The Guy Behind TikTok’s Biggest Song Has Earned Precisely Zilch from 18 Million Videos
Jacob Feldman’s success is bittersweet — but he has the secret to viral tracks on TikTok, so he’s going to make them himself
What did you do on Christmas Day? 1,048,863 people woke up, opened TikTok, and recorded a video set to the tune of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which — without warning — slips into Soulja Boy’s 2007 cult classic, ‘Crank That’.
The song is a social media phenomenon, playing a role in catapulting Carey to the top of the Billboard charts for Christmas (as we’ve previously reported) and capturing the zeitgeist on TikTok, the trendy new app you showed your parents and grandparents while you were home for the holidays. The top 10 most-liked videos on the app using the track have been praised 48 million times. Those million Christmas Day creators weren’t alone, either. They’ve helped contribute to a treasure trove of 18.2 million videos that have used the smash-cut song, seven times more than used Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’, despite the fact that the Christmas decorations have long since come down. Even this week, more than 250,000 videos using the song were uploaded to TikTok.
It’s all good news for 23-year-old Jacob Feldman, who is one of the most popular creators on TikTok. He’s the man behind Plot Twist, the musician who mashed together Mariah Carey and Soulja Boy. The Los Angeles-based music producer, who is studying for a double-major in music business and music production has some qualms though. He hasn’t made a penny.
“From every one of my streams and sources of Plot Twist stuff and music, it only makes like $100 a month,” says Feldman. “From that mashup I made nothing, even though it has like 18 million uses. It still doesn’t get anything.”
Feldman started posting mashups of different tracks under the Plot Twist name on Vine, the original shortform video app, releasing a new track every day. The name was an obvious one to pick: Feldman specialized in picking a song that would unexpectedly segue into another — ideal background music for snackable video content. (Leaked advice from TikTok on how to make a successful video suggests creators “have a…