What do “Desperado“, “Umbrella“, “Disturbia“, “Pour It Up“ and “S&M“ have in common? They’re not only songs by Rihanna, but also went viral on TikTok. So if you see these titles back on the charts, it’s most likely due to the impact of the video-sharing app. In November last year, “Desperado“ was even charting high in the US iTunes Charts again while “Umbrella“ started to gain views on every platform after TikTok’s most followed account uploaded a video to the sound. Now it’s time for “S&M“.
The fan-run account “FentySpotify“ noticed that the song is suddenly gaining views on Spotify. The song released in 2010 is back inside the Top 10 of her most streamed songs on Spotify since early January 2021 (s. below). Of course the sudden interest had to be triggered somehow and of course, it happened on TikTok. User “Zack Jot“ uploaded a pitched version of the song on January 4 and made a choreography to it (see a How To here).
Rihanna doesn’t have her own music licenced to TikTok
More than 6.200 people already re-created the dance which made the original user reach nearly two million likes on his second video to the song. Zack Jot has more than 1.4 million followers, but even users with more than 6 million followers used the sound already. While it didn’t reach the impact of “Desperado“ yet, it is clear that the videos made people aware of the song as the following Spotify stats prove. The entire consumption of the song got increased thanks to the power of one viral video.
A lot of Rihanna sounds are uploaded on TikTok already, including “FourFiveSeconds“ and “Loveeeeeee Song“. However, these user-uploaded sounds are either pitched, slowed or edited in any form as Rihanna’s catalogue is not licenced to TikTok or any other social network yet.
The most users on the app are in between 10 – 19 years old, so it could be that most Gen Z users don’t even know Rihanna’s (old) music. The app became available worldwide after merging with a similar service, Musical.ly, in summer of 2018 while Rihanna’s last album released in early 2016. The singer has an account with almost one million followers, but didn’t use it yet. Meanwhil,e, her brands SavageX, Fenty Skin and Fenty Beauty use the app for their marketing.