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New Study Highlights the Significant Variance in Top Creator Earnings on YouTube Versus TikTok

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New Study Highlights the Significant Variance in Top Creator Earnings on YouTube Versus TikTok

Hey, want to see the biggest existential threat to TikTok represented in a single chart?

As you can see in this graph, put together by MoneyTransfers.com, while TikTok is the trending app of the moment, and is on track to exceed 1.5 billion total users in 2022, which would make it one of the top three social apps in the world by usage, the biggest threat to that growth remains monetization potential, with creators able to make a lot more money on YouTube instead.

Add to that the fact that YouTube Shorts is also rising as a key content consideration, and it would make sense that more creators will eventually gravitate towards YouTube instead, for all their content posting needs.

Because why post to TikTok when you can build your audience on YouTube instead, where you can make a lot – a lot – more money?

Anyone who regularly reads Social Media Today will have seen me write about this many times in the past, with the most direct comparison here being Vine, which was eventually shut down because parent company Twitter couldn’t give the app’s top stars a better revenue-share deal.

Back in 2015, at the height of Vine’s popularity, a group of the app’s most popular creators, including Logan Paul and Amanda Cerny, met with Twitter management to discuss revenue share, and how Vine could improve its offering.

As reported by Mic:

The stars had a proposal: If Vine would pay all 18 of them $1.2 million each, roll out several product changes and open up a more direct line of communication, everyone in the room would agree to produce 12 pieces of monthly original content for the app, or three vines per week.”

Twitter refused, which then saw these top creators drift off to Instagram and YouTube instead, where they all became big stars, making millions of dollars.

With its top creators no longer posting, and its audience no longer checking in regularly, Vine usage started to decline, which eventually lead to the decision to shut down the app in late 2016.

TikTok, while it’s now far bigger than Vine ever was, could indeed suffer the same fate, with creators already bristling at its low creator payouts. And with no form of direct monetization available – because you can’t insert mid and pre-roll ads into short video clips – TikTok is reliant on creators organizing their own brand sponsorship deals, and integrating commerce listings into their process, which they don’t have to do on YouTube.

On YouTube, you simply sign up for the Partner Program, create an AdSense account, and watch the money start coming in. You do have to meet certain thresholds, of course, to qualify for monetization, but essentially, YouTube’s system enables you to get paid for simply creating content.

That’s not how it works on TikTok.

But then again, TikTok’s just getting started, and sure, the top earners graph doesn’t look great. But that doesn’t account for other off-platform deals and opportunities that can stem from TikTok’s cultural influence.

The DÁmelio sisters have their own TV show. Addison Rae was the star of a Netflix movie. Khaby Lame has signed with fashion label Boss. There’s more to TikTok that direct revenue in this sense.

That’s another way to look at it, but then again:

TikTok versus YouTube earnings

All of these YouTubers have admittedly been at it for years, while TikTok has only been a thing for a short time, and there may well be new opportunities coming to TikTok that facilitate new forms of monetization.

As such, it’s not the whole story – but again, the data, as it stands, shows that creators would be much better served by building their audience on YouTube, which also isn’t facing the same scrutiny, and potential for removal, that TikTok still is.

TikTok’s still developing, it’s still refining its models. But this remains the most significant threat to its ongoing growth potential.  

The charts above capture this in the best comparative detail.

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Musk says Twitter clash with Apple a ‘misunderstanding’

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Musk says Twitter clash with Apple a 'misunderstanding'

Apple CEO, Tim Cook. — © AFP

Twitter owner Elon Musk said he met with Apple chief Tim Cook on Wednesday and “resolved the misunderstanding” that prompted him to declare war on the iPhone maker’s App Store.

“Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store,” Musk tweeted.

“Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

Musk also tweeted a video clip of “Apple’s beautiful HQ” in Cupertino, California, noting that he had had a “good conversation” with Cook.

Apple did not reply to AFP requests for comment.

The world’s richest person opened fire on the planet’s most valuable company early this week over fees and rules at the App Store, saying Apple had threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform.

The billionaire CEO had tweeted that Apple “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”

Apple, which has not issued a public statement on the matter, typically tells developers if fixes need to be implemented in apps to conform to App Store policies.

Analysts told AFP the clash may have came down to money, with Musk irked that the App Store takes a commission on transactions such as subscriptions.

Musk has delayed the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription tier intended to have users pay for perks such as account verification check marks.

Twitter rolled out Blue early in November, but pulled the plug after impersonators paid for check marks to appear legitimate in what former head of safety and security Yoel Roth referred to as “a disaster.”

Both Apple and Google also require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content.

But since taking over Twitter last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter’s workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have quit.

He has also reinstated previously banned accounts, including that of former president Donald Trump.

Describing himself as a “free speech absolutist,” Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter, and has described his actions as a “revolution against online censorship in America.”

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