TikTok introduces its first ad product to offer a revenue share with creators

·4-min read

TikTok is introducing a new way to lure advertisers to its platform by giving them the ability to showcase their brands' content next to the best videos on TikTok. Ahead of its NewFronts presentation to advertisers scheduled for this afternoon, TikTok announced the launch of TikTok Pulse, a new contextual advertising solution that ensures brands' ads are placed next to the top 4% of all videos on TikTok. Notably, the solution will also be the first ad product that involves a revenue share with creators.

The company said creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers on TikTok will be eligible for the revenue share program during the initial stage of the TikTok Pulse program. There will be a 50/50 split of the ad revenue with creators, TikTok told TechCrunch.

The Pulse program will launch to U.S. advertisers in June 2022 with additional markets to follow in the fall, we're told.

TikTok didn't say how many creators it would actually approve for the program in the early phases. But longer term, the move could help TikTok to attract more creators to its social video app, following its earlier investments in creator monetization. Last December, TikTok debuted an online "Creator Next" portal where it organized all the tools creators can use to make money on its app in one place. Here, creators can learn about how to accept virtual gifts and payments from fans viewing their videos and their TikTok LIVE content. They can also apply to the Creator Marketplace to be connected with brands for sponsored content if they have at least 10,000 followers.

Now, TikTok will be able to add advertising revenue share to that list of creator monetization opportunities.

Image Credits: TikTok

The new program isn't just about helping creators, however. It's also about ensuring advertisers a more "brand-safe" environment for their content, similar to something like YouTube's Partner Program (YPP).

On YouTube, the YouTube Partner Program allows creators to earn ad revenue from display, overlay and video ads on their channel, in addition to providing access to other features like channel memberships, Super Chat, a merch shelf and more. For advertisers, meanwhile, YPP allows them to reach videos from creators with more traction and subscribers, whose channels have also been vetted by YouTube for adhering to its content policies. This helps brands control their ads' placement, so they don't accidentally end up posted alongside hate speech or misinformation, for example.

TikTok says its new TikTok Pulse program will also be focused on making sure the creator content is "suitable" for advertisements.

"Our proprietary inventory filter ensures that TikTok Pulse ads are running adjacent to verified content with our highest level of brand suitability applied on the platform," an announcement from TikTok states. "Additional post-campaign measurement tools such as third-party brand suitability and viewability verification provide advertisers the opportunity and transparency to analyze and understand the impact of their campaigns," it noted.

The company says the program will additionally offer brands a way to target their ads to particular areas of TikTok. Through Pulse, brands can place their ads alongside videos across 12 categories of content, including things like beauty, fashion, pets, gaming, TV & movies, auto, Spanish language, sports and recreation, and more.

At launch, only advertisers TikTok invited to join the program will have access to TikTok Pulse. But a TikTok spokesperson said the plan is to roll out the solution to more brands in the months that follow.

TikTok declined to share other specific details about the new program, like ad pricing or information about how soon someone browsing their For You page would see Pulse ads appear, among other things.

TikTok pitched its platform to advertisers at the NewFronts, where TikTok's GM for its North America Global Business Solutions, Sandie Hawkins, and its Global Head of Business Marketing, Sofia Hernandez, talked in more about TikTok Pulse as well as explain to advertisers why TikTok should be a part of their media buy considerations.

At the event, TikTok shared a few more details about the new Pulse program, noting the inventory would be premium and limited and purchased through the TikTok Ads Manager as a reservation product bought at a fixed CPM. Advertisers can utilize TikTok's brand safety filter or third-party verification. It noted it already had commitments from large brands and agencies, including IPG and OMG.

Update, 5/4/22, 2:33 PM ET: After publication, TikTok reconsidered its original response and chose to share that the revenue split would be 50/50 with creators. The article has been updated with this new information; Further details added post-presentation, 5:45 PM ET.

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