Monday, 27 July 2020

TikTok launches $200 million fund for its stars

TikTok is going to start paying some of the most successful creators on its short video platform directly, funding artistic and humoristic influencers who have seen their popularity boom during the quarantine and confinement measures introduced in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. The social network beloved by Gen Z has announced the establishment of a fund of $200 million to pay its U.S.-based stars, further revealing that this financing is set to increase in the future. 

This fund will soon begin distributing money to creators and influencers. In order to apply to receive this financing, users must be aged 18 or over, have a minimum number of subscribers, and regularly post videos that respect the platform's regulations. 

"Our creators will be able to realize additional earnings that reflect the time, care, and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that's inspired by their ideas," explained TikTok.

Attracting and keeping hold of creators has become a high-stakes game for social networks competing to grab users' attention. YouTube allows creators who have surpassed certain thresholds (notably, number of subscribers and hours of videos) to broadcast ads in order to monetize their videos. 

The Google-owned platform can also sign deals with stars, such as Sweden's PewDiePie, who broadcasts his live streams exclusively on YouTube.

Up until now, TikTok has used a model which is closer to Instagram's: creators could feature sponsored content on their channels, but there was nothing resembling a remuneration program of the scale the platform is now offering. 

The social network has not yet specified how many people will be eligible for the fund, nor how much money each creator will receive. However, the move should help the platform consolidate its relationships with creators whose fame has grown beyond the app that first brought them into the spotlight. Many have already signed off on advertizing partnerships and been featured on the covers of magazines. 

TikTok is owned by China's ByteDance and boasts almost 1 billion users. The app could separate from its parent company and become an independent operation in order to avoid the risk of being banned by Washington, which suspects it of spying for the Chinese government.

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