Daily Insights

TikTok’s Musical Memory

By: Mackenzie Baker | Oct 22, 2020

In honor of what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, TikTok released a dedicated collection of his classic songs. 

Songs by John Lennon, including “Imagine”, “Remember”, “Beautiful Boy”, and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, are connecting with millions of new and loyal fans on TikTok. The social platform created a birthday campaign to continue spreading John Lennon’s message of “peace and love”, including through a dedicated account set up in his name featuring music videos and interview clips of the late star. TikTok also released the hashtag #GimmeSomeTruth for the initiative, which could boost engagement with young users and give them a fresh look at some of John Lennon’s most popular works. TikTok encourages users to include the hashtag on videos paying homage to John Lennon, including those recreating his famous fashion ensembles, singing covers of his songs, or tribute videos. Since the campaign’s launch on October 9—John Lennon’s birthday—#GimmeSomeTruth has been viewed more than 2.5 billion times. 

Celebrating John Lennon’s birthday on TikTok allows the music icon’s songs to resonate with a new generation of listeners, who may find the lyrics as relevant today as they were decades ago. The effort could also drive older fans to the app as they look to reconnect with Lennon’s songs. The partnership could show how important TikTok has become as a music hotspot, for up-and-coming singers and established artists alike. John Lennon is the second icon partnership for TikTok this year, following a collaboration with Prince’s estate this past June. By bringing late, legendary artists to its platform, TikTok could cultivate a loyal audience of music fans and boost its image as a musical destination, according to a Gartner report. In general, TikTok has been expanding its music presence, including through a recent partnership with the Billboard Music Awards and its numerous original song campaigns with brands like e.l.f. Cosmetics and Aldo. By spotlighting music, TikTok could differentiate itself from other social media apps and potentially become the go-to platform for song promotions. 

Music could be the way to TikTok user’s hearts, particularly as more brands and artists use the platform to release original songs. By bringing John Lennon’s music to its app, TikTok could make a play for young listeners and boost its presence as a modern music catalyst.