TikTok Learns from Competition
With the combination of buzz about the decentralized web (or Web3) and how creators will finally be able to make money off their intellectual property, the toxicity of social media, especially Instagram, and creator burnout and bullying, the major social media platforms are scrambling to ensure that they adequately compensate creators to prevent them from moving platforms or quitting altogether.
Most of the social networks out there take a hefty portion of the revenues from its creators. To recap, the main social networks (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram) take 55% of total advertising revenue. While they do help in aggregating audiences and sell the advertisers the space on your content, many have argued that they are the only game in town and are taking too much from struggling creators.
This led to the rise of other tools that let you monetize your existing audience base, like Substack, OnlyFans, and Patreon, which take between 15-20% of total revenues. Since they don’t generate new audiences or sell advertising, many creators aggregate audiences via social media and try to convert them with these tools to retain more of the pie.
Trying Something Different (Or Trying Everything)
Now enter TikTok. Given it is one of the newest platforms it also has the widest array of monetization options encompassing both the options of big tech and the monetization tools from the smaller “tool set” companies. The entire suite of options is called “Creator Next” and includes advertising, tipping, virtual currency, and brand sponsorships.
TikTok’s Creator Fund gives back to the platform’s top creators through the revenues the platform makes. While it is not clear who is getting paid what from the fund, which is currently at $200m, the company hopes to make it a billion dollars in three years. The opacity makes it difficult to compare the payout of TikTok to “big tech” for now.
TikTok’s Tips product takes a page out of the aforementioned monetization tools, allowing viewers to send tips to creators. Viewers pay the stripe fee in order to bypass the Apple in-app purchases 30% vig, allowing creators to keep 100% of the proceeds. This feature wasn’t too successful in Twitter, but the video medium generates enough empathy that some users might be able to make real money with it.
Not to be outdone by the Crypto boom, TikTok is creating its own virtual economy. Live Gifts let viewers send diamonds to livestreams while Video Gifts similarly allow viewers to send diamonds to regular videos. Either way diamonds can be redeemed for real money on the creator’s end. Viewers can send gifts by buying Coins with real money and then selecting which gifts they want to buy. Pretty soon, we will probably see portable NFT type gifts across platforms. (Maybe).
Finally the TikTok Creator Marketplace gives creators access to a sponsorship marketplace where they can collaborate with brands via sponsored videos. (This sounds very much like our sister site Cooperatize that has a sponsored content marketplace, check it out!)
In general TikTok has also taken down many of the follower minimums. Live Gifts require only 1000 followers while Video Gifts and Tips still need at least 100k followers. The marketplace was once only open to 100k follower creators but they’ve lowered the requirement to 10k. Regardless of the tool, each creator needs at least 1000 views and 3 posts in the last month, be at least 18, in good standing with TikTok’s community guidelines, and be from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy or Spain.
Have you tried any of the new TikTok monetization options? What are your thoughts? We aren’t sure what percentage of advertising revenue the Creator Fund represents but how does it compare to the other platforms in terms of costs per view? We’ll share our findings when we get some more data!