TikTok Quietly Expands Subscription Options, Announces ‘Creator Rewards Program’ Rollout

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TikTok is expanding its subscription options for creators. Photo Credit: Olivier Bergeron

TikTok is quietly expanding subscription options for creators and taking its revamped Creator Fund out of beta with a new title.

The video-sharing platform just recently revealed the expansions alongside several other announcements. However, the disclosures have largely flown under the radar amid the rapid legislative progress of a bill that would compel ByteDance to sell or shut down TikTok in the States. (Other pressing developments, including a lawsuit from Kansas over the harm allegedly inflicted on minors by TikTok, are also soaking up a sizable share of the media spotlight.)

On the subscription side, May of 2022 saw TikTok roll out Live Subscription, or, as its name suggests, an offering through which creators could provide exclusive content and perks to fans in exchange for a monthly fee. Now, “Live” has been dropped from the title, and accordingly, the feature has become “available to non-LIVE creators on TikTok.”

Set for an invitation-only debut ahead of a wider sign-up opening “in the coming weeks,” Subscription could well present a worthwhile means of generating revenue for artists whose music is still available on the service, especially given the relatively small song library at hand.

Moreover, it’s hardly a secret that a number of passionate supporters use TikTok, which has bolstered Subscription as more than a few industry platforms and companies are looking to capitalize on superfan-monetization opportunities.

Shifting to the initially noted conclusion of the Creativity Program beta, the long-form-focused Creator Fund successor will “in the coming weeks” rebrand as the Creator Rewards Program.

According to TikTok, the beta has brought with it an “over 250%” increase in “total creator revenue” across the past six months, with “the number of creators making $50,000 each month nearly doubling.”

Additionally, the app says “viewership of longer videos” increased by “nearly 40%” during the last six or so months, with users spending about half their on-platform time accessing the media; the Creativity Program has from the outset prioritized uploads longer than one minute apiece.

At present, Shorts, Snapchat, and Reels (the latter of which is reportedly topping TikTok in new downloads) look to be gaining usership ground – in part because of their fully licensed music catalogs and apparent willingness to lean into promotional efforts with Universal Music.

But assuming TikTok survives the latest threat of a stateside forced sale – which effectively equates to a ban from the perspective of ByteDance – time will reveal the precise audience-size impact of the emphasis on long-form content.

The focus, essentially the opposite of YouTube’s short-form embrace, is presumably poised to continue unlocking additional revenue given the comparative ease with which adverts can be incorporated into lengthier uploads. On the other side of the coin, reports have indicated that the short-form pivot at YouTube could be cannibalizing the platform’s core business model.