TikTok, a short video platform owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, will start testing subscriptions on Thursday for TikTok LIVE, a new program that will allow creators to generate recurring revenue via payments from their top fans.
Upon its launch, subscriber perks will include badges, custom emojis, and subscriber-only chats.
Earlier this month, TikTok announced that it would start sharing part of its ad revenue with qualified creators. Those who participate in the creators program can receive “gifts” or tips from the audience in the form of in-app currency, which can be converted into real money. With TikTok LIVE subscriptions, livestreamers will gain new revenue channels, but TikTok has not disclosed whether it will take a cut of the subscription revenue.
To access the LIVE subscription feature, creators must be at least 18 years of age and have a minimum of 1,000 followers. TikTok is currently exploring LIVE subscriptions with invite-only creators.
In addition to the usual benefits, subscribers will also be able to control the cameras on creators’ livestreams. The badges will update the longer a viewer is subscribed to give long-term subscribers more visibility, and creators will be able to personalize their LIVE rooms.
Pricing for these streams has yet to be announced, but some creators have indicated that it’s “comparable” to Twitch’s pricing. For reference, Twitch subscriptions begin at $4.99 per month, while Twitch takes a 30%-50% cut of subscription revenue.