Photo courtesy of TikTok

TikTok has expanded its recently introduced paywall feature, which was only accessible to a select few, to include more TikTok creators so that more users can be able to make money from their content by placing it behind paywalls making it exclusive.

TikTok Boosts Creator Earnings with Exclusive Content Access

In March, TikTok introduced a new feature called Series, a new way for creators to share their content with videos up to 20 minutes long, double the current limit on videos on the platform. In addition, the feature would add a paywall to the content, where creators can lock exclusive content that users must pay to access, similar to OnlyFans.

For each Series, creators were allowed to price the collection, which can have up to 80 videos in it, between $1 to $190 and fans would be able to purchase access directly through in-video links or through the creator’s personal page.

In order for them to be eligible for the monetization option, creators must meet several requirements. For starters, they must be at least 18 years old and reside in one of the designated areas. They must also have 10,000 followers and have an account that is at least 30 days old.

Additionally, they must have amassed 1,000 views in the past 30 days and posted three publicly accessible videos over this period. However, users who satisfy the other conditions and have less than 1,000 followers can also apply to the program by showcasing original content they have sold elsewhere through the Creator Center in the TikTok app, though this does not guarantee acceptance.

Note that a user is automatically ineligible if they have consistently broken TikTok’s Community Guidelines.

The content creation space has been very competitive lately, especially among platforms that facilitate the creation and sharing of the same, and this new feature stirs the pot further. The rivalry between TikTok and YouTube, which is known for its lengthy videos, is not new and is heightened by the new time limit on Series videos.

This competition was however began by YouTube when it unveiled YouTube Shorts in August 2021 which mimic the initial format of TikTok’s videos. To counter TikTok’s explosive growth in the US, other platforms like Meta and Snap have also launched short-form video which also compete with Instagram’s reels.

Big Numbers, Small Money

Nonetheless, TikTok is on an upward trajectory seeing as statistics by BusinessofApps show that it had the highest number of downloads last year with 657 million downloads. Moreover, the app has seen a steady increase in the number of users closing 2022 with 1.6 billion users and is projected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of this year.

Photo courtesy of BusinessofApps

With the tremendous increase in users, the company has also been reaping great revenue over the years with a total of $9.4 billion in 2022. However, unlike one would expect, the company pays its creators much less than other platforms like YouTube.

Last year, top creators on the platform including MrBeast and Hank Green revealed how much they made for the millions of views they received for their content. Green, for instance, who is a creator with 6.3 million followers and 414 million “likes” on the platform, disclosed that he received between $0.02 and $0.03 for every thousand views on his TikTok content.

On the other hand, YouTube reportedly pays about $0.018 per view. TikTok pays so little that it’s essentially impossible to make a living on only TikTok ad revenue, forcing its users to look for sponsorships.

This was after TikTok had launched yet another monetization plan named Creator Fund which it loaded with $1 billion to pay creators over a three-year period. Following the complaints, the app replaced the scheme with another one named Creator Program which would provide a higher average gross revenue for qualified video views.

TikTok has many more monetization schemes such as the Effect Creator Reward but none seems to fully compensate the creators for their efforts.

However, the paywall may better satisfy creators since they have control over how much they charge for their content hence the trend may change.

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