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The Reels algorithm

A little over a year ago, we showed you how Instagram’s algorithm works. We’re really speaking of multiple algorithms, to be precise, and one of them is responsible for the popular TikTok clone known as Instagram Reels. Today, we want to go deeper into it and show you how you can send positive signals to this algorithm and thus increase the chances of your videos being shown to as many people as possible.

Reach new fans using Reels

The algorithm is obviously responsible for deciding who sees the Reels and who doesn’t. While in the Feed you will see Reels from people you follow, the Reels and Explore tab will show content from users that you don’t follow. That’s the place where you get a chance to reach new people. And that’s exactly the purpose for which Reels should primarily be used, to entertain and to win potential new fans. With Stories and Feed Posts, on the other hand, you are primarily addressing your existing followers.

So, let us now show you the criteria by which the algorithm decides which Reels are shown and which are not.

Relevance

The algorithm notes what content users watch and like and then tries to use Reels to suggest similar content. The content of a Reel will be assessed based on the hashtags used but also on an analysis of the video and the sounds used.

Topicality

Short videos are often also short-lived. Because of that, the algorithm prefers new Reels as much as possible. This, in turn, means that creators have to regularly deliver new content.

Interactions

The algorithm analyzes both the way in which users interact with the content as well as how they interact with other users. You don’t even have to necessarily follow someone in order for interactions to occur that the algorithm will pick up on.

Popularity

If you already have an engaged follower base and regularly get lots of likes, shares, etc., the chances of your Reels being shown to more people will also increase. The chances that you go viral without some previous reach, is lower here than it is on TikTok.

So, to sum up, one could say that entertainment value, topicality, and relevance are most rewarded.

Content for the algorithm

Here are some things you should keep in mind to stimulate the algorithm:

  • As we’ve said, the algorithms conducts an image analysis. You should therefore make sure you have good video quality. On top of that, the algorithm likes seeing Instagram’s effects and filters being used in the content.
  • Even though Reels are a copy of TikTok, you shouldn’t just repost your TikTok videos. The algorithm will spot this immediately due to the watermark and will show the clips significantly less.
  • As previously mentioned, the right hashtags will help the Reels be shown to an interested audience. Up to 30 hashtags are possible, but only 3-5 are recommended.
  • The algorithm likes it when you use audio that is currently trending. So, for musicians, it may be worth using songs that are not your own from time to time.
  • Again, interactions are vital, so you shouldn’t focus on Reels alone, but also on other features on Insta such as Feed posts and Stories.
  • As always, it is worth keeping an eye on the analytics to find out which type of posts are especially well-received and what time is best to reach as the most people with your Reels.

Analyze your fanbase

Artists will often speak of their fans or their fanbase as if they were one homogenous group. But this only applies to the rarest cases, and the more fans you have, the less likely it does. Your fans differ in many aspects: age, gender, interests, income, buying behavior, place of origin, and so on. That’s why it’s well worth delving into this data and figuring out: Who even are my fans?

Targeted marketing

Of course, you would be doing this out of tangible self-interest, as well. Only if you actually know your fans will you also know what you can sell to them, which channels to use, and with which content you can do this. This way, you can put your marketing budget, which is always too small anyway, to much more targeted use than if you were working with wrong assumptions. But before you can start analyzing your fanbase, you have to first make a clear distinction between the real fans and the rest. Not every follower on social media or every listener on Spotify is automatically a fan (yet).

Fan data is only a few clicks away

While in the past, you could really only know very little about your fans, things have become much easier in the age of data capitalism. With manageable effort, you can actually find out quite a bit, ranging from demographic data (age, place of origin, gender, marital status, income, education, etc.) all the way to buying behavior and even more personal characteristics such as values, hobbies, and other interests. Once you have gathered the info, you can much better judge how you can reach these fans, even though, admittedly, you will have to work with certain stereotypes for specific population groups.

