TikTok extends paid-for, long-form content with Series launch

by | Mar 9, 2023 | News

TikTok has announced the launch of Series, its boldest departure yet from the ultra short form space it has become known for. Positioned as a premium, paid-for product, TikTok calls Series “a new way for creators to share their stories, talents and creativity while further deepening their connection with the TikTok community.”

Explaining the concept via its blog, TikTok said Series enables “eligible” creators to post Collections of premium content behind a paywall which viewers can purchase for access. “One Series can include up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes long, giving people a new, longer format to watch their favourite creators and content.”

The new feature is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, because it takes TikTok into the subscription business. Secondly, because Series is the first time TikTok has opened the door to content more than 10 minutes in length. For the most part, the Chinese-owned platform is thought of as a place for sub 60 second productions.

Creators can select “how much their Series should cost” selecting a price that “best reflects the value of their content, which can be purchased for access via direct in-video links or through a creator’s profile. Through Series, creators can build stronger relationships with viewers while also giving viewers another way to support creators.”

The launch of Series comes at a time when increased attention is being paid to how creators can monetise their content and audiences. YouTube Shorts has been offering a new monetisation model for the last month, with some creators starting to share reports of how much money they are making from the initiative. TikTok says: “Series joins our growing range of monetisation solutions as we continue to build new ways for creators to feel valued and rewarded as they inspire and engage our community.”

Series is currently only available to select creators with applications to join opening in the coming months. TikTok says: “As we’re in the early stages of Series, we’ll continue to listen closely to our community for feedback. In the meantime, you can learn about the many ways creators can get paid or collect rewards on TikTok, including the recently announced Creativity Program Beta, by visiting our Creator Portal.”

For now, Series creators will receive 100% of their earnings (minus fees). Longer term, it is not clear what kind of revenue share the platform will push for. News of TikTok’s latest initiative comes at a pivotal moment for the Chinese-owned platform, which some governments regard as a threat to national security and personal privacy. In the US, new legislation will give US President Joe Biden the power to ban or restrict the platform if he decides it represents a threat. In response, TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said: “A US ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.”

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