TikTok continues to explore more ways to share revenue with creators, this time via a new ‘Creativity Program’, which it’s launching in beta with selected creators to begin with.
Varying from the current Creator Fund, TikTok’s Creativity Program aims to reward creators for posting longer videos, with only content longer than a minute in length eligible for funding.
As per TikTok:
“To be eligible for the Creativity Program Beta, users will need to be at least 18 years old, meet the minimum follower and video view requirements, and have an account in good standing. To start earning, creators must create and publish high-quality, original content longer than one minute. Creators will have access to an updated dashboard to view video eligibility, estimated revenue, and video performance metrics and analytics.”
That’s a shift from TikTok’s traditional, short-form approach, and it could be that by expanding the length of videos, that gives TikTok more leeway to better monetize through enhanced engagement.
But outside of these details, the full process is fairly vague, at least at this stage. TikTok says that the new system will not re-route money from ads, and that payouts will be based on ‘qualified views and RPM’.
“Creators already enrolled in the TikTok Creator Fund can switch to the Creativity Program, and those that are not enrolled can apply to the new program once available. Creators currently enrolled in the TikTok Creator Fund can choose to switch to the Creativity Program Beta.”
TikTok’s Creator Fund, which sees creators drawing from a set pool of funds, has been criticized for its fluctuating payouts, and even declining funding, despite creator view counts increasing. Essentially, the static funding model doesn’t really work as a reliable, recurring source of revenue, which has seen some creators looking to other platforms instead.
YouTube is the key winner on this front. YouTube’s Partner Program has a well-established revenue share process in place, while it’s also now testing its new Shorts funding program, which will see all Shorts ad revenue shared with eligible creators, based on view counts.
It’s too early to tell how effective that program will be, but a more direct line of revenue share, from ads to creators, means that as ad income increases, creators make more money, as opposed to having a set pool of money that doesn’t shift.
That seems like a better, more sustainable way to go, but as noted, it seems that TikTok’s new Creativity Program isn’t moving in-line with that process. TikTok hasn’t gone into specifics, but it’s hoping that this will be a better solution than the current process.
And it needs to improve here. If TikTok can’t provide better revenue share options for creators, more of them will eventually prioritize other platforms instead, and as Reels and Shorts become more popular options, they offer significant reach potential in their own right, which could see TikTok lose market share.
If Meta or YouTube look to sign top stars to exclusive deals, that could be a big blow to the app, while TikTok is also fighting for its very survival in the US, amid ongoing questions about its linkage to the CCP.
As such, it needs this new program to work. We’ll keep you updated on any progress.
TikTok’s Creativity Program Beta will initially be available to creators by invite-only and then become available to all eligible US creators in the coming months.