TikTok monetization changes: Creativity Program gets a new name and “some improvements,” subscriptions expanding to VOD creators

By 03/05/2024
TikTok monetization changes: Creativity Program gets a new name and “some improvements,” subscriptions expanding to VOD creators

TikTok just held its biggest creator summit yet, and used the event to announce it's making two big changes in monetization: first, it's bringing the Creativity Program out of beta, and second, it's expanding LIVE Subscriptions beyond live content.

The Creativity Program, as you probably know, is TikTok's replacement for the $1 billion let's-get-creators-paid fund it established in 2020. It first introduced the Creativity Program around this time last year, paying out only on videos longer than 60 seconds.

As TikTok revealed at its For Creators: Future Formats Summit today in Los Angeles, that stipulation is remaining as the program comes out of beta, but one thing that isn't staying is the name. TikTok has gone from Creator Fund to Creativity Program and now to the (possibly permanent?) moniker Creator Rewards Program.

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The Rewards Program will release in the coming weeks “with some improvements,” TikTok says, without giving details about what those improvements are. It says the program will pay creators for their videos based on four criteria: “originality, play duration, search value and audience engagement.”

TikTok has said creators who join the program can expect to make 20x more revenue than they did with the Creator Fund. (We recently wrote about how much creators earn on TikTok compared to YouTube and TikTok, if you're interested.) At today's summit, the platform added that over the past six months, it's seen total creator revenue increase by 250%, and the number of creators making over $50K per month from the Creator Rewards Program has doubled.

We're not sure if eligibility for the Rewards Program will be different once it's out of beta, but as of right now, it's open to creators from U.S., U.K., Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, and Korea who are over 18 years old and have at least 10,000 followers and at least 100,000 views over the past 30 days.

Now on to subscriptions, which are another potential source of significant revenue for creators.

Introduced back in 2022, this monetization feature is basically TikTok's equivalent of YouTube's channel memberships and Twitch's channel subscriptions. It too rewards paying viewers with things like exclusive content and VIP emojis-but, unlike YouTube and Twitch, TikTok only allowed creators to offer subscriptions if they did livestreams.

Until now. Soon, the feature-which is also changing names, from LIVE Subscription to just Subscription-will expand to creators who make VOD content.

“Subscription will initially be available to invite-only creators, but in the coming weeks, eligible creators can sign up to access a new way to strengthen their community with added value through exclusive content and benefits, while providing their most engaged communities an opportunity to connect even deeper with their favorite creators,” TikTok says.

It's not clear if subscriptions will ever be available as broadly as the Creator Rewards Program, but for now, at least, it'll offer a subset of creators one way to make more money.

“Nothing is more important to me than championing and advocating for our creator community [and] as we move forward, we remain focused on ensuring TikTok is a place anyone can pursue their personal passion,” Adam Presser, TikTok's Head of Operations and Trust & Safety, said in a statement. “We will continue to unlock new opportunities for creators to maximize their experience while continuing to earn their trust as an industry leader in safety and security.”

If you're confused by all the name changes and policies and in-beta and invitiation-only and whether or not you can actually use any of these features to earn revenue, you're probably not alone.

TikTok seems to realize that, because its third big announcement today was yet another rebranding: this time of the Creator Portal, which is becoming the Creator Academy, which is meant to be a “comprehensive education hub” that will “provide creators of all levels with regularly updated resources, courses, articles, videos, and insights, for additional guidance on their TikTok journey,” it says.

The hub will specifically have information about “the analytics and mechanics” of TikTok's creator monetization features.

The Creator Academy is currently in testing, but will be available in the coming weeks.

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