Canadian singer and actor Tyler Shaw has racked up billions of views on TikTok. But getting paid was tricky.
TikTok can put an artist on the map overnight. But can you make money on TikTok itself? According to Canadian artist Tyler Shaw, the answer is no.
During a roundtable on TikTok during Canadian Music Week in Toronto on Friday, Shaw told Digital Music News that despite more than 2.5 billion views, he hasn’t paid anything from the platform. “At the moment, I don’t make any money from the TikTok platform,” Shaw revealed.
Surprisingly, Tyler does not earn a small amount of money from TikTok. he does nothingdespite its resounding success and huge investments of time, energy and creative capital on the platform.
The hope, according to Shaw, is that TikTok’s viral moments spill over into revenue-generating areas such as brand deals, concerts and streaming royalties. “From viral moments and using the platform, you gain more followers,” Shaw explained. “And from there, there can be brand partnerships. And people who listen to or discover the music of [TikTok] platform so go listen to your music or buy your music online. And then you promote a show, and people show up to the show, so it’s all connected.
But none of these avenues are currently generating revenue for Shaw, despite its incredible success. In response to our question – “Does TikTok pay for you?” “Shaw seemed uncertain. “The way royalties are collected is – I’ll step on the pedal and then it will catch up. I’ll let you know in about six months.
Adam Burchill, head of music for TikTok Canada, was also on the panel.
He quickly chimed in, noting that TikTok pays rights holders for the use of their music. “And I’ll just add to that,” Burchill added. “We have good agreements with the publishers, the rights holders, so all the music on TikTok is licensed and paid for. So we want to make sure that creators and artists are compensated.
But Shaw doesn’t receive any of those royalty payments, likely because his viral hit was based on a reinterpretation of artist Gayle’s smash hit, “ABCDEFU.” This breakup song was also fueled by a viral TikTok moment, and Tyler Shaw smartly jumped on the trend by creating a more positive and loving take on Gayle’s angry original. Tyler’s remake is called “Love You Still” (romantic version abcdefu).”
But unlike Gayle and her label and publisher, Tyler is unlikely to own the rights to her creative reinterpretation.
“I finished the song, and after that it was like a waiting game just to hear from Gayle’s team and the editors, and whoever is in charge of ownership of the song “, explained Shaw without detailing the negotiations involved. “So I had the song made 72 hours after, but it took almost two and a half weeks, three weeks to come out. So it was a waiting game.
Incidentally, the full version of Shaw was only made after a rare viral moment took hold over a shorter clip. ” I just watched [Gayle’s] lyrics and it was kind of like, okay, it was quite the opposite. I assembled it and threw it on the platform.
Then it’s off to the races. “I was just watching it all day, it was 1 million, 2 million, 3 million, and it just kept going and going. At this point, I’m like, okay, we should probably do something more I think the next day, so 48 hours after all that, I was like, let me do a full version.
It’s also worth noting that Tyler Shaw is signed to Sony Music Canada, but not because of his viral TikTok moment. Instead, Shaw signed a deal with Sony about a decade ago after winning the MuchMusic Coca-Cola Covers competition in 2012. It’s unclear if any money is going through Sony Music, but if it’s If so, Shaw gets nothing.
Separately, TikTok also has a Creator Fund with hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to superstars like Tyler Shaw.
It’s unclear why Shaw isn’t receiving any of this money, though a look at the fine print reveals that Canadian-based artists may not be eligible to receive money from the fund. In a detailed post on its Creator Fund, TikTok clarified that artists must reside in the “US, UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy” to be eligible.
Last month, TikTok also launched an ad-based revenue-sharing program called TikTok Pulse for top creators. It’s also unclear why Shaw didn’t receive any revenue from this recently released program.
A TikTok spokesperson declined to comment for this article.