TikTok's global success has been good for the platform's growth, but it seems artists are still struggling financially.
Despite artists' virality and perceived success on TikTok, it fails to pay a fair royalty rate, according to a report published by Billboard. A music executive said ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, "doesn't view music as a value add."
"The numbers are horrifying," added one manager who shared his royalty statements. An indie label head who also shared statements revealed that 1 million views on TikTok equates to roughly $8. For comparison, 1 million views on YouTube earns between $500 and $2,000.
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"We're proud of the partnerships we are building with the industry and artists, and we are confident that we are enhancing musical engagement," TikTok's global head of music, Ole Obermann, said in a statement. "That translates directly to more financial and creative opportunities for music creators."
Obermann also reiterated that TikTok is not a music streaming platform and its users don't utilize it to listen to music as they would Spotify or Apple Music.
Nevertheless, the platform's allegedly low royalty payouts have raised concerns about ByteDance's planned expansion of Resso, their native music streaming service.
"Our community comes to TikTok to watch videos, not to listen to full-length tracks," Obermann added.