeps our business going. From nurturing new talent, supporting established acts, being a home for campaigns, for creativity, to test, to learn and to connect those with a passion for music - whatever that music may be - around the world. “



For further information please contact Steve Redmond – steve@eraltd.org

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