TikTok Debuts Live Subscriptions for Select Users — Fans Can Now ‘Thank Their Favorite Creators on a Regular Basis’

TikTok live streaming Twitch competitor
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TikTok live streaming Twitch competitor
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Photo Credit: Eyestetix Studio

TikTok has officially rolled out Live Subscription, which enables creators to offer fans exclusive content and other perks for a monthly fee.

The controversial short-form video-sharing app just recently detailed its Live Subscription feature, which will become “available to invite-only creators” this approaching Thursday, May 26th, and launch globally “over the coming months.” (Communicating directly with diehard users, TikTok also summarized Live Subscription in a brief video.)

Higher-ups have described the subscription program as “an extension of our efforts to build diversified creator monetization opportunities that suit a range of creator needs” – in addition to stating that the option “provides engaged communities an opportunity to thank their favorite creators on a regular basis.”

In exchange for thanking their favorite TikTok creators with their wallets, Live subscribers are set to secure perks such as badges (which will be “displayed next to their name on their profile and upgraded over time”), custom-designed emotes (“to use during LIVE sessions to bring the community together”), and, most notably, exclusive-chat opportunities.

While TikTok’s formal announcement message doesn’t disclose the subscription program’s financial details – including the precise percentage of revenue (if any) that the ByteDance-owned platform will take – execs did reiterate that “content on LIVE must abide by our Community Guidelines.”

Of course, TikTok has been the subject of multiple user-privacy lawsuits and government investigations pertaining to children and teenagers, both domestically and abroad.

Given these points, the app relayed that both monetization-minded Live creators and their subscribers must be age 18 or older; the former persons are required to have at least 1,000 followers. For reference, individuals need only be age 16 or older to go live on TikTok without offering a subscription.

TikTok Live’s expansion arrives as all manner of platforms (many NFT startups among them) are looking to cash in on community-driven subscriptions.

Though services and features developed to help prominent persons earn a living from their followings certainly aren’t new, TikTok Live’s subscribers could prove significant for members of the music community, several of whom have said that they pull down massive paydays from their posts on the app.

And with TikTok’s sizable userbase, Live’s support for subscriptions may drive further paychecks to artists as they more closely engage with fans who are (hyper)active specifically on the service.

Back in March, TikTok entered the distribution and marketing space with SoundOn, and the app last week introduced tools designed to credit the creators responsible for starting viral trends.