Is it better than the Creator Fund?

Just before the start of 2024, TikTok made a massive change in how the platform pays its creators by replacing the controversial Creator Fund with the new TikTok Creativity Program Beta.

I wasn‘t surprised the fund was put to rest, considering how many creators expressed frustration over the fund’s payouts. However, I was skeptical of this new pay model, and if you‘re a creator on TikTok, you’re probably side-eyeing it as well.

Well, in case you don‘t know, I’m pretty much HubSpot‘s resident creator economy expert, so it’s my job to keep up with the latest creator trends and happenings.

That said, I‘ve researched and scoured TikTok for reviews of the new program straight from the creators who joined, so I’m prepared to give you a rundown and help you decide if you want to give TikTok Creativity Program Beta a shot.

Let’s dive in.

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What is the TikTok Creativity Program?

How to Join TikTok Creative Program Beta

What happened to the Creator Fund?

TikTok Creativity Program Beta Payout

Is the TikTok Creativity Program Better than the Creator Fund?

What is the TikTok Creativity Program?

According to the platform, TikTok Creativity Program Beta is an initiative to reward creators for creating high-quality, original content, and it serves as a monetary incentive for creators who make longer content (over a minute).

TikTok’s website explains, “With Creativity Program Beta, you have the potential to collect rewards as you create and publish longer video content.”

As the name suggests, the program is still in beta mode and is only available in limited regions — the U.S., France, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Korea, and the U.K.

How to Join TikTok Creative Program Beta

To be eligible for the program, you must have an account based in one of the above regions, be at least 18 years old, have no less than 10,000 followers, and have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.

How you enroll in the program depends on whether you‘re already registered in the defunct TikTok Creator Fund. If you’re enrolled in the Creator Fund, you can switch to TikTok Creative Program Beta via the following steps:

  1. Open the TikTok app and go to your profile.
  2. Tap the menu button (the three horizontal bars), then tap Settings.
  3. Tap Creator Tools, then Creator Fund.
  4. Finally, tap Switch at the bottom of the page.

Pro Tip: Once you join TikTok Creative Program Beta, you cannot switch back to the Creator Fund. But, also … why would you want to? The Creator Fund is dead.

If you‘re not enrolled in the Creator Fund, you’ll follow steps 1-3 but tap Creator Program instead of Creator Fund. You‘ll be notified three days later whether you’ve been accepted into the program.

What happened to the Creator Fund?

Okay, why did the Creator Fund go the way of the dinosaurs? The $2 billion fund was launched in 2020 and was discontinued in December 2023 after many creators criticized the program for low payouts.

In a 2022 interview with Business Insider, wellness influencer Mandana Zarghami said her biggest payout from TikTok was just $24 from a video that garnered 1.1 million views. Her lowest earning day at the time was 5 cents.

Most shocking was when I found out how much (or little) viral content creator John Eringman made from the Creator Fund. When he spoke to Business Insider,

Eringman had 1.3 million views, and at least one of his videos would reach a million-plus views each week.

The most he earned in a single day was $189.13 for a video with 13 million views. However, Eringman reported getting payouts ranging from 67-84 cents and averaging just a few dollars in one month.

In other words, even viral creators like Eringman were getting inconsistent payouts and were not receiving enough to make a living — prompting TikTok to sunset the Creator Fund.

TikTok Creativity Program Beta Payout

So, how much are creators making via the TikTok Creativity Program Beta? While the platform’s website is being hush-hush about exactly how much the new program is rewarding creators, some users are already sharing their experience.

Finance content creator Miki Rai shared that her experience with the program was off to an underwhelming start but improved significantly over time.

“Immediately after I joined (in November 2023), my video views tanked so bad,” Rai explains in a TikTok. Rai believes the tank occurred because her audience was used to her posting short-form videos rather than videos longer than a minute.

Remember that the program only generates revenue if the videos are longer than 60 seconds.

Rai reports only making $146 her first month into the program, even after posting multiple times a day.

“Which makes that less than $5 per video that I made,” she says. Rai’s earnings jumped to $436.76 the following December and about the same in January. But, in February, Rai saw a major difference.

“We’re only halfway through, and so far, I’ve made $1,273.48,” she says in her TikTok. The app projected she’d earn $2288.66 by the end of the month.

Rai says the boost in earnings is likely connected to a couple of her videos going viral that month, one of which earned 3.8 million views. Both videos were over a minute long.

Creator Kait Alayna says she made $629 in one week. That week, daily income ranged from $4.90 to $193.24.

However, it’s important to note some creators, like Rai, have reported a tank in views shortly after joining the program, prompting some users to discourage others from joining the program or dropping out themselves.

That said, the drop in viewers seems temporary as they get used to creators posting longer content.

Is the TikTok Creativity Program Better than the Creator Fund?

In short, I say it‘s definitely better. The program is still fairly new, so there aren’t many reliable statistics comparing the program to the fund.

But, based on videos I’ve seen of creators discussing their payouts, the program seems to be facing less criticism than the Creator Fund.

If you’re a creator used to generating short-form videos under a minute long, then exceeding 60 seconds can pose a challenge. You may also notice at least a temporary drop in views as your audience adjusts to the new direction.

All that aside, I think the program is worth applying if you want to generate income on TikTok. Now, do I think you’ll generate enough income to survive solely off the TikTok Creativity Program — no.

The fact is only 12% of creators make over $50,000 a year, regardless of the platform. The real money comes from brand partnerships, deals, sponsorships, ad revenue, and commissions.

Regarding TikTok, you can generate additional income via TikTok Live and TikTok Shop, as well as the above methods.

My advice, you‘ll stand to benefit in the long run from switching to the new creativity program. Plus, there really isn’t much of a point in sticking to an old fund that was so widely criticized it was discontinued.

Just make sure you have other streams of income, too.

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