TikTok’s Astonishing $2.5 Billion Payout to Creators – and Why It Could Be Even Bigger in 2024

TikTok creators enjoying a transitive nightfall of diamonds
This Week: This is the last issue of the year – so much still going on, I’m pushing 2024 trends to, well, 2024! See you Jan 2, have a great break if you can take one and here’s what you need to know:

Surprising 2.5B TikTok Payout to Creators Revealed: That’s the estimate from the Data.AI folks, formerly App Annie. They made waves last week anointing TikTok as the first non-game to drive $10B in revenue, but as study author @Randy Nelson explains, it’s a bit more nuanced. “The $10B is before the Apple/Google platform fee, so… it’s really $7B for ByteDance.” Take out the $3B attributed to Douyin in China, and that’s $5B net to TikTok globally (apart from India and China). And all of it attributed to users buying up virtual coins – which were presumably gifted to creators, converted to “Diamonds” and cashed out. Double T keeps 50% along the way – thus a $2.5B TikTok-specific payout. And since Data AI reports $4B in 2023, that’s $1B dropped into creators’ pockets. Impressive, although surely some of those coins have yet to been bestowed, and the exchange rate can fluctuate widely. Still, I’ve been critical of TikTok’s inability to pay creators at scale, but this is certainly significant.

The Return of the Son of the Bride of the Reels Play Program: In a blow to creators, Facebook just killed its revshare program. It will be replaced with a new performance-based program, which sounds a lot like the Reels Play plan which was shuttered last March. Not optimistic here, as Facebook has never really figured out how to pay creators at scale. Even more evidence that creators are on their own in 2024 – and should view most platforms as awareness vehicles that drive to owned experiences. Perhaps they need more diamonds in their plans?

What’s Really Trending: Want to know what really trended in the world – and in your country? Forget TikTok – Check out Google’s “Year in Search 2023”. Among other things, I discovered that I visited one of the top 5 most searched Museums (Team Lab Planets, highly recommended), and that I inexplicably missed the “Smurf Cat”. And don’t miss their awesome video recapping the most searched figures and moments in 25 years of Google Search. Then try your hand at “The Most Searched Playground” game. Makes me wish YouTube Rewind was still a thing.









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