top of page
  • Writer's pictureOmar Holloway

TikTok Hold'Em - Showdown at the Beyoncé corral

Updated: Feb 28

If you don’t live under a rock, you are likely aware that Beyoncé released a pair of new songs earlier this month - "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages".

“Texas Hold ‘Em,” has blanketed TikTok in recent days: Around 74,000 users had made videos incorporating the sound on February 18; this more-than-tripled over the course of a week, pushing the total number of clips using the track past 224,000 on February 25. “Texas Hold ‘Em” climbed from No. 2 to No. 1 on the latest Hot 100.

Thus, it's inheritant of "Texas Hold 'Em" dance routine clips rifling upon the TikTok app platform.

Hence, it's inevitable that Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, too, are among platforms caught in the crosshairs of another Bey-phenomena.


“The virality of this Beyoncé record shows you the power of the platform,” says Nima Nasseri, a former VP of A&R strategy for Universal Music Group, where he worked on a team that ran TikTok campaigns for resurgent catalog hits. “It’s still there. You can’t discount it.” (Not that anyone was discounting it — more like lamenting the good old days when outcomes on TikTok were far easier to influence.)

“In 2019, you could catch a trend and go top five on Apple Music in like a day,” says Harrison Golding, Vice President of strategic marketing at EMPIRE. “Now the platform is so mature that even if you get trends and user-generated content, the numbers may not correlate to streams.”


TikTok’s ability to help drive this kind of ubiquity has diminished in recent years — much to the chagrin of the music industry.

The TikTok takeover of “Texas Hold ‘Em” carries extra weight because it feels like a potent reminder of the platform’s impact at a time when the music industry is eager to look for alternatives.

Licensing negotiations between Universal Music Group and TikTok fell apart in January, which means that no official sounds from UMG artists have been available on the platform during February.

And whenever TikTok faces a potential obstacle — U.S. politicians threaten to ban it, for example, or a massive song catalog is removed — music industry attention turns to Instagram and YouTube, which also have their own short-form video delivery systems (Reels and Shorts, respectively).


Although recent history is littered with songs that exploded on TikTok and saw a correlated jump on streaming services, it’s always been much harder to find comparable examples associated with Reels and Shorts.

It makes sense, then, that “artists and their teams are putting more strategy into all three platforms now,” according to Jen Darmafall, Director of Marketing for ATG Group. “Before, they would just make content that works for TikTok and then post it on the other platforms.”


“Reels is more self-contained,” Nasseri explains. “You can get 100,000 uses of a sound on Reels, and that won’t impact” plays on streaming services.

Historically, success on Reels creates “more of a passive following,” adds Ben Locke, Director of A&R and marketing at the label Disharmony.

When it comes to Shorts, Golding includes it in all his rollouts, as do most music marketers. “Is it changing a record like TikTok can?” he asks. “No, not yet.”

Nasseri agrees: “You don’t see creates grow at the same rate on YouTube Shorts as they do on TikTok.” (Neal Mohan, YouTube’s CEO, recently wrote on the company’s blog that “Shorts is averaging over 70 billion daily views, and the number of channels uploading Shorts has grown 50% year over year.”)


This just goes to show, “in the digital space, no one has the formula right now,” as Golding puts it. “We’re constantly trying to figure out what type of campaign is going to actually convert a new fan. It’s a few drops in a bucket here, a few drops there, and hope you catch a viral moment.”


• SOURCE: Beyoncé’s TikTok Takeover Proves the Platform’s Power Persists; But Instagram Reels is also flexing its muscles in recent days, driving listeners to Sawyer Hill's viral hit "Look at the Time". Billboard >

*VIDEO: Beyoncé - TEXAS HOLD 'EM (Official Visualizer) >

*RehaB101 Original New School Webcast > #RehaB101ONSW newsfeed.

• Blaze 1 Radio Blog new indie dance dancehall gospel hip hop indigenous instrumental jazz pop rap reggae rhythm and blues ( rnb / R&B ) urban blogs internet live music stream dj mix shows interviews podcasts video world wide web national international media news coaching #Blaze1Radio #Next2Blaze #blogBlaze #indieBLAZE #mediaBLAZE #youtubeBLAZE 24/7



5 views0 comments


bottom of page