Music is a key part of the TikTok experience, with many of the platform’s viral trends coming in response to songs and audio clips, which users then remix, re-purpose and reimagine in their own creative ways.

And according to TikTok’s latest research report, audio is also a key component of brand promotions, with TikTok users being more receptive to sound elements within ads than they are on other platforms.

As explained by TikTok

“We knew that the fundamental nature of audio on TikTok was helping to drive our record-high engagement rates. But we wanted to understand why. So we partnered with Kantar to learn more about the impact of sound on digital advertising.”

Among the key findings, the research shows that:

  • 88% of TikTok users said that sound is essential to the TikTok experience
  • 73% of respondents said they would “stop and look” at ads on TikTok with audio, a significantly higher result than any other platform
  • TikTok is the only platform where ads with audio generate significant lifts in both purchase intent and brand favorability
TikTok sound on study

In the past, best practice advice has often highlighted the importance of including captions and other sound-off tools in your video clips, in order to maximize appeal among consumers in different environments. But on TikTok, that’s less of a concern, with the opposite generally being true.

Which is a key element to note – in fact, according to the study people experience sound on TikTok as “fun” at a 66% higher rate than they do on other platforms.

As per TikTok:

“[Sound is] the anti-scroll, and it helps your messages not only be heard but be felt by your audiences.”

In order to capitalize on this, TikTok advises that brands should look to:

  • License popular audio – Brand usage of sounds is restricted in the app, but brands are able to organize their own licensing deals for music clips, which could be helpful if you’re looking to tap into trends
  • Amplify branded sounds – Brands can also turn their owned audio into a promotional tool in the app, which could even fuel a new trend
  • Create new sounds – Brands can additionally look to create original sounds for their promotions for use in their TikTok campaigns

TikTok also notes that brands can use its free Commercial Music Library, which provides access to “hundreds of thousands of pieces of licensed music and sounds to use on TikTok”. 

There are some good points here, and some interesting stats – and while, again, music usage is limited for brands, it’s clearly worth considering your audio elements in your promotions in the app.

You can check out TikTok’s full ‘Power of Sound’ report here.