Nashville creators react to potential TikTok ban, what it could mean for promoting content

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While members of U.S. Congress debate the future of TikTok, Nashville artists who use and rely on the platform are in limbo.

“I would say one of the main ways to promote music these days is TikTok and I would say, for a lot of people, their career in music might be fully dependent on how it performs on TikTok,” said songwriter and TikToker Colin Cooper of Austin & Colin.

Nashville singer/songwriters said TikTok drastically changed the music industry by giving artists a way to reach a wider audience, for companies another way to search for and evaluate potential talent, and for fans a way to find new music.

House passes legislation which could ban TikTok in US

However, if the app is banned, they will adapt.

“We got to focus on what we can control, and what we deeply care about. And that’s making people smile, spreading joy through our music and through our humor,” said Cooper’s co-creator, Austin Beaver of Austin & Colin.

Austin & Colin have more than 10,000 followers on the social media platform where they post original, comedic songs about Nashville.

One of their posts has 951,000 views, which translated to more fans and followers for the duo.

“TikTok really spreads things out quickly, and you have the chance to go viral, like overnight,” Cooper said.

Is TikTok going to be banned in the US?

However, TikTok is not their main source of income. The two were making songs before TikTok came along and had already been signed by a label and their own production company.

“But it does also mean that content is now kind of a main source of what we have to do to help continue spread brand awareness about our brand,” Beaver said.

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Emma Klein agreed with Austin & Colin.

“Regardless of whether or not there’s a ban, TikTok changed the way that content is created and released forever,” Klein said.

She explained the app has allowed a lot of artists to be their own boss and make an income as an independent artist.

Klein also said many music labels use TikTok “as the meter” for whether or not they should work with an artist and the app has changed how companies view artist development.

“It’s really interesting because there’s not always a translation between TikTok views and Spotify streams,” Klein explained. “Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t. It’s kind of like the Wild West, and it always has been.”

⏩ Read today’s top stories on

Klein doesn’t believe any of this will go away if TikTok is banned: “I think that there’s a lot higher of an expectation for an artist to be fully developed, be kind of an expert at social media and expert at content, editing all the above and to really just know who they are and for labels to just kind of sign on and take, take that and run with it.”

She said no matter what happens, artists will adapt.

“I think that it’s going to ring as true as ever before that the most important thing is you connecting with real people; focusing in on fans; making real fans; and whatever the platform it is that you’re using, figuring out the best way to be able to authentically connect with those people is going to take you the furthest,” Klein said.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WKRN News 2.