TikTok has announced a new expansion of its Creativity Program, which provides direct funding for top creators based on content performance in the app.
First launched with selected creators back in February, the Creativity Program is the next evolution of TikTok’s Creator Fund, providing more monetization opportunities for the app’s top creators.
And now, anybody can join – provided they meet the required engagement thresholds.
As per TikTok:
“Beginning May 3, 2023, US creators with at least 10K followers and 100K authentic video views in the last 30 days are eligible to join the Creativity Program Beta. The Creativity Program Beta is in its early stages, and we’re continuously exploring ways to improve the experience for our creator community and the way creators are rewarded.”
So there are some fairly restrictive parameters at present, but it will open up a new monetization avenue for a lot of creators in the app.
Creators also need to be over 18, and be posting videos that are at least one minute in length.
If you meet all of these elements, then you now have a new way to make money from your TikTok clips – though how much money, exactly, isn’t clear.
In its original overview of the Creativity Program, TikTok explained that the process doesn’t re-route money from ads, with payouts instead based on ’qualified views and RPM’. That means that the actual payout amounts are impossible to calculate, at least at this stage, and may never be fully transparent, unless TikTok provides full insight into these calculations (e.g. including these specific elements in your analytics).
Which has been a key criticism of its Creator Fund, which is a set pool of money that’s allocated to creators based on video performance. The problem with a set amount is that as more creators meet the requirements, less funding is available overall, so even if your video performance improves, your payout amounts will decrease as others join in.
In other words, as TikTok becomes more successful, you make less money, which seems like a backwards form of motivation, and has led to much creator angst.
The Creativity Program aims to address this, and provide more incentive, and it could be a more valuable, more viable way to funnel money to the app’s top stars, if it’s a workable process.
Which TikTok definitely needs. The app generates most of its revenue in China via in-stream commerce, which thus far hasn’t been a hit in the US. Without affiliate sales as a supplementary revenue stream for creators, there’s not really an equitable pathway for them to maximize their earnings based on TikTok popularity, which, eventually, will see more big creators de-prioritize the app in favor of bigger opportunities elsewhere.
That could have a major impact on TikTok usage and engagement, which is why it needs more monetization pathways to keep creators aligned to its app.
Maybe, this will offer a solution, of sorts, on this front – or maybe it’ll flame out, and force TikTok back to the drawing board once again.
We’ll soon find out, with creators able to apply to join the Creativity Program from this week.