After Google opened up the option to monetize YouTube Shorts videos, ByteDance is responding by developing a premium content subscription option available to TikTok stars interested in supplementing their income.
While the new premium content option probably won’t turn TikTok into a direct alternative to OnlyFans, the not-so-strict rules on what content is accepted on the platform will likely become even more “relaxed” for subscribers.
Specifically, the paywall option will allow creators to set a price for their content. Viewers would pay $1 (or other amount decided by the creator) to watch premium content on the respective TikTok channel. It is not clear at this stage whether the model involves a one-off payment for access to all content available on the channel, or there will be an option to come each clip separately. What is certain is that TikTok is not the first social network to adopt this model of paying content creators, with Instagram, Twitter and YouTube already offering similar services.
Additionally, ByteDance is working on “modernizing” the so-called Creator Fund. Introduced as a pilot project to remunerate TikTok stars, the current system is based on distributing rewards from a fixed-value fund, awarded based on views. Unfortunately, as the number of eligible creators has increased, the amount of rewards has decreased and the system is now unprofitable for anyone but the platform’s most successful stars.
Instead, with the introduction of the Paywall option, the platform is moving to a more traditional compensation model, where TikTok fans pay their stars directly for content delivered, and the ByteDance admin makes a profit by charging for each transaction.
“We are committed to exploring new ways to create a rewarding and valuable experience for the TikTok creator community. On TikTok, anyone can be a creator and everyone can enjoy entertainment from 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 new plan to expand the monetization options available to TikTok creators comes just as the platform is being targeted by new national security investigations, even risking an outright ban on US soil.