Several TikTok creators are expressing dissatisfaction with the payouts from the platform’s $1 billion Creator Fund, which was announced in July 2020. Despite accumulating millions of views on the app, some creators claim that they generate meager earnings through the fund. They have used their social media platforms to draw attention to their disappointment, with some comparing the low payouts to YouTube’s ad revenue share.
Notably, YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, who has over 32 million followers on TikTok, shared a screenshot of his earnings from the fund, which totaled around $15,000. This amount was likely his earnings since the fund launched and is less than $10,000 a year. In contrast, Donaldson generated $54 million on YouTube and was the platform’s highest-paid creator.
It’s unclear why the payouts are so low, given the pool of money available. The company says it calculates funds based on video views and video engagement, but even creators with large followings on the app claim they haven’t been able to make much money. This comparison to YouTube ad revenue looms large for creators because TikTok’s creator fund is currently the best way for TikTokers to make money directly from the platform.
TikTok declined to disclose how much it has paid out or why even stars have trouble making money. The complaints raise questions about how happy creators will be with YouTube Shorts, YouTube’s rival short-form video. To make money directly off their videos, creators can turn to the YouTube Shorts fund, which is $100 million and pays out between $100 and $10,000 per month to qualifying channels. However, even that lower amount is more than some TikTokers claim to make over multiple months.