A TikTok channel with exactly 10,000 subscribers (Getting exactly 100,000 views per month) could reasonably expect to bring in $1 to $10 per month via TikTok ad revenue.
This incredibly oversimplified answer is based on what real TikTok creators are reporting to have earned here ($36.64 / ~1M views), here ($222.04 / ~10M views), here ($17.15 / ~400k views), and here ($2.97 / ~237k views). Check the videos above out for significantly more detail on where these numbers came from.
You’re probably wondering how these numbers are so small. After all, YouTube creators are making nearly 100x as much per view via YouTube’s Adsense program. You can expect CPM’s (cost per 1,000 impressions) to be $1-$10 on YouTube while it’s only $0.01-$0.04 on TikTok. There are several reasons for this.
- YouTube gives 55% of total ad revenue to creators while TikTok pulls from a flat $200M creator fund
- YouTube videos are longer and thus can show more ads and more targeted ads.
- TikTok really hasn’t maxed out ad placements on the platform as of this writing.
How Much Ad Revenue Does TikTok Keep for Themselves?
Flat creator funds are bad for creators because platforms tend to keep outrageous amounts of the total revenue for themselves. For instance, TikTok’s creator fund paid a flat $200M in a year that the company made $11 Billion dollars in ad revenue. Meaning TikTok kept about 98.2% of the ad revenue for themselves.
Contrast this with YouTube’s AdSense program keeping 45% of the total ad revenue. If TikTok adopted a similar model then their creators would be making about 30x as much revenue per view as they do now. While that’s only 1/3rd of what YouTubers make per view, it’d still be incredible news for the creator economy. A substantial number of TikTokers would be earning more than they do at their day jobs if that change ever occurred.
Will it ever happen?
No, probably not. TikTok will likely face pressure to increase their creator fund in the future via legislation or market pressures (a competitor popping up that pays more). That said, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to adopt a revenue sharing model that’s as fair as YouTube’s Adsense platform.
Alternative TikTok Revenue Streams
TikTok may not pay a lot of ad revenue but the amount of views it can draw can still earn you a ton of money. I’ve already written an entire post on alternative ways to make money on TikTok. The TLDR version is as follows.
- Promote Your Own Businesses or Services
- Earn Live-Stream Tips (TikTok Coins)
- Lead Magnet / Discovery Engine for your YouTube, Instagram, etc.
- TikTok Sponsorships / Brand Deals
Basically, you can leverage the huge number of raw views available on TikTok to get a small percentage viewers over to your better monetized properties. The scale of TikTok is so large that it makes sense for many businesses.
Syndicating TikTok Content
While you’re not going to make a ton of ad revenue off short videos. TikTok is not the only platform that your short videos can be earning money on. Your short-form videos can all be re-used on the following platforms.
- YouTube shorts
- Snapchat Stories
- Instagram Reels
- Google Web stories
While many of these platforms will have monetization issues similar to TikTok where they’re only paying based off a small creator fund. It will allow you to expand your reach and diversify your income. Plus, with something like Google Web Stories you can use AdSense to monetize as well as in-content affiliate links.
You’re not going to be making a living off of TikTok ad revenue with 10,000 subscribers. In fact, you’ll be lucky to be earning over $100 a month.
That said, it doesn’t mean that TikTok is completely irrelevant as far as being a place to monetize content. You can make a lot of money using it as a lead magnet. Your short videos can also be used as YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Google Web Stories, and SnapChat stories. All those platforms combined can earn you a large amount of income.
a hundred-aire at that point.
That said, the amount of money you can make from AdSense actually can become substantial if your channel continues to grow. If you were making $100/m for a 1,000 subscriber channel, it’s $1,000/m for 10k subs, and $10,000/m for 100k subs.