TikTok has launched LIVE Subscription, a feature that lets creators to monetize their channel. The social platform announced its plans to offer subscription-based content back in January 2022 and is now beta testing the feature.
There are still a lot of questions about LIVE Subscription, but here are the questions we can answer:
What is LIVE Subscription?
First things first, let’s define it. LIVE Subscription gives creators the opportunity to earn predictable income on TikTok.
Followers can pay a monthly subscription fee to support their favorite TikTokers. In exchange, followers get access to:
Creators can connect with their members during a LIVE chat, creating a stronger sense of community.
Creators get to design and release customized emotes to subscribers to use during LIVE chats.
Subscribers receive distinguishing badges that are displayed next to their name on their profile.
TikTok released a short video about LIVE Subscriptions that mentions these three features.
Who can use it?
Currently, LIVE Subscription is an invite-only situation. TikTok didn’t reveal how many creators were invited to try the feature out, but there are a handful of “testers” on TikTok that are part of the inaugural group.
Casey Hamilton, a former Florida teacher turned TikTok star with 6.5 million followers, is one of the hand-selected creators, and so is Kay Hall, a pilot and instructor who shares her countrywide travels with 1 million fans.
Both influencers shared a video promoting the feature and their participation in it, but that’s about it.
I am proud to announce that I am part of a select group of creators that are offering LIVE subscriptions! It’s a fun extra way to build a community and I’m VERY EXCITED FOR IT 🥰 #tiktoklive #livesubscription #hammygoeslive #gaming #live♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
In the coming months, more people will have access to LIVE Subscription.
Are there eligibility requirements to use LIVE Subscription?
Yes. While TikTok plans to give the public access to LIVE Subscription, there are certain criteria that must be met. The creator must:
- Be 18 years old.
- Have at least 1,000 followers.
- Follow all community guidelines.
- Understand that memberships can only be sold to those over 18.
How much will subscriptions cost?
There isn’t a lot of information on the paywalls, but experts say the pricing will likely mimic that of Twitch, which means prices could range between $4.99 to $24.99.
How will the feature work?
Right now, everyone has the ability to go live on TikTok. However, once users have access to LIVE Subscription, they’ll be able to select “subscriber-only” mode to connect with premium followers. It’s as simple as flipping a button.
Do other social platforms have something similar?
Yes. In fact, just about every social platform has launched a subscription program in the last few years.
Facebook launched a subscription service in 2018, where premium fans get access to exclusive content and badges. Instagram followed suit. Paying subscribers get access to VIP Instagram Stories, live sessions, and badges. Twitter also has a subscription program called Twitter Blue, with features like “undo tweets,” ad-free articles, a bookmark folder, and access to subscriber-only tweets.
Will TikTok take a cut of the subscription fee?
There’s no word yet on whether or not TikTok will take a percentage of the subscription fees. However, it’s likely. Other platforms, like Facebook, gave creators some time to build their subscription base first, but in 2020 the social media giant started taking a 30% cut of subscription fees.
Are there other ways to monetize TikTok?
Yes. Like other social platforms, TikTok does offer several ways to make money as an influencer. Here’s a quick look at the options:
TikTok Creator Fund
Influencers can earn money from TikTok for creating videos via the Creator Fund. To join, an influencer must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have at least 10,000 followers.
- Have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.
- Follow all community guidelines.
TikTok doesn’t say how much money influencers earn, instead the company says compensation is based on views, authenticity, and engagement.
TikTok followers can buy coins and reward their favorite creators with them, which is similar to leaving a tip at a restaurant. Influencers can turn digital coins into real money.
Work with brands
Influencer marketing offers an additional revenue stream for creators. By working with brands, an influencer is compensated for promoting a product to his or her audience.
How do you find a brand to work with? You can identify products you’d like to promote and send brands a pitch to collaborate. You can also join influencer marketing platforms like Shake, where brands go to find influencers to work with.
TikTok’s LIVE Subscription gives creators another way to monetize their channel, giving socially-savvy influencers a way to earn income and fans a chance to engage with their favorite creator on a more personal level.