TikTok has taken the entertainment industry into a direction it can never come back from. Its strong (not as strong as it was but still) algorithm and addictive format has presented it as a real competitor for attention time to incumbents like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify.

No corner of the arts and entertainment industry is left untouched. Music artists like Raye have gone viral while cutting out the middleman, authors can utilise BookTok influencers as a powerful marketing tool… the list goes on. 

The OG creatives benefitting from the platform are dancers. Some have used the app to get noticed by casting agents. Professional dance companies like the American Ballet Theatre have turned to TikTok as a branding and recruitment tool, too.

As TikTok’s influence on entertainment grows and it draws increased scrutiny from US lawmakers around its ties to China, Insider examined how the app has changed various corners of the industry. The US state and federal politicians are concerned that the app, which is owned by the China-based company ByteDance, could be used as a propaganda tool by the Chinese Communist Party.

It isn’t only the US congress who is growing bitter of the app. Since TikTok provides so much autonomy to artists it is in turn developing ‘frenemy’ type relationships with institutions such as record labels after presenting a complete upheaval to the way they traditionally work. To make matters worse TikTok has begun to encroach on record labels’ territory by offering services directly to artists.

Having said that, many artists, including myself, express frustration as TikTok creation takes more time than music creation. 

“It’s the most important thing that’s happened in the music industry in a long time,” Jonny Kaps, cofounder and CEO of the independent label +1 Records, told Insider. “It just allows us to build a new artist audience in a way that we’ve never really been able to do before.

In the comedy world, TikTok has offered a resource for comedians to pay their bills through brand deals and other paid opportunities, while using the app to build a recognizable brand.

Laughs on TikTok can translate into business opportunities elsewhere, be that on the stand-up stage or the SNL writers’ room.

If there is anything that the platform has proved, its the age old business belief that word of mouth really is the most powerful form of marketing.