TikTok to Let its creators charge subscription fees

Bol News  |  Jan 21, 2022

TikTok to Let its creators charge subscription fees

TikTok said on Thursday that it is testing paid subscription support, paving the path for producers on the short-form video network to charge for their work. The firm did not provide details about when it would be available to creators, how many creators are presently testing it, or what the remuneration system might look like, as first reported by The Information. In an email to The Verge, company spokesman Zachary Kizer stated that the subscriptions were a “idea that has been tested” and that the company was “always thinking about new ways to offer value to our community and expand the TikTok experience” (whatever that means).

If implemented, it would be TikTok’s latest step to assist its creators in monetizing their material; it previously established its Creator Next portal with monetization tools, and in December, it opened out its tipping option to eligible artists after testing it with a limited group.

It’s unclear how TikTok will include direct-to-creator payments into its already-successful business strategy. The app’s main competitive edge is its uncanny algorithm that displays information to users’ For You pages. It allows artists to reach out to users and, ideally, convert them into subscribers. However, if creators save their greatest content for subscribers, that content is unlikely to be available to fuel the algorithm, potentially reducing engagement because it is not revealed to non-subscribers.

Of course, this is not a TikTok-specific issue; many digital platforms attempting to assist content creators and influencers in monetizing their content are attempting to strike a balance between engagement and allowing artists to monetize directly. And the producers must be able to foresee what content users would be ready to pay for, as well as what content will best help them promote their own work.

TikTok’s paid membership test comes on the heels of Instagram’s news that it, too, is testing paid subscriptions with a small number of creators and influencers. Subscribers will pay a monthly fee to have access to exclusive material from their favourite creators, such as Stories and Live videos. The different tiers will range in price from $0.99 to $99.99 per month, depending on what the creator decides to charge, and a purple badge in the comments section will indicate a subscriber’s status to the artist/influencer. Instagram, which is owned by Meta, has stated that it does not intend to take a portion of authors’ subscription revenue until at least next year.

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