TikTok will let its creators charge subscription fees
TikTok said Thursday it was testing paid subscription support, allowing short-form video creators to charge for their work. The company didn’t say when it will be available to creators, how many are currently testing it, or what the compensation package would look like, according to The Information. The subscriptions were an “idea being tested,” according to company spokesperson Zachary Kizer, who added that the company “always thinks of new ways to deliver value to our community and expand the TikTok experience”.
If implemented, it would be TikTok’s final step in helping its creators monetize their work; in December it launched its Creator Next hub, which includes monetization tools, and in December it opened up its tipping option to eligible artists after testing it with a limited group. It’s unclear how TikTok will incorporate direct-to-creator payments into its already successful business strategy. The app’s bizarre algorithm, which reveals material to users’ For You pages, gives it a significant edge over the competition. It’s a way for producers to connect with their audience and, ideally, convert them into subscribers.
It’s a way for producers to connect with their audience and, ideally, convert them into subscribers. However, if creators save their greatest work for subscribers, that content is unlikely to be available to feed the algorithm, reducing engagement as it is not revealed to non-subscribers.
Of course, this isn’t a challenge unique to TikTok; all digital platforms trying to help content creators and influencers monetize their content need to strike a balance between engagement and allowing creators to directly monetize their content. Additionally, creators need to be able to predict what type of content users would be willing to pay for, as well as what type of content will best help them promote their own work.
TikTok’s premium membership test comes after Instagram announced it was also testing paid memberships with a small group of creators and influencers. Subscribers will pay a monthly fee in order to have access to unique material from their favorite creators, such as stories and live videos. Different tiers will be priced from $0.99 to $99.99 per month, depending on what the creator decides to charge, and a purple badge will be displayed in the comments section to indicate the status of a subscriber to the creator/ influencer. Instagram, which is owned by Meta, said it won’t take a portion of subscription revenue from authors until next year at the earliest.