Shortly after introducing a new creator fund called the Creativity Program Beta, back in March, TikTok announced another way to help creators make money on its platform: a paywalled content feature called Series.
The new feature is designed to help creators share exclusive, premium content with their audience, while also allowing them to monetize those videos. It’s worth noting that with Series, creators can publish videos up to 20 minutes long — that’s double the maximum length of a regular TikTok.
After testing this paywall feature with select creators, TikTok is finally making Series more widely available. Earlier this month, TikTok shared that it’s expanding Series to users in select regions, and outlined the eligibility requirements for this monetization tool.
Wondering what Series is all about, and whether you’re even eligible for it? Read on to learn more about this new feature and how it works.
What is TikTok Series?
In a press release, TikTok describes Series as “a new way for creators to share their stories, talents, and creativity as premium content while further deepening their connection with the TikTok community.” Essentially, Series allows creators to put collections of videos behind a paywall and charge viewers for access to them.
With this new feature, TikTok hopes to incentivize creators to make longer and more engaging videos. While TikTok previously increased its maximum video length to 10 minutes, with Series, creators can now upload content that’s twice as long.
Series isn’t just a move in TikTok’s push towards long-form, vertical video, but it’s also the platform’s attempt to build new ways to help creators make money. For instance, TikTok recently announced the beta version of a new creator fund called the Creativity Program, which rewards quality original videos longer than one minute. The platform has also recently launched the Effect Creator Rewards, which pays creators for making viral effects and AR filters.
How does TikTok Series work?
With Series, TikTok creators can publish premium, informative content behind a paywall that fans can purchase access to. A Series can include up to 80 videos, while each video can be up to 20 minutes long.
In terms of pricing, creators can set their rates anywhere between $0.99 and $189.99. Viewers can purchase access to a Series through direct in-video links or from the creator’s profile.
So, how much money can you make with Series? According to The Verge, TikTok will let creators keep all their revenue at launch. However, the platform will charge processing and app store fees, so one can expect losing over a 30 percent cut. Moreover, it’s unclear when TikTok will start splitting revenue with Series creators, and what that split will look like when it happens.
Additionally, The Verge reports that creators will be able to use a new website specifically launched for Series to publish videos and track performance. To make purchases of Series, however, viewers must use the TikTok app.
Who’s eligible for TikTok Series?
At the moment, Series is only available to creators in select regions that meet the following eligibility requirements. To apply, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have created a TikTok account for at least 30 days.
- Have at least 10,000 followers.
- Have received 1,000 views or more in the last month.
- Have posted three public posts or more in the last month. Your content must be original.
- Have a public Personal Account. Business Accounts, or political and private accounts aren’t accepted.
- Have an account in good standing and follow TikTok’s Community Guidelines.
Think you’re eligible? As of June 6, 2023, you can apply for Series through the Creator Center on the TikTok app. TikTok will then review your application and determine whether you’d get access to the feature.
What if I don’t have 10,000 followers?
If you don’t have 10K followers, but you’re interested in using Series, you can apply by providing a link to premium content you’ve previously sold on other platforms via the Creator Center. There’s a caveat, though: you must still meet all of the other requirements stated above.
Why is TikTok launching Series?
To offset its plateauing user growth in the U.S. and remain competitive against other platforms like YouTube and Instagram, one of TikTok’s priorities right now is to find new ways to help creators make money. That perhaps explains why the platform has announced not just one, but three new monetization tools for creators within the first half of 2023. But why Series? And why launching it now?
To incentivize creators to create on TikTok
One of TikTok’s shortcomings is that it hasn’t been generating as much revenue for creators as some of its competitors. For instance, many creators have expressed disappointment over the app’s original Creator Fund. Launched in 2020, the $1 billion fund was billed as an initiative to support and reward creators financially. However, some participants reportedly only made $10-20 a month.
With Series, TikTok is offering creators another monetization pathway — one that’ll hopefully make them more money and keep them on the platform.
To get a slice of the digital learning pie
The format of Series is well-suited for educational or informational content, allowing TikTok to capitalize on the booming trend of digital learning. According to Thinkific’s Digital Learning Trends 2023 Report, 41% of those surveyed think short-form content is great for discovering new topics, and more than half of them consume content on their phone more than anywhere else.
Today, creator educators — creators who teach their audience something rather than just entertaining them — are increasingly common on social media. And there’s a growing demand for platforms that cater to their content creation needs, not to mention help them monetize.
Apart from a number of online course platforms on the market, video giant YouTube is also going out of its way to develop new features to support creator educators. With Series, TikTok is simply playing catch-up, as it doesn’t want its creators going to other platforms to create premium content anymore.
7 Steps to create a TikTok Series
While you can go from concept to finished TikTok in just a few minutes, a Series takes more thought and planning to make. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your first Series.