But how do you even get this info? Well, a good portion of it can be accessed anytime directly on your phone:

  • The insights of your social media channels
  • The insights of the DSPs (Spotify for Artists, Apple Music for Artists, etc.)
  • The insights of your music distributor
  • Google Analytics
  • Pixel (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok)
  • Other tools such as Chartmetric

Basically, every tool you use to make contact with your fans will tell you something about them. It can also be the program with which you send your newsletter, your website, or your webshop.

Just ask your fans

Using these tools, you obviously primarily get your fans’ demographic data. To find out a little more about their inner life and buying behavior, it’s well worth studying the comments under your posts and even taking a few notes, if necessary. To really dive in deep, we recommend selecting a specific group within your fanbase for a survey. Ideally, it would be coupled with a contest or giveaway, or you could even ask people one-on-one, which can be easily disguised as a meet & greet.

Data is better than just gut feeling

The more you discover about your fans, the more you know what content they want to see on social media, what merch products will land and at which price, where it would be worth playing live, and so on. The fanbase can thus be categorized in various subgroups that you can work using specific campaigns. If you want, you can even orient your music towards that. And even if the last point probably overshoots the mark, it is still worth it to analyze the data from time to time instead of relying solely on your gut feeling.

Could TikTok Music actually work?

The streaming market is mature. Spotify is the uncontested number 1, while the other tech giants fall in line behind them with the likes of Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. So, it will be hard to pass both Spotify as well as some of the most powerful companies in the world (Apple, Amazon, Google) and pose any serious competition to them. That is, unless the most important social media platform out there at the moment, which has enormous influence on the music industry already, launches its own streaming service. Which is exactly what TikTok seems to be planning.

TikTok has long been involved in the music business

We don’t even have to discuss the impact TikTok can have on someone’s music career. But what may not be as publicly known is that TikTok already has its own music distribution platform (SoundOn) and is already getting in on in the streaming business, as well. However, Qishui Yinyue is only available in China, whereas Resso’s accessibility is currently limited to India, Brazil, and Indonesia. But while they are only serving four markets at the moment, all of them are among the top six most populated countries in the world and make up 42% of the global population.

Is TikTok Music coming to Western markets?

It seems that TikTok has set their sights on the other half of the world population, as well. Both in the U.S. and in Australia, they have now filed trademark applications for TikTok Music. Media outlets have discovered that they are already recruiting people for TikTok Music, as well. ByteDance has not yet made any statement on these plans, but quite a few things are pointing towards their intentions of tackling the western market. So far, TikTok trends have been reflected with little delay on the streaming portals. In the future, everything could be happening exclusively within the TikTok universe without users having to resort to other platforms.

TikTok Music could stand out from the competition

What’s clear is that TikTok can’t reinvent streaming completely, because user habits are already too well-established by now. They also can’t score with the music, since pretty much all streaming services have more or less the same songs in their repertoire. And yet, there are quite a few points with which TikTok could stand out from the competition:

  • Social elements: What’s lacking in most western streaming services are social elements, such as being able to comment on songs. Here, TikTok could become the perfect link between music streaming and social media.
  • Better recommendations: In order to suggest just the right music to their users, streaming services need data. Here, TikTok could have an advantage as well, at least over Spotify, since they can access data both from their video platform as well as their streaming service. And they’ve already proven that their algorithms are better than the competition.
  • Better playlists: A big share of current online trends originate from TikTok. Since they have access to this information before everyone else, they could translate it into playlists that reflect these trends well before the competition even catches a whiff of them.
  • Podcasts: Resso is already engaged in the podcast scene, so we can assume that this will be the case with TikTok Music, as well. Here, numerous opportunities would open up for podcasters having access to a combination of audio and video.
  • Onboarding: Obviously, with their more than one billion users, TikTok would also have an edge when it comes to winning new customers. If someone wants to listen to a song that they liked on TikTok in full, they can be directed straight to TikTok Music.

If anyone can do it, it’s TikTok

Of course, becoming serious competition to the established players won’t be a walk in the park, even for TikTok. But if there’s anyone who can take on the current market dominators, it probably is just them at the moment.

