TikTok Announces New Incentive Options for Creative Talent

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TikTok will now enable all creators to offer subscription packages, not just live creators, as part of its latest effort to provide more monetization options to keep top talent posting to the app.

TikTok says that its subscription option, formerly known as “LIVE Subscription”, will be expanded to non-LIVE creators in the coming weeks.

TikTok Creator Academy update

As per TikTok:

“Eligible creators can sign up for Subscription for a new way to strengthen their community with added value through exclusive content and benefits, while providing their most engaged communities an opportunity to connect even deeper with their favorite creators.”

That’ll provide another revenue pathway, aligned directly with creation, as opposed to having to organize brand deals, or run shopping streams in the app.

Which TikTok still sees as its biggest potential money maker. Live stream shopping has blown up on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, with Douyin’s gross merchandise value (i.e. cumulative value of product sales generated in the app) rising to more than $270 billion in 2023.

For comparison, TikTok users spent $3.8 billion in the app throughout 2023, up 15% year-over-year. So TikTok is seeing more spend over time, but it’s nowhere close to Douyin yet, which is why TikTok continues to push in-stream shopping, as it works to expand user behaviors.

Creator monetization, however, provides another avenue to keep creators posting, which is also crucial to TikTok’s sustainability. Because eventually, most will realize that they can make more money on YouTube or IG instead, and TikTok needs to counter that as best it can.

TikTok’s expanded “Subscription” offering will initially be available by invite-only, but in the coming weeks, eligible creators will also be able to sign up to gain access.

Along similar lines, TikTok’s also bringing its Creativity Program out of beta, and re-naming it the “Creator Rewards Program.”

TikTok Creator Academy update

“The new Creator Rewards Program will continue rewarding high-quality, original content over a minute long, with an optimized rewards formula focused on 4 key areas: originality, play duration, search value and audience engagement.”

TikTok says that more users are consuming long-form content in the app, and the Creator Rewards Program will provide more incentive to post longer clips to the app.

On another front, TikTok’s also upgrading its Creator Portal within its “Creator Academy” platform, which will host courses, articles, videos, and insights, to help creators maximize their in-app efforts.

TikTok Creator Academy update

TikTok announced the updates at its “Future Formats” creator summit in Los Angeles, where it also shared a range of tips and insights to help aspiring TikTok stars maximize their efforts.

Despite the rise of generative AI options, creative talent remains a critical consideration for every platform, and as such, there’s a clear need to provide incentives and monetization options to help top stars make the most that they can.

TikTok is still behind other platforms on this front, but it is developing expanded options, which will help it remain a viable consideration for its talent, and ideally keep them from migrating to greener (as in money) pastures.

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