Music Unlocked: The Grammys & Social Media’s Musical Future

By Henley Worthen · February 09, 2024

Music Unlocked: The Grammys & Social Media’s Musical Future

The 2024 Grammys, hosted by the brilliant Trevor Noah, showcased a remarkable year of music, specifically the incredible achievements of female artists. 

The ceremony occurred against the backdrop of recent breaking news: Universal Music Group pulled its 4 million song library from TikTok including Taylor Swift, Drake and Justin Bieber after negotiations between the companies went awry. 

Today, we’re going to get into all of it! The Tubular team brings you breathtaking Grammy performances to TikTok music implications  — all through the lens of social data. 


It was ladies night, and the feelin’ was right!

This years Grammys spotlight was on female artists as many women performers took to the stage while also taking home major awards. Taylor Swift made music history by winning her fourth Album of the Year award. During her acceptance speech she announced her new album set for release in April titled “The Tortured Poets Department”, a gift to Swift’s massive fanbase.

Billie Eilish took home Song of the Year for her Barbie song, “What Was I Made For,” while Victoria Monét was named Best New Artist. Iconic performances by Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell added heartfelt moments to the ceremony. Miley Cyrus also celebrated her first ever Grammy wins for Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year for her song “Flowers”.

Social-first content on the rise 

Throughout the 2024 awards season, we’ve seen a surge of social-first content such as influencers conducting red carpet interviews. The same trend continued at the Grammys and was evident when Miley Cyrus had a hilarious reaction to being photographed by iPhones as opposed to regular paparazzi cameras on the red carpet.

Social content continues to climb at historically televised award shows. Now let’s take a look at the breakdown of what and who was posting about the 2024 Grammys…

What type of Grammys content was posted? 

The largest video categories included Performances and Acceptance Speeches. The most watched video on TikTok features Miley’s performance of “Flowers” and has garnered 25.7M views and 3.1M engagements! The top red carpet moment featured a behind-the-scenes moment of  Swift and Lana Del Rey fixing each other’s hair and makeup before they hit the red carpet.

Who posted Grammys content?

Media & Entertainment accounts led the charge on social video uploads. Entertainment Tonight generated the most total views at 125M views in the past 5 days across Facebook & TikTok. The Grammys Recording Academy official accounts also ranked in the top 5 and uploaded a whopping 336 videos to YouTube in the past 5 days. 


The 66th annual Grammys ceremony went off with a bang and some extra big hair! Social media was more important than ever, showcasing highlights, red carpet moments, and behind-the-scenes footage. 

As social media platforms and the music industry continue to build off each other, it is not without a few bumps in the road. Similar debates emerged with music streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora that shook up the commercial framework of the industry. Now, social platforms are trying to settle into their rightful place in the space. Find out more below.

UMG removes its library from TikTok

A recent discrepancy between TikTok and Universal Music Group has led to UMG removing its massive music library from the platform based on concerns regarding fair pay and AI. This left many music industry insiders in a state of mixed emotions and while fans and TikTok users are left without the ability to use their favorite songs. In fact, even historical video usage was erased so millions of videos are floating around TikTok with the sound completely erased. While the move is undoubtedly aimed at addressing certain concerns, what’s clear is there is no black and white answer. 

While TikTok pays artists per video created with their sound, they do not pay per stream which means billions of users are listening for free. However, TikTok simultaneously does wonders to promote new song releases and amplify up-and-coming artists. 

Below, we explore the nuanced situation through data-backed evidence.

TikTok supports emerging artists & throwback music 

One of TikTok’s many uses is allowing fans to engage with songs from their favorite artists and discover new music. For many aspiring musicians, TikTok has become the go-to platform for reaching new audiences and building a fan base from almost nothing. Unlike established artists who have dedicated followings, smaller artists often rely on TikTok trends to propel their songs into the mainstream when they don’t have a record label or financial resources to promote themselves.

Noah Kahan

One noteworthy TikTok success story includes Noah Kahan, who was nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys. Kahan considers himself a TikTok artist and attributes a significant portion of his success to the platform. After skyrocketing to fame on TikTok, he was signed by Universal Music Group. His hit single, “Stick Season,” gained traction through TikTok, and videos featuring the song amassed over 544M views over the past 2 years until it was removed with the rest of the UMG library.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 hit “Murder on the Dancefloor ” experienced a resurgence after its appearance in the Amazon’s film, Saltburn. Thanks to an iconic scene from the movie when the main character dances around a magnificent countryside mansion, a viral TikTok trend erupted. The song became a sensation, inspiring TikTok users (including singer Ellis-Bextor herself) to dance dramatically through their homes. The trend played a role in boosting the song to #2 on the UK singles charts and marked Ellis-Bextor’s first entry into the US Billboard Hot 100 (22 years after the song’s release). However, the joy might be short-lived, as the track under UMG umbrella is now unavailable on TikTok.

At its peak in January, nearly 5,000 users uploaded videos using the song in a single day. 

What does this mean for artists?

The removal of UMG’s music library from TikTok can cause significant implications for artists who depend on the platform for exposure.

  • For example, the inability to use tracks like “Murder on the Dancefloor” in new TikTok videos restricts the creative expression of users and hampers the potential for songs, new and old, to go viral. 
  • Musicians who got their start on the app, like Noah Kahan, will need to get creative and find new ways to connect with their audiences without using their music on TikTok. 
  • Artists may look to use similar TikTok strategies on other social platforms that still have access to the UMG library.

Surely, UMG has incredible promoters, marketers, and strategists to ensure their artists don’t suffer from the recent fall out between the two companies. 

This also means that without the massive library UMG artists, like Grammy winners Taylor Swift and Kanye West, smaller unsigned artists will be able to cut through the clutter and get their music out to more people, faster.

What does this mean for brands & media publishers?

UMG’s absence from TikTok cannot be overlooked. It certainly raises questions about the impact of viral trends and algorithms on song promotion as the app has become a launch-pad for new music. Stay tuned to find out how the discrepancy plays out.

Want to learn more about Tubular and the social video insights we covered? Request a demo.

Source: All data is sourced from Tubular Intelligence as of 2/8/24 unless otherwise noted.

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