For now, though, let’s wait and see if TikTok Music does actually launch, and if so, in what markets and with what features. The fact is, if it comes to that, with TikTok, SoundOn, and TikTok Music, they will have created their own, powerful music ecosystem.

YouTube integrates Shopify

Discovering products on social media or on streaming services and then purchasing them without much hassle is increasingly becoming the standard these days. YouTube, too, wants to give their creators more shopping opportunities and is therefore collaborating, as TikTok and Spotify has recently done before, with e-commerce giant Shopify. This is obviously opening new opportunities for musicians, as well.

Directly integrate products

With this collaboration, creators now have the option to connect their Shopify store with their YouTube channel and integrate products under their videos, during livestreams, or at the end of their videos.

However, as is pretty much always the case on YouTube, not everyone has access to the feature. However, musicians don’t need a minimum number of subscribers as long as they have an official artist channel, which we recommend in general.

More shopping features on the way

Additionally, YouTube is testing a separate shopping section in the “Discover” tab, although for the present, only in the US, Brazil, and India. However, it is set to have additional markets added within the year.

The plan seems to be to expand these shopping features further for longer videos, livestreams, as well as the popular Shorts.

Ad revenue increase less than expected

YouTube has additionally released the ad revenues of the 2nd quarter of 2022. These reached 7.34 billion dollars, a growth of 4.8% compared to the previous year. However, they are still well under the 7% growth that analysts projected, which also means the lowest growth rate in two years. What portion of that will go towards the music industry is yet to be known.

Spotify news

Spotify wants to achieve one billion monthly users, and with that goal, the company naturally can never stand still. We’ve summarized everything that has happened in the past few weeks for you.

Let’s start with the numbers from the 2nd quarter of 2022. Spotify has now reached 433 million monthly active users (19% more than in the previous year) and 188 million premium subscribers (+14%). The revenues were as high as 2.86 billion euros (+23%). The ad revenues made up 13% of those, which is a new high. However, all in all, they still recorded a 194 million dollar loss.

Video podcasts

In total, there are now 4.4 million podcasts on Spotify. A year ago, it was only 2.9 million and in 2020, 1.5 million. The number video podcasts on Spotify is unknown, but it will grow significantly in the coming months. Up until recently, only creators from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand were able to make video podcasts, but now, this feature has been expanded to six additional countries, namely Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico.

New live event feed

To better alert users to concerts in their area, Spotify has launched a new Live Events Feed. According to Spotify, this is just the first step to shining the spotlight on events.

So, it’s yet another reason to make sure you list your concerts on Spotify, as well.

Spotify buys Heardle

Spotify has acquired the popular music game Heardle, which currently remains free and in the long-term, will be completely integrated into Spotify. Similar to Netflix, Spotify seems to test out how games will fare with their range of services. Our friends at MIDiA are seeing it as an attempt to reach Gen Z users, more than anything, which Spotify is doing a rather rough job of.

Warner tests the user-centric model

Recently, we posted an article showing how many artists would profit from a switch to the user-centric model and how big the influence of the super fans would be. But we also doubted that the major labels would be open to switching their system since their own artists would hardly profit from it. Now, however, Warner Music Group has reached an agreement with SoundCloud to test out the user-centric model, or fan-powered royalties, as they call it.

Up until now, fan-powered royalties were only available to DIY artists who upload their music directly via SoundCloud. So, it’s a major win that they were able to convince one of the three major labels to join in the experiment. We’re crossing our fingers already that this data can be analyzed in just as much detail as those of the DIY artists.

Experiment without risk for Warner

The fact that Warner is agreeing to this experiment, which may well result in financial losses for their own artists, can be traced back to two main reasons. One of them is Eliah Seton, who used to be a Warner bigwig and who is now the president of SoundCloud. The other is the reality that while SoundCloud is an important platform, it is not one of the top streaming services, which means that a slight decrease in revenues would still be bearable. Another possibility is that they negotiated a minimum guarantee that was not communicated to the public.

