Among TikTok’s various emerging growth challenges is creator monetization, and enabling the app’s top stars to make money from their TikTok clips.
Because short-form video is harder to monetize than longer types of content, in which platforms can insert ads for revenue share.
As such, TikTok has had to develop more creative opportunities to help users make money. And with live stream shopping also failing to take hold, which has been a big winner for the app in its Chinese homeland, it’s now branching out into new monetization avenues, to facilitate more opportunities.
Introducing TikTok Series ???? Our new premium feature enables creators to post Collections of up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes long ????♬ original sound - TikTok Newsroom
TikTok’s new Series option enables creators to paywall certain content, in order to boost revenue potential in the app.
As explained by TikTok:
“Developed with our community's love of sharing authentic stories, expertise and experiences in mind, Series enables eligible creators to post Collections of premium content behind a paywall which viewers can purchase for access. One Series can include up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes long, giving people a new, longer format to watch their favorite creators and content.”
So it’s a long-form monetization play, within the short-form app, but monetized through direct payments, as opposed to ads (like YouTube’s Partner Program).
Series will significantly expand the canvas for TikTok stars, enabling them to post exclusive, paid content for their biggest fans. Which could even see some cross-posting their long-form material from YouTube as a means to expand their income streams, and may eventually result in more of them spending more time developing their audience on TikTok, depending on how much revenue they can make.
Which will be the big question. YouTube enables creators to focus on their content by simply monetizing their videos, with little more effort than applying to the program and ticking a box. Series is a step in the same direction, but it’ll still require some additional work to package and promote these exclusive clips.
Which may be worth it, but it all depends on how much your audience will pay, how consistently they’ll convert, and how much effort it takes to maintain.
In essence, it will likely be a viable option, but probably only for a small percentage of top creators that have already built a following that’s willing to pay for extras.
Or adult performers. On that front, TikTok says that all Series content needs to abide by its Community Guidelines, which includes rules against nudity and/or sexual activity. But it does seem like some popular TikTok stars could use this as a sort of light version of OnlyFans, by skirting the rules in the app.
TikTok says that creators will be able to select how much their Series should cost ‘that best reflects the value of their exclusive content’, with prices ranging between $1 to $190. Users will then be able to purchase access via direct, in-video links or from the creator’s profile.
It could be an interesting new option for creators to test, and it’ll be equally interesting to see what users will pay, and what they’ll pay for, in terms of this exclusive content.
TikTok says that Series is currently only available to select creators, with applications to join the program opening up ‘in the coming months’.