Step 1: Start with an idea
Make sure you have a solid idea before you start. How? Think about your audience. What kind of exclusive content would they willingly pay an extra fee for? If you’re a fitness influencer, they might be interested in a detailed workout routine. For someone like Miss Excel, it could be an exclusive course covering esoteric Excel hacks her audience can’t get anywhere else.
Take this opportunity to research what other creators in your niche are using Series for. It might even be worth signing up for a few of them to see what they’re doing. Think of the price you’re paying for them as an investment into your own Series.
Step 2: Strategize
When it’s time to figure out your Series strategy, start with its overarching structure. How can you best introduce your audience to your topic? What are some of the sub-topics you need to cover? Is there a particular order these videos should come in?
This can be a lot easier for some ideas than others, so you may need to spend a good amount of time to figure this out. Again, research is your friend, especially when a ton of creators have produced similar content before you.
Step 3: Plan each video
Once your overall strategy is figured out, it’s time to take a similar approach for individual videos. How long should each video be? How should you organize your thoughts? Are you the kind of creator who prefers reading from a script or going off the cuff? By putting in this work before you start filming, you can potentially save yourself a ton of work fixing problems on the fly.
When planning these things out, don’t hesitate to reach out to creators or other collaborators to get their opinion. Having a second set of eyes on your work can help you identify issues you might have completely missed otherwise.
Step 4: Create a catchy introduction
TikTok allows you to include a free introductory video in your Series, so your audience knows exactly what it’s about. A strong introduction will give your audience just enough information to know if your Series is right for them, while encouraging them to pay for it.
Step 5: Film each video
Now’s the time to actually create your Series! Spend some time figuring out a setup that’ll work for you. Your usual TikTok filming setup could be just fine, but with Series being paywalled content, you might want to consider elevating your production quality a bit. Don’t be surprised if each video needs multiple takes to get right, especially if they’re longer.
Step 6: Review, edit, and re-shoot if necessary
Don’t just upload your videos once they’re done! Ideally, you should be filming everything at least once. Then, you can start reviewing your videos and make necessary edits. This gives you an idea of what your Series looks like as a whole before you start making too many changes to a single video.
You might have to re-shoot some videos, even after doing multiple takes. That’s okay! That happens when you’re working on something more complex than a regular TikTok.
Step 7: Publish and promote your Series
After you’ve finished editing your Series, make sure you have a plan to promote it. You don’t need to mention it in all your content, but consider making a big launch announcement to inform your followers. More importantly, be sure to share direct in-video links for accessing your Series in your future TikToks, and include a link to your Series in your bio.
So, will TikTok Series help you make money?
Only time will tell if TikTok’s latest efforts can help creators monetize and keep them on the platform. Some industry insiders, like The Information reporter Kaya Yurieff, are doubtful that paywalled content on TikTok will be a huge moneymaker for creators. “With so many other free videos on TikTok and across the web from creators, viewers are unlikely to dish out even a few dollars for bonus content, unless they’re a die-hard fan,” Yurieff wrote when she teased TikTok’s paywall monetization feature in February.
Looking for other ways to monetize TikTok? Grab our free guide How To Make Money on TikTok for tips and advice.
What is a TikTok Series?
According to TikTok’s initial press release from March 2023, TikTok Series is “a new way for creators to share their stories, talents, and creativity as premium content while further deepening their connection with the TikTok community.”
In simpler terms, a Series is a collection of videos up to 20 minutes each that you can put behind a paywall. TikTok creators can use Series to publish courses, highly requested tutorials, and other types of exclusive content.
Is Series the best way to make money on TikTok?
There isn’t necessarily a best way to make money on TikTok. Think of Series as just another potential revenue stream for creators. That said, Series certainly has some advantages over some of the other ways you can make money on TikTok, namely that you can set your own price — up to $189.99 — and that it’s not dependent on fickle advertisers. Note that you can expect TikTok to take a significant cut of the money you make, though.
Still not sure if Series will work for you? Here are some other ways to make money on TikTok:
- Join the TikTok Creator Fund
- Apply for the Creativity Program Beta
- Go LIVE and get Gifts from your audience
- Partner with brands
- Sell merch
- Sell digital products
- Create UGC content for brands
- Join TikTok’s affiliate program
How much money can you make on TikTok?
Well, there’s good news and bad news here. The bad news? There’s no exact data on how much you can expect to make from a single TikTok. The good news? There’s no limit to how much you can make, and there are ways you can get a decent estimate.
That’s where our TikTok Money Calculator comes in. Just plug in the number of followers you have, the number of likes you get, and the total number of videos you’ve made, and you’ll get an estimate of how much you’ll bring in through the TikTok Creator Fund, brand deals, and selling digital products. Check it out here to see what you can rake in!