TikTok Rolls Out Creator Fund 2.0, Promises Compensation for ‘High-Quality, Original Content Longer Than One Minute’

TikTok Rotana Music Group
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TikTok Rotana Music Group
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Photo Credit: TikTok

TikTok has long faced criticism over the paltry payments distributed via the Creator Fund. Now, as its CEO prepares to appear before Congress, the ByteDance-owned app has formally rolled out a revamped creator-compensation model, billed as the Creativity Program, that revolves around minute-plus videos.

Recent reports suggested that the retooled program’s launch was imminent, but the video-sharing service opted to publish a low-key (and detail-light) release about the Creativity Program’s beta today. For reference, TikTok’s initial Creator Fund arrived on the scene back in 2020.

Owing in part to the pre-determined total capital offered to an ever-growing collection of uploaders, this Creator Fund reportedly pays miniscule sums for even substantial viewership. To be sure, reports have indicated that creators receive somewhere in the ballpark of two cents per thousand views – or about $200 for a staggering 10 million views.

Meanwhile, YouTube has made a point of touting the comparatively sizable amounts that it forwards to accountholders and the music industry, and YouTube Shorts implemented a new revenue sharing model at February’s beginning.

Building upon the latter, TikTok has relayed that its Creativity Program Beta is designed “to help creators foster their creativity, generate higher revenue potential and unlock more exciting, real-world opportunities.”

Though the Creativity Program Beta is available by invitation only (in the States, France, and Brazil) at present, “all eligible US creators” will gain an access opportunity “in the coming months,” according to TikTok, which is grappling with heightened Justice Department scrutiny.

Moreover, those enrolled in the Creator Fund can switch to the newer model at once, whereas the aforementioned “eligible US creators” will have to complete an application for consideration. Said applicants “will need to be at least 18 years old, meet the minimum follower and video view requirements, and have an account in good standing,” TikTok communicated.

The most interesting component of TikTok’s rather unspecific Creativity Program Beta announcement concerns the length of videos that users can monetize under the program. “To start earning, creators must create and publish high-quality, original content longer than one minute,” the controversial platform spelled out.

Needless to say, it’ll be worth monitoring the Creativity Program Beta’s precise impact on labels and musicians moving forward.

But with a distribution and promotion service at its disposal, on top of the ability to prohibit the use of certain music, make select videos go viral, and determine what exactly constitutes “high-quality, original content,” TikTok remains engaged in (long and presumably complex) licensing talks with the Big Three.

Nevertheless, Universal Music Group head Lucian Grainge last year emphasized the belief that his company will effectively monetize TikTok, before kicking off 2023 by calling for streaming’s compensation model to evolve.