Scrolling through TikTok and listening to funny sounds or catchy songs, users may not realize the amount of industry work and planning that goes into creating what they see on their screen. OHIO student Sophia Cardone is getting a taste of how the music industry is evolving with the burgeoning app, which lets users scroll through short clips accompanied by sounds and songs.

Cardone, a major music production and recording industry OHIO SCHOOL OF MEDIA ARTS AND STUDIESis gaining a first-hand look at the industry while studying in sunny Los Angeles through the Scripps College of Communication OHIO-in-LA program.

Through the program, Cardone, who will be a junior this fall, secured an internship with VRTCL, a company that combines music marketing with influencer marketing to create viral content on TikTok. Through collaboration with the app’s influencer scene, the company runs campaigns using a song that is presented by a label or music management team in order to increase the song’s popularity and draw attention to the artist.

VRTCL company logo
VRTCL company logo

“It’s a really cool experience and something that a lot of people don’t understand behind the scenes on TikTok,” Cardone said.

Cardone helps plan and run such campaigns and tracks how well a song is being received on the app. She was surprised at the start of her internship, how many songs she knew had already been advertised through VRTCL.

“For me personally when I first started the practice, I was looking through past campaigns that they had run and I was like, ‘wow, all these songs that I like to listen to that I found on TikTok because they ran these campaign with them. “, Cardone said.

As someone who has loved music her whole life, she is grateful to be able to learn the inner workings of the industry.

“I’m so glad I found this and that I’m doing it because it’s opened my eyes to what you can do with music and social media. It made me realize that so much of the music we hear on social media is put there on purpose,” she said.

She found the practice with the help of a fellow Bobcat.

“One of the alums who was in the program last summer, interned at VRTCL and now has a full-time job there. I have worked closely with him. She sent the information about the internship, and without that I wouldn’t have even known about the internship,” Cardone explained.

There are three OHIO students working at VRTCL.

“I’ve really developed a great relationship with them, even though I didn’t know them when they were at OU. I’ve made such great connections and I think that’s one of the best parts of it,” she said.

Cardone strongly emphasized the importance of making connections and how her practice has allowed her to connect with a wide range of other professionals.

She works completely remotely, and sometimes around the clock due to different time zones.

Click to see a typical day in her life here

Cardone acknowledged how OHIO’s music production and recording industry program helped prepare him for the role.

“One thing I’ve definitely learned through the program is music marketing and knowing what you’re getting yourself into because it’s a different way of doing things,” she said. “When it comes to music consumption, many people have different tastes, so you need to know what kind of audience you’re serving. And I feel like that’s something we’ve focused on and looked at a lot.”

As someone who works in the music industry, Cardone describes the business side of the music industry and its uniqueness as a media field.

“One class that was really impactful for me was in the media business and knowing how businesses work, how they are run and how to be a good part of a business that is in the media industry,” Cardone said. “Learning about it definitely helped me a lot in doing all of this.”

Through the program, Cardone has gotten a first-hand look at her potential career in the industry that she might not have gotten otherwise, and that has only motivated her to keep working hard.

“I would say being out in LA while doing this internship has really kept me focused on what I want to do and who I want to be,” Cardone said.

She has also been able to explore other areas of media. She was assistant director for the short film produced by all students in the OHIO-in-LA program.

“Being out here has opened my eyes to everything there is in the industry,” she explained.

Los Angeles is a hub for creatives and media professionals, and the OHIO-in-LA program allows Bobcats to immerse themselves in fields where they can potentially work.

“Being in LA there are so many people who are in the media industry and being able to be so immersed in all of that has been such an amazing experience,” Cardone said.

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