How Cruel Summer’s Comeback is Thanks to TikTok

If there’s one thing consistent on TikTok, it’s power of Swifties to get her music heard everywhere they go.

Here at Pentos, we’ve noticed a ramping effect that ties in with real-world events, such as album releases, or tour dates. Or, interestingly enough, defending your fans at a live concert.

For example, take a look at what happened when Taylor Swift defended a fan from an over-aggressive security guard mid-performance.

View all of Taylor Swifts most popular songs on TikTok.

Having just begun her lengthy North American Eras Tour leg about a month earlier, Swift’s music had a massive spike corresponding to this story going viral on social media. And this isolated event is far from the only case we’ve seen. It happened again on July 10th, three days following the release of Swift’s album, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Most recently, we’ve been closely watching the curious case of “Cruel Summer.”

Cruel Summer was first released as the second track on Swift’s album Lover, debuting on August 23, 2019. It received critical acclaim, was popular with fans, and seemed to follow the normal life-cycle of music.

But the song didn’t die. Instead, when Swift began her Eras Tour this March, she played Cruel Summer, and it went viral across streaming and social media platforms, TikTok included. Republic Records, Swift’s label, saw the change in the charts, and released Cruel Summer as a single on June 20, 2023.

And it hasn’t slowed down since. Within the last 30 days, there have been numerous small spikes, corresponding with multiple dates in Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, Santa Clara, and Los Angeles”

In every case, the spikes occurred on a 2-3 day delay, consistent with the previously mentioned pattern. With the final five dates in Los Angeles bringing this leg of the tour to a close, August 12, 2023 saw Cruel Summer’s largest spike yet, (you guessed it) three days following the last show date.

As of today, according to Spotify Charts:

  • Swift is the Top Global Artist today
  • Swift is the Top Global Artist this week
  • Cruel Summer is the 4th most streamed song this week
  • Lover by Taylor Swift has been on Top Albums Global the longest, at 148 weeks straight.

Additionally, both the 30 and 60 second variations of Cruel Summer are in the top 15 most used sounds on TikTok yesterday, with roughly 36,000 new UGC videos using the song.

TikTok’s algorithm is widely known as the best for organic discovery, so why wouldn’t you help your organic content thrive?


Updated daily, Pentos arms artists and their teams with the insights the lack and the time to act on them. In Swift’s case, the power comes with knowing when and which song is exploding right now. Artists can create or interact with more content to push specific sounds that are already performing well.