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Just as people in the real world work for tips, online personalities have begun to, too. While the creator economy continues to grow, platforms are looking for ways to help creators monetize their success online. One of the ways is through tip based platforms.
Tipping on social media is a way that platforms allow their creators to engage with their audiences even more directly than the usual comment or DM. By sending virtual tips to their favorite online personalities, audiences can show gratitude and support by giving them some dough. Yep, the same kinda dough we pay our Doordash drivers to deliver a hot $40 meal (that would have been $20 if you picked it up yourself).
It’s not an entirely new practice, though. With sites in China getting an early start back in 2013, a variety of tip based platforms in the U.S. have since emerged. And with the coronavirus pandemic taking the world by storm, we saw a major push in 2019 from big name platforms, like Twitter, to implement the same tip based support systems for their creators.
Other payout strategies, like Paywall sites and Creator Funds, are contributing to the creator economy as well. In fact, most networks are dipping their toes into multiple money stream strategies. But before we dive into all that, let’s take a look at the benefits of tip based platforms.
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Benefits of Tipping
Tipping is a great tool for creators of all kinds of talents. Not only is it a way to connect with fans, but anyone can benefit from tips, no matter how big or small of a following they have. By having this feature available, more individuals can work towards generating revenue from their online presence.
In fact, some tip based platforms have been so successful they have put thousands of dollars in the bank of multiple creators overnight. Quite literally in fact, as Twitch user Asian Andy generated $16,000 from live streaming his sleep. As odd as it sounds, his creatively hilarious idea roped viewers into playing (and paying) to prank him.
Before Chinese pop singer Hua Chenyu struck fame, he was able to generate $17,000 in revenue in five hours. His strategy struck gold when he uploaded songs for download on a microblogging site, Weibo, that charged about 30 cents per download. Although this light fee contributed to his five-hour fortune, he also included a tipping option for listeners, which doubled the income he was able to rack in.
While these success stories have staggering results, it proves that tipping is the future of supporting creators on all types of platforms. Although sites like Twitch and Clash are categorized as tip based platforms, other sites are starting to take a swing at including tips, too. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube now all offer tips through their platforms, hoping to contribute to the success of their users.
Other tip based platforms:
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Paywall sites are subscription-based platforms that charge a fee in order to access their creator’s profiles. OnlyFans and Patreon are two of the most successful paywall sites so far.
OnlyFans got its start in 2016 and offers either monthly subscriptions or one-time fees to access content. The opportunity for success on their platform has drawn in over one million creators and 85 million users. And their subscriptions aren’t the only way to make money, either, as they include a tipping feature as well.
In 2013, Patreon started helping creators with their monthly subscriptions. With six million creators and four million users, they have created a community full of artists, musicians, gamers, and more. They also have included an ever-important tipping feature to further support creators.
Additional Monetization Strategies
Before platforms started to offer monetization to creators directly, one of the only ways to make a profit from your online profile was through brand deals and sponsorships. And that won’t be changing anytime soon. As advertising online continues to grow, brands are always on the lookout to pay influencers to promote their products. This can be a great opportunity for creators, but it does have its limits. Unlike tipping, brand deals/sponsorships typically only benefit the biggest of influencers.
Lastly, while the creator economy begins to boom, many platforms have announced they will be sending money from their own pockets to creators through their creator funds. Each creator fund comes with its own set of rules, but they typically pay creators based on content performance.
Check out these creator economy stats to see why you should be paying attention to the power of creators.
Platform Monetization Breakdown
|Tip Based||Paywall||Creator Funds|
With digital content in high demand, it’s no surprise both new and old platforms are beginning to create more monetization opportunities for their users. By allowing more creators to benefit from generating audiences (no matter the size), the creator economy will continue to expand.