Longer videos on TikTok – good news for music artists?

Image Credit: TikTok

TikTok is now giving all users the option to create three-minute-long videos on the app. Will it change the way music is used on TikTok?

Longer videos are coming to TikTok. Soon everyone with a TikTok account will be able to post videos of up to three minutes in length within the app. Is this the beginning of the end for TikTok’s short and snappy approach to videos?

The lively chaos of flicking through short form videos is a huge part of what made TikTok so popular so quickly. It will be interesting to see how placing long videos between short clips changes the hyperactive nature of the platform – and how it changes the way music is used on the app.

How can music artists with TikTok accounts use longer videos?

Music has been embedded in TikTok from the very beginning. For musicians and producers on TikTok, the extended video time offers the potential for longer performances and for artists to share longer clips of their songs. Three minutes is the perfect amount of time to showcase a track.

Previously long videos had to be split over several TikToks, which many creators found a novel way to hook users by ending on a suspenseful note and encouraging users to follow and check out the other videos on their account. Now artists could embrace the longer videos as a chance to post vlog-style insights into their creative process, share news or lead song tutorials, without interruption.

Nestled amongst the short snappy clips, longer form videos will give creators including music artists a chance to reveal more about themselves and build stronger links with fans. There could be a danger, however, that longer TikToks will take away from the attention-grabbing mysteriousness of being limited to shorter clips.

Will longer videos change the way music is used in TikToks?

The chance for an entire song to be used as backdrop to a three minute viral TikTok offers extra exposure for an artist who has their tracks in the TikTok library. Will that take away the domino effect usually seen from sharing only the catchiest part of a song, as listeners head to YouTube or Spotify to check out the full track?

The TikTok Effect has leached into the music industry, with new songs becoming even more hook-focused in a bid to go viral on the app. Music videos, too, often feature dance routines the perfect style and length for people to copy on TikTok.

Will we now see a wider range of music genres benefiting from the introduction of longer videos? Atmospheric instrumental tracks might be better suited to be used as background music than the pop and hip-hop tracks that have traditionally gone viral on TikTok. If TikTok begins to turn away from shorter video, it will be interesting to watch the effect on the music industry.

What will longer videos on TikTok mean for its future?

The cutthroat world of the social media business means companies must constantly reinvent to stay relevant – but for TikTok will that that be at the cost of what made it such a cultural phenomenon in the first place?

TikTok’s massive popularity is such that it was the catalyst for other social media giants adopting similar features, like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts which perfectly mimic TikTok. Mess with its highly addictive algorithm and the platform may lose the unique spark that made it a threat.

TikTok is clearly looking to challenge YouTube’s top spot in the digital video space – but does TikTok want to become YouTube? The fact that longer videos on TikTok are an “option” rather than becoming the norm suggests that for now the update only adds variety to the features the platform already offers its users.

As long as the company doesn’t forget what made its app so popular in the first place, longer videos will give TikTokers more scope to be creative and artists the chance to bring more of their music to TikTok.


Want your music to soundtrack the next viral TikTok? RouteNote distributes tracks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, as well as to all the major streaming sites, so independent artists can make money from their music. The best part is – it’s free, forever. Find out more here, and get your music on TikTok today.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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