The other majors will not follow

The fact that the smallest of the three major labels is starting this experiment is definitely a step in the right direction. But in order for the user-centric system to really take hold across the industry, the leading streaming services, the other two major labels, as well additional rights holders must pull their weight, as well. The chances that Sony Music or much less Universal Music will be ready for this step, are slim.

While Warner Music does have a few top superstars in their ranks, four out of the top 5 artists on Spotify are under contract with Universal, whose roster is filled with many more global superstars likely to rake in less money with the user-centric model. Additionally, Universal is a big player in the hip hop scene, and according to a French study, hip hop would be the genre to record the biggest losses with the user-centric model.

Agreement among all market participants unlikely

The probability that Universal will ever support a system change is extremely low. So, really, there would need to be such a consensus among all the other parties involved that Universal would practically be forced to give their approval. This, too, seems highly unlikely at the moment. The big players continue to have more pull and, sooner or later, can probably inhibit the switch to a significantly fairer and more transparent system.

Are CDs making a comeback?

Is this really the dead coming back to life? CD sales reached their peak in 2004, and ever since then, fueled by piracy, downloads, and finally streaming, it’s been continuously going downhill. But now, there is a change of trend on the horizon: last year, for the first time since, the US saw an increase in CD sales reaching 46.6 million compared to the 31.6 million in 2020. That is a massive rise of 47%. Revenues, too, grew from 438.2 million dollars to 584.2 million.

Support of favorite artists

And these are just the CDs sold via the official channels. However, many fans also purchased a significant portion via web shops or directly at the concerts. So, is the CD making a comeback just as vinyl has before? And if so, why? There are several reasons: For many fans, CDs (and vinyl) are a souvenir just like a t-shirt can be. Many don’t even listen to them and continue to stream the music instead, but they still want to support the artist in additional ways.

From the perspective of the artists, CDs are much cheaper to produce than vinyl, and on top of that, they don’t come with as many supply bottlenecks as the black gold does. Correspondingly, CDs are cheaper than vinyl for the consumers, as well.

Some audiophile fans will prefer CDs and especially vinyl for their sound quality.

CDs and vinyl will not disappear

Of course, the days where CDs generated billions in profits won’t be coming back. But depending on the fanbase, it may be a good investment for many artists to have some CDs in their product line next to their other merch. It’s becoming apparent that CDs and vinyl won’t disappear into obscurity but instead will remain as a collector’s items. And this may well prove to be a nice additional source of income for musicians.

YouTube Shorts – not to be underestimated

What you'll learn in this post:
  • The TikTok clone YouTube Shorts is a success story
  • Shorts also have a positive impact on longer videos and subscribers
  • With additional features, Shorts should become even more essential

In the music world at the moment, everything seems to be revolving around TikTok. Because of this reality, some labels go as far as refusing to release songs that have not gone viral yet. Of course, there are many reasons why you should focus on TikTok. But in the midst of the big hype, you shouldn’t forget to think outside the box from time to time, as TikTok is by no means the only platform that can get you enormous reach. To put in in more concrete terms, this is possible with YouTube, and specifically with YouTube Shorts, as well.

Shorts: Successful TikTok copy

YouTube Shorts is obviously a straight-up TikTok clone, as the biggest video platform, too, is feeling the pressure from TikTok. Since July 2021, Shorts are available everywhere you can access YouTube, and on the occasion of this anniversary, YouTube has shared some of their statistics. These show that the clone has definitely worked. Shorts have generated 30 billion views everyday and 1.5 billion logged-in users are watching Shorts every month. That is 75% of their 2 billion users.

Positive impact on watchtime and subscribers

But almost even more important than these impressive statistics are the following facts: According to YouTube, creators who post Shorts as well as longer videos profit from longer watch time and stronger subscriber growth than those who only post longer videos. So really, this means that Shorts have a positive impact on the number of views of the longer uploads, as well.

