TikTok is launching a program that will let marketers buy prime advertising spots on the top four per cent of videos, and for major creators to make money off their content.
The company announced TikTok Pulse, an advertising program set to launch for U.S. advertisers in June this year, with more markets to follow. Only creators with a minimum of 100,000 followers are eligible to participate in the first phase of the program.
Daniel Bader, a technology analyst and editor in chief of AndroidPolice.com says that the change won’t apply to the everyday Tik Tok user.
“(The program) is for the biggest creators on the network. We’re talking about brands that are going to be able to put their ads in front of the top 4 per cent of TikTok videos, and that means the average person, me, you, somebody just posting TikTok videos of their kids; they’re not getting paid anytime soon.”
TikTok didn’t say how many creators it would actually approve for the program in the early phases, or how the revenue would be distributed.
With this move, the company officially joins the “creator economy,” following in the footsteps of other online platforms that reward users based on advertising delivered with their work. YouTube has been at the forefront of this, having launched the YouTube Partner Program in 2007.
However, there are concerns about whether the company will actually pay up when the time comes.
TikTok has experimented with monetization before and introduced a “Creator Fund,” as a way to compensate creators which pays out select users based on the popularity of their videos.
But Bader says there have been criticisms about payments to creators being small and inconsistent – with the money not translating to the number of followers or views that creators have.
“Mr. Beast, for instance, somebody who’s had billions of views on TikTok said that he only made about $15,000 from those billion-plus views from the Creator fund,” he said.
“Now, this will be a different program, but TikTok really has to step it up here and prove that it’s willing to pay out its creators.”