ByteDance testing content paywall on TikTok's sister app Douyin

ByteDance testing content paywall on TikTok's sister app Douyin

TikTok logo is seen in this illustration taken, June 2, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

TikTok owner ByteDance is testing a paywall feature for content creators on its short video platform Douyin in China, a person familiar with the matter said, as the company seeks new ways to profit from its hugely popular app.

The Chinese internet giant has recently started to allow some content creators with more than 100,000 followers to put part of their videos behind a paywall on Douyin, TikTok’s sister app in China, the person said, declining to be named as the feature was still undergoing testing.

Users will then have to pay to watch the entire videos, the person said.

Bytedance did not respond to a request for comment.

The paywall is the latest in a long list of features ByteDance has implemented to monetize its Douyin app, which now has more than 800 million users. Many new features on Douyin also end up on TikTok later on.

Chinese media first reported the new feature. Local media outlet Sina showed screenshots of a notification window on Douyin informing content creators that ByteDance is entitled to 30% of their earnings as commission.

Content creators get to set their own prices for their videos without ByteDance interference, according to Sina. Another Chinese media Jiupai News reported that some content creators have started to charge 12 yuan ($1.6) for a 44-minute long video on the platform.

Reuters was unable independently verify the information in these reports.

Douyin already has a feature that charges users to watch professionally created shows on the platform.


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