YouTube states that they not only want to be the biggest source of income for the music industry but also the place where the connection between the artist and the fans can be strengthened. Shorts are thus supposed to be a gateway leading fans to music videos, interviews, or livestreams. YouTube’s goal is for the discovery of music on YouTube to directly lead to ticket and merch sales and to help with building a fanbase. Pretty lofty goals for sure, and Shorts are clearly meant to play an important role in achieving them.

Shorts as part of the strategy

As we have often mentioned before, you shouldn’t just view YouTube as a place to store your music videos. Instead, try to use all possible features the platform provides. Part of this would be coming up with a strategy consisting of the right combination between Shorts and longer videos. However, you should of course always think about whether or not you have the capacity to post on TikTok, Instagram, and now Shorts on top of it all. Because posting the exact same content everywhere is not gonna get you anywhere. You need a different strategy for each platform.

More features on the way

Sooner or later, YouTube will introduce other tools meant to offer additional sources of income for artists. YouTube is planning a Live Shopping feature and will also integrate NFTs into the platform, though the format remains to be seen. Shorts, too, will receive new features in the shopping area, as well as tipping features such as Super Chat.

The user-centric model: a game changer

What you'll learn in this post:
  • Majority of artists benefit from user-centric model
  • What an enormous impact superfans have on payouts
  • Why a system change is probably not in sight regardless

Up until recently, there have only been studies examining in theory whether or not artists would profit from the user-centric model. However, now that SoundCloud has at least partially switched their system to Fan-Powered Royalties (FPR), we have, for the first time, actual substantiated data. These were analyzed by MIDiA researchers and the result they found can definitely be called a game changer.

Quick refresher: almost all streaming services pay artists based on the pro-rata model, where all revenues end up in one giant pot. In the user-centric/FPR model, however, the money only goes to the artists that the user actually listened to.

Majority of artists benefit

For this study, MIDiA was able to analyze the royalties of 118,000 artists who published their music on SoundCloud. The analysis showed that 56% of these artists received higher pay with the user-centric model. Various artists can profit from it, but in particular those with little or mid-level reach. To put it in more concrete terms, 64% of artists with 100-1,000 fans earn more with the user-centric model, 65% of artists with 1,000-10,000 fans, and 57% of artists with 10,000 to 100,000 fans. When it comes to artists with more than 100,000 fans, only 38% profited more.

Superfans change the game

The real game changer is the influence of superfans. MIDiA distinguishes between passive fans (less than 1 cent goes to the artist per month), active fans (1-10 cents per month), and superfans (more than 10 cent per month). If the number of superfans can reach just 2-3%, the royalties will double when compared to the pro-rata model. Having 4-5% superfans already means tripling royalties. This shows a clear shift from inflated streaming numbers to an engaged fanbase. For the first time, this would be reflected not only in additional revenues, but also in streaming payouts.

The problem for many artists isn’t that they don’t have a fanbase but that the streaming system we’ve had thus far doesn’t enable them to effectively monetize them. They’ve always had to switch to a different platform to do so. While everything is about bulk mass in the pro-rata model, the user-centric model allows artists to generate significant income in their respective niche. For all 118,000 artists that were analyzed, superfans made up 1.5% on average and contributed 29% of the earnings. For those artists who made more with the user-centric model, the share of superfans was 2% and their contribution a whopping 42%.

Those who profit the most from superfan-revenues are artists with 100-1,000 fans (40%), 1,000-10,000 fans (38%) and those with 10,000 to 100,000 (37%). The lowest superfan-revenues can be seen in the superstar league with more than 100,000 fans, where the percentage is only as high as 27%. They also have the lowest share of superfans with just 1.3%. However, the authors of the study argue that due to the popularity of these artists, they also have the biggest opportunity to increase this share and focus more on the fans rather than passive music consumption.

User-Centric fights manipulation

The most significant loss in revenue, by the way, was suffered by artists with pretty clearly manipulated streaming numbers. So, another nice side effect of making the switch is that streaming fraud won’t be profitable anymore in the user-centric model. Additionally, artists will be less dependent on playlist placements and don’t have to cater their music and potentially their release schedule as much to them either. Or, as the authors put it: “FPR rewards quality of fans, not quantity of streams.”

