- TikTok cashes in 🤑
TikTok cashes in 🤑
And an AI girlfriend makes bank.
It’s Monday and Ready Player One author Ernest Cline is teaming up with Futurverse to turn his dystopian fictional metaverse “into a tangible reality.”
CASHING IN 🤑
TikTok Shop wants to score $17.5 billion in U.S. revenue this year. Here’s why that’s bad news for sellers:
The plan: According to Bloomberg, TikTok wants to increase U.S. Shop earnings by 10x in 2024. That ambitious target would bring Shop’s annual stateside revenue to around $17.5 billion (although TikTok said in a statement that those figures are “inaccurate”).
The motivation: TikTok Shop didn’t have such a great start in the Western world. After a sluggish launch in the U.K., TikTok went all out to ensure success in the U.S. by offering low commissions, high subsidies, and new ecommerce features.
Those tactics contributed to a wildly successful holiday season—and a projected $500 million in annual U.S. losses.
The fine print: To make up for that deficit, TikTok will nearly quadruple its cut of sellers’ earnings over the next few months.
The platform announced on Friday that it plans to increase its current commission—which grants it 2% and 30 cents of each transaction—to 8% within the next few months.
Per The Information, TikTok’s cut of “most sales” will go up to 6% on April 1 and will reach 8% on July 1. (A 3% commission rate will be applied to some sales totaling $10,000+.)
The end result: TikTok Shop sellers should prepare to earn less from each transaction, but not substantially less than they would earn on Amazon.
Once it reaches 8%, TikTok’s Shop commission rate will be similar to those offered by Amazon—meaning the platform can cash in (and fund further expansion) without worrying about losing sellers to its biggest U.S. rival.
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HEADLINES IN BRIEF 📰
Recess Therapy host Julian Shapiro-Barnum and two of his young co-stars, Amina and Avery, conducted red carpet interviews ahead of the 2024 Golden Globes. (Tubefilter)
Netflix has reportedly held “discussions” about the possibility of bringing ads and in-app purchases to its mobile games. (TechCrunch)
COLUMNS • MILLIONAIRES 📈
This comedy creator is a TikTok star (but she’s still “a YouTube girly at heart”)
Drea always knew she wanted to be an entertainer, but she “didn’t know how exactly it would happen.” Then, in October 2022, her niece accidentally left a doll at her house.
How it started: That forgotten toy changed everything. Seeing the doll inspired Drea to post a funny TikTok video—a just-for-fun clip about “how I felt my mom combed my hair when I was a kid.” She filmed a quick scene, uploaded the video, and went about her day…until millions of views and thousands of comments began blowing up her phone.
By June, Drea’s TikTok account had collected over 1 million followers.
How it’s going: That first viral video now claims more than 56 million views on TikTok and another 130 million on YouTube—and Drea’s career has grown just as quickly.
The comedy star is now a full-time content creator with 2.5 million TikTok followers, 2.4 million YouTube subscribers, and nearly 360,000 Instagram followers.
What’s up next: Drea is “a YouTube girly at heart.” Although she says she’ll “never take away” the short-form clips her fans love, she’s ready to give long-form video a try, too.
That content might look a little different than what viewers are used to. In addition to rolling out more of her signature comedy skits, Drea wants to create “a whole arsenal” of videos focused on “beauty, lifestyle, hair, fashion, and whatnot.”
And, in the meantime, there might just be some super-secret merch on the way.
Find out more about Drea—and the hundreds of rising stars and social media millionaires we’ve interviewed over the years—right here on Tubefilter.com.
Will AI influencers be the next big thing in creator monetization?
Over the last few months, Amouranth's “AI girlfriend” concept has raised plenty of eyebrows. Now, it’s also raising thousands of dollars.
The big idea: Last May, Amouranth (aka Kaitlyn Siragusa) announced that she had teamed up with Forever Voices to develop “Amouranth AI,” a digital “companion” trained to mimic her “unique personality and inflections.”
That futuristic offering (which also sends pictures, voice clips, and “custom videos”) debuted earlier this month. Within 24 hours of sales activity, it had already collected $34,000.
As one of the internet’s highest-paid streamers, this isn’t the first time Siragusa has made bank through out-of-the-box monetization methods. The creator has claimed to make $15,000 by hosting “sleep streams” (during which viewers watch her snooze) and regularly surpasses seven figures a month on OnlyFans.
The pros: Even if a creator is unwilling to catch some z’s on camera (or go the NSFW route), paid AI counterparts still offer an interesting—and potentially lucrative—opportunity to keep fans engaged while off-camera.
AI chatbots have potential in the influencer marketing world, too: Meta has already hooked up with stars like MrBeast and Charli D’Amelio to create similar (although far less risqué) AI characters.
The cons: Forever Voices says it aims to “democratize access” to creators and their fans. But is that a safe option for either group?
Amouranth’s critics have pointed out that charging fans for access to influencer bots could severely worsen parasocial dynamics and feed into unhealthy behaviors toward streamers—a daunting possibility for creators who already face high levels of online harassment.
WATCH THIS 📺
Welcome to Pantdora: Kingdom of the Ants
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to play God (or you just like ants), then head over to AntsCanada:
The creator behind the Canadian ant-keeping biz has set up his very own vivarium—aka Pantdora—where ants, geckos, roaches, and a recently-introduced “apex predator” coexist in a miniature rainforest.
Bug-loving viewers can get a bird’s-eye view of the National Geographic-style drama here.
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