TikTok algorithmically generates a feed of content for each user, which is displayed on the #FYP (or “For You Page”). The more a user engages with content, the smarter TikTok gets at guessing what kind of videos the viewer wants to watch.
Imagine your song is used in a video that appears on someone’s For You Page. That video inspires the viewer and they want to make a similar video. Well, there’s a simple way in TikTok to use that same audio clip when creating a new video. THIS is what drives the viral success of music on TikTok and makes music promotion on the platform extremely powerful. If a dance challenge or crazy lip-sync inspires one person, there’s a good chance it’ll inspire many people to make their own videos. Suddenly, the algorithm is reinforcing that musical hook, putting your song/video to more and more viewers in more and more contexts (via user-generated content).
Because a song can go viral in this way, there are quite a few instances of independent artists who have very small followings on other social platforms but are gaining huge exposure on TikTok. As with anything: the bigger the package you order, the bigger the exposure, the bigger the results, the bigger the chance of going viral.