Does the industry prevent the system change?

The benefits are therefore clear as day, but will the industry go with the new model? As we have reported previously, TIDAL is already experimenting with the user-centric model and Deezer has long wanted to make the switch, as well. But the biggest players like Spotify or Apple Music are keeping their cards close to their chest and only want to make the switch when all parties involved are on board. Whether the major labels and other bigwigs want this, however, is questionable, since their artists would currently be the ones who would profit the least from changing the system.

Should I make an NFT?

What you'll learn in this post:
  • What to consider before creating an NFT
  • Why you should primarily care about the needs of the fans
  • What you can offer and where

It’s a little paradox at the moment: On the one hand, the NFT hype is still going strong, there are always new projects popping up, and more artists are taking a stab at it with their drops. At the same time, profits from NFTs are dropping rapidly, which, of course, has something to do with the inflation and crypto winter, as well. Whether or not NFTs really are the future is therefore not entirely clear. Nevertheless, many artists will ask themselves if they, too, should give them a try. We’ve put together what you should keep in mind when doing so.

Do I understand NFTs and am I passionate about them?

The search for answers should start with yourself. Do you thoroughly understand NFTs and their whole process? Have you ever purchased an NFT yourself, and if so, would you do it again? Are you only looking at a potential source of income or are you genuinely passionate about the concept? If you aren’t well-versed or aren’t entirely convinced, it’s better to just leave it.

Is there a demand for it from my fans?

Quite a few artists had to take massive criticism from their fanbase following their NFT drops. So, you need to be absolutely certain that there is an actual demand. Maybe your fans would much prefer a new merch collection or a vinyl version of your last album. Even if you think the demand is there, you have to thoroughly explain to your fans why you are doing this and how they can purchase the NFT.

What do I want to offer?

If you’ve checked off the first two points, you’ll be faced with the question of what you want to sell. As a musician, you can use NFTs in various different ways – for instance, by connecting an artwork with the music, offering a share of the royalties, or putting physical products such as merch or concert tickets behind an NFT. Once again, you have to think about what the fans would want and of course, what goes with your image as an artist.

Only one copy or multiple? And at what price?

Once you know what you want to offer, the next question is whether it should be a one-off, which, correspondingly, would be more expensive, or a whole series with different NFTs. Additionally, you can decide whether the NFTs will be offered at a fixed price or whether you prefer an auction.

Especially when it comes to your first NFT drop, you should make sure it is affordable to as many fans as possible.

Which platform should I use?

More and more NFT platforms are springing up like mushrooms, and depending on what you want to sell, some platforms would be more suitable than others. Similarly, the fees and the impact on the environment will also differ.

Promotion

Even though it may have looked like it sometimes, NFTs, like albums or merch, don’t sell themselves. So, you’ll have to use all your channels to announce the drop and, as mentioned, get the idea through to your fans.

Can I offer something from which both sides can profit?

This is a question you don’t have to ask yourself and yet probably should. As previously mentioned, many fans view NFTs critically, even more so when it clearly benefits the artists only. So, instead of just thinking about how to line your crypto wallet, you should also consider what value you are offering the buyers.

How big is the competition on Spotify?

What you'll learn in this post:
  • Why the figure of 60,000 uploads per day is probably exaggerated
  • Why competition from new uploads is not as great as feared
  • Why catalog releases are the bigger competition

Countless articles will tell you that 60,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify everyday; some even go as high 70,000. This enormous number is then also listed as one the main reasons why more than half of all tracks on Spotify reach fewer than 500 streams. But the catch is: It’s probably not even true. This is the conclusion music industry expert Bill Werde made, who clearly showed why this number is exaggerated.

Only 20,000 – 40,000 uploads per day?

