Songwriters and Music Producers Say Navigating TikTok Can Be ‘Abrasive’: ‘Creators Are Often the Afterthought’ (Video)

Power Women Summit 2022: Female musicians weigh the positives and negatives of the app

While TikTok trends shoot some artists and songs into national popularity, singers, songwriters and producers warned about navigating the “abrasive” nature of TikTok on Wednesday, adding that “creators are often the afterthought” on the app.

“[TikTok] is not always fair, and it doesn’t always value art. Sometimes it’s really catering to this classic kind of music that people hear all the time,” content creator and recording artist Brooklynne Webb said during the Empowering Women in Music panel presented by SeeHer at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit. “It’s incredibly frustrating too, sometimes because people will be putting out this content and it takes time. Sometimes it’s literally just that that one video that one time you — can put out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, but it’s that one video sometimes that happens that makes it go viral.”

For singer and songwriter Autumn Rowe, being a creator on TikTok is problematic due to the difficulty in monetizing music on the platform, pointing to a song called “Fancy Like” by her friend Walker Hayes, which took off on TikTok but did not usher in any financial success for the artist.

“You’re devaluing the work, because we will ever monetize from that,” Rowe said. “It’s building your brand but taking away from what I do [because] I can’t make any money from that. The only way we can make money from that as songwriters is if it … takes off on iTunes or gets radio life but TikTok itself is not helpful towards the behind the scenes people.”

While singer, songwriter and producer Milck noted that TikTok has taught her and other creators to “condense the message” they want to portray, she worries about the “level of artistry that is going to be available to us” as a result of technology-driven music that has risen up through TikTok.

“Do we want to live in a profit-driven society where we have art that’s created by machines and tech, or do we want to empower human beings to be able to tell their stories so we can heal from the traumas that we all endure?” Milck asked. “I envision a globe filled with people that are able to express their stories because that is a sign of a human that is not only surviving, but thriving.”

Moderated by TheWrap’s Andi Ortiz, Webb, Rowe and Milck were also joined by Emree Franklin, singer, songwriter, actor and producer and Germaine Franco, composer, songwriter and music producer.

The Power Women Summit (PWS) is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. The event aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s PWS provides two days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote this year’s theme, “A Time to Unite.” Learn more here: