TikTok is one of the social media apps that is not yet monetized. Till now, you don’t get money from the number of views on your videos. It’s strange but it’s true. Still, content creators are earning through different means. My friend at Cox was promoting Cox deals on their channels and getting money in exchange for such sponsorships. Most of these deals have to be closed outside TikTok.
When Will TikTok Make Money?
There are a bunch of creators who are handpicked by TikTok to earn money through tipping in their live streams. But that does not cover most part of the app. Because of the lack of monetization, the top talent might not stick around. Some popular creators such as Brendan Robert who had 3 million followers have taken their fan to their YouTube accounts. That’s where they can really make money and honestly, we can’t blame them.
TikTok has ads for sure but they do not directly run on the videos of creators or offer them money as YouTube does. Plus, monetization of TikTok is difficult. The platform does not run videos for more than 60 seconds. And if an ad is placed in front of the videos, it will ruin the user experience.
Right now, TikTok is exploring opportunities to create value for its brand partners. Its focus, however, is to create a good user experience. There is no mention whether they would ever use a program like AdSense. One of the representatives of TikTok said it’s a platform created to offer a fun and positive experience. The brands that are the most successful are the ones that have embraced creativity and authenticity.
Ways People are Making Money on TikTok
Creators on TikTok are relying on brand deals and tipping to make money. Experts in the industry believe that soon, The app will support native advertising on its platform. They will do that to retain their top creators.
The only way they will stay is if the app offers direct monetization to its creators. It is going to take a while for TikTok’s system to really get there.
Meanwhile, these are ways people are earning through TikTok:
Becoming an influencer
If you have a large fan following and your followers value your opinion, you are an influence. So when you recommend a food brand or an album, people will buy it. It’s through this kind of sponsorship one can make money using this app.
TikTok users can buy coins using their money through in-app purchases. These coins are then used for tipping the top creators. The platform passes 80 percent of that tip to the person who is doing live streaming.
Another option is to use TikTok to promote your business. Let people know who you are, what you do and what you sell. Get them to land on your website.
YouTube Can Offer Some Inspiration
The goofy videos are turning into a career. That is why YouTube is considered the golden standard for creators who want to earn money from their videos. After YouTube, the popular platforms they reach out to include Twitch and Facebook. All these platforms allow their creators to earn directly from the ad revenue. Facebook and YouTube take 45% of the revenue earned from the videos while Twitch takes 50%.
These methods of monetization are not available on TikTok. Influencers are earning by working with brands for sponsorships. They are also selling merchandise through the commerce tool. The monetization on TikTok is not as simple as the AdSense program by YouTube, but we are hopeful that it will change.
It would be great if TikTok takes inspiration from YouTube when it comes to monetization. It can become a short version of YouTube. That’s because currently, people compare TikTok more to YouTube than Instagram.
The creators that are earning the most through TikTok are musicians. It is helping them become famous even better than Spotify. In fact, Spotify is streaming playlists based on songs trending on TikTok. Record label owners are using TikTok for generating a buzz about their work because it can help them in ways others platforms can’t. This is, however, only helping the record label monetize not the creators.
TikTok is not yet being used for creating longer explainer videos (like YouTube) such as the one I saw showing how to program COX remote but it still has the potential to expand.
As a creator, you will have to rely on these few methods of monetizing right now. Soon, the founders will come up with a way to help creators earn otherwise, they will just switch to a different platform.