TikTok Plans to Share Ad Revenue With Creators for the First Time

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TikTok is launching a new way for the top creators on its billion-user app make money — and for advertisers to reach the cream of the short-form video crop.

The company announced TikTok Pulse, an advertising program to let marketers buy inventory in the top 4% of all videos on the platform in a dozen different categories (including beauty, fashion, cooking and gaming). Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers will be eligible to participate in the initial stage of TikTok Pulse.

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The company said that with the launch of Pulse, it will “begin exploring” its first advertising-revenue share program with creators, public figures and media publishers. The announcement was timed for TikTok’s NewFronts presentation for marketers.

With the ad-revenue sharing plan, TikTok officially joins the “creator economy,” following in the footsteps of other internet platforms that compensate users based on advertising served with their content. That’s been led by YouTube, which first introduced the YouTube Partner Program in 2007.

“We’re focused on developing monetization solutions and available markets so that creators feel valued and rewarded on TikTok,” the company, owned by Chinese internet giant Bytedance, said in announcing the program. “From the very beginning, we’ve committed to working with our community to bring new features that enrich the TikTok experience, and we look forward to continuing that journey with TikTok Pulse.”

TikTok Pulse will roll out first in the U.S. in June, with additional markets to follow in the fall, according to Sofia Hernandez, TikTok’s global head of business marketing. “This finally offers marketers something they have been asking for for years — to be part of a community,” she said.

TikTok is projected to grow its net ad revenue in the U.S. to $5.96 billion in 2022, up 184% year-over-year, per market research firm eMarketer. The app’s ad revenue will continue to see double-digit growth, forecast to exceed $11 billion in 2024, per the researcher.

Hernandez said TikTok is taking several steps to ensure that campaigns bought through TikTok Pulse will be “brand safe.” The app uses a proprietary “inventory filter” to screen content prior to ads being served, and TikTok will employ additional post-campaign measurement tools (such as third-party brand suitability and viewability verification) for ad clients.

For ad sales, “historically we have really leaned into demographics,” Hernandez said. TikTok Pulse will give advertisers a way to put their messages in front of communities of interest, she said, “which we think is the next evolution.”

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