TikTok's Series feature will allow creators to charge for 'premium' content

The company is promising not to take a cut of their earnings for a “limited time.”

YUICHI YAMAZAKI via Getty Images

TikTok has a new plan to challenge YouTube and help creators earn more on their platform. The company is introducing Series, a new feature that allows creators to charge for collections of "premium" videos.

Videos that are part of a “series” will differ from other TikTok videos in a couple ways. First, the videos can be up to 20 minutes long, double the ten-minute limit for most other videos on the platform. And, unlike other TikTok content, series content will live behind a paywall, meaning the clips won’t show up in the app’s recommendations or be as easily shareable as typical TikTok videos. (Creators will, however, be able to link to their Series from other, non-paywalled videos.)

Series creators have considerable flexibility in how much they charge, with one-time payment options ranging from $0.99 to $189.99 for access to video collections. In a blog post, the TikTok notes that creators are free to choose an amount “that best reflects the value of their exclusive content.”

The feature could help creators earn substantially more from their videos than existing monetization features on the platform. Creators have long criticized the company’s creator fund, which they say isn’t big enough to accommodate the app’s growing ranks of prominent users. TikTok has apparently paid close attention to that criticism as it recently introduced a newer version of its creator fund, the Creativity Program, meant to help creators earn more.

Interestingly, TikTok says that it’s not planning on taking a cut of creators’ revenue from Series, at least for now. A spokesperson for the company said that “for a limited time” creators will receive “100% of their earnings” minus app store fees. That could potentially help TikTok make its new longform offerings more competitive with YouTube, which creators often favor for longer videos because of the increased revenue potential.

Of course, a lot will depend on how individual TikTokkers use the new paywall features, and if their fans are willing to fork over for more exclusive content. For now, only a handful of “select” creators have access to Series, but the company says it will start accepting applications from more creators “in the coming months.