He starts with a simple calculation: In April 2022, Spotify stated that they had 82 million tracks (including 3.6 million podcasts) on their platform. 17 months prior, in November 2020, the number they put out was 70 million. So, in that timeframe, the number of tracks grew by 12 million, which means 706,000 per month or around 23,500 per day. Even if you consider that songs may get removed from Spotify from time to time, this number is miles off 60,000.

Other sources put the daily uploads at around 40,000. However, they also put into context that a lot of these are remasters or remixes that may not necessarily pose a threat to new releases. Another thing to keep in mind is that many artists switch their labels or distributors. Everytime this happens, the old label will delete the release from Spotify and the new one will upload it again. This, too, is counted by Spotify as an upload, but it doesn’t have any influence on the total number of songs on the platform, and it also is no competition to new releases.

Competition not quite as big as feared

Now, if you take these 23,500 and consider that 80% of them will never reach more than 5,000 streams, you’re still left with 4,700 tracks per day or 32,900 per week. But this number goes down even further, since you will primarily compete with the tracks within the same genre or the same language. All in all, the competition is still big but not as overwhelming as 60,000 uploads per day will have you believe.

The other competition: catalog releases

Now, of course, as a musician, you won’t just have to compete with new releases but also with songs that have been on the platform longer. In the fight for the listeners’ attention, catalogue releases are actually the much bigger competition. In the past year, the share of catalogue releases in the U.S. was as high as 69.8%, and the trend is going more in more in the direction where less and less new music is being played.

How do I measure my success on TikTok?

What you'll learn in this post:
  • What categories the TikTok analytics offer
  • Which info you can extract from them
  • Which key figures to pay special attention to

It’s commonly known that you can quickly grow a reach on TikTok. But that doesn’t mean that everyone manages to do that right away, and even those who see solid growth can always optimize it still. In order not to build a strategy based on speculations only, it’s well worth regularly making use of the analytics the platform makes available. It is recommended to find a niche on TikTok, and using analytics, you can see if you’ve managed to do it. We’ll introduce the four categories to you in detail:

Overview

This shows for a selected date range how many views you’ve had on your videos and your profile, how many likes you’ve received, and how many comments and shares there were. Additionally, it shows the number of followers and how many posts you’ve made in the corresponding timeframe.

The profile views are particularly interesting, since they are a sign that the videos were met with interest and that the users visited the profile as a result.

Content

Here, you can see how the videos have performed within the time period you’ve selected. Likes, views, comments, and shares are visible for each post. Additionally, you can see which videos were watched the most during the past 7 days. One important reference point is the “average watch time,” which shows if you were able to keep people’s attention or if users quickly switched to the next video. You should also keep an eye on the “watched full video” tab where you can identify how often a video is watched until the end, which would send positive signals to the algorithms.

The Content tab also lets you know how people came across the videos: the For You feed, your profile, sounds, the search tab, or via hashtags. Through this, you can find out, for instance, if the hashtag strategy works. Additionally, you can see where the people that watch your videos come from. That way, you can determine if the audience really comes from the markets that you had your sights on, or, to put in different terms, which markets you should add to your radar.

Follower

Here, you see how the number of followers develops and get more information about them, specifically their gender and where they come from (although only a max. of 5 countries are listed). What’s interesting are the following three points:

Follower activity: Shows when followers are the most active. This is an important reference point to determine what time you should post.

Videos your followers watched: This shows the videos that are popular with the followers. They can be a source of inspiration when you find yourself without content ideas or potentially help you find people with whom you can collaborate.

Sounds your followers listened to: Here, you can see which tracks are well-loved by your followers. This allows musicians to quickly discern if they are reaching the right people.

LIVE

Here, you get the insights into the live videos of the past 7 or 28 days – how many views there were, how many followers they resulted in, how long the watch time was, and the highest number of simultaneous viewers. Additionally, you can see how many diamonds (virtual tips) you were able to collect.

On TikTok, what matters is not (just) quality, but also quantity. While in the past it was recommended to post 3-5 times a week, now it’s reached 3-5 times per day. So, there is ample material to analyze…