After seeing its viewership grow in the US last year, TikTok is looking to drive growth with new initiatives including paid videos and a revamped creative fund, according to a new report from The Information.
The report says the company is working on a paid video feature that would allow creators to charge users $1, or another amount they choose, to access a video. While it’s unclear exactly how it would work, the feature would be a way for the app’s creators to earn money directly from their popular videos. The idea of exclusive content for paying users is not a new concept, as Instagram allows creators to share subscriber-only content.
If released, the feature would allow TikTok to better reward creators, who drive the app, as their viral videos have been key to the app’s growth and popularity.
TikTok is also reportedly testing a revamped creation fund that aims to offer creators higher payouts than its previous version launched in 2020. The original fund, which includes a $1 billion pool over three years, rewards creators for popular videos. However, the fund has come under fire from creators who have complained about low payouts. Given the reviews of the current version, a revamped creation fund would be a welcome addition to the platform.
The company also plans to use the revamped fund to reward creators who post longer videos and take advantage of the app’s extended video length from three minutes to 10 minutes. Additionally, TikTok is considering increasing the requirement for followers to be eligible for the fund to 100,000 from 10,000 for the current fund.
TikTok would test the revamped fund in France and Brazil. The revamped Creators Fund could launch in the United States as early as next month, according to the report.
When reached for comment, TikTok did not directly address claims about the revamped creative fund or paid video feature, but did note that the company is exploring new ways to create a rich experience for creators on its platform.
“We are committed to exploring new ways to create a valuable and enriching experience for TikTok’s creator community,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. “On TikTok, anyone can be a creator and anyone can enjoy the entertainment of our inspiring creators, and we aim to continue to innovate this experience so people can express themselves, find their community and be rewarded for their creativity.”
The features would expand TikTok’s current payment offerings for creators as its biggest competitors increase their offerings. This month, YouTube began sharing ad revenue with the creators of Shorts. So far, no short video platform has quite figured out how to split ad revenue, giving Shorts a noticeable leg up on the competition. However, the upcoming changes reported by TikTok indicate that it is looking for new ways to appease creators.
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