YouTube vs TikTok: Which Platform Pays Its Creators Better?

YouTube vs TikTok Which Platform Pays Its Creators Better

With both YouTube and TikTok gaining popularity, here’s why YouTube pays its creators better than TikTok. 

TikTok and YouTube are two of the most used platforms for video content creators. Just after Facebook, YouTube is the second-largest social media platform with over 2.2 billion monthly active users. Each minute, more than 500 hours worth of new content is uploaded to YouTube, and users can watch a billion hours of videos every day

TikTok, on the other hand, has become one of the fastest-growing apps in the world.​ It focuses on short-form content between 15 and 60 seconds long. In 2021, TikTok reached over one billion monthly active users

The two companies use widely different approaches to paying their creators. But before we discuss the approaches, we must understand who can join such applications and earn revenues from them. 

Who is eligible to earn money directly on YouTube and TikTok?

The requirements for applying to the YouTube Partnership Program (a program that allows its creators to generate revenue through advertisements) are quite simple. You need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and accumulate more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past year. Valid public watch hours are the total amount of hours people have spent watching your public videos. But the most important quality is that content creators need to follow all the YouTube channel monetization policies. The YouTube Partnership Program covers 102 countries/cities worldwide, so you have a sizable chance of being partnered with YouTube. 

Similarly, the TikTok Creator Fund, the rewarding arm of the social media app, requires its applicants to have at least 10,000 followers and accumulate at least 100,000 views over all of their videos in the preceding month. They also need to have an account that fits with the TikTok Community Guidelines and terms of service. The TikTok Creator Fund is currently available only in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Italy, France and Spain. So if you are not from one of the above six countries, you cannot access the TikTok Creator Fund, which puts many creators worldwide at a disadvantage.

How do YouTube and TikTok pay their creators?

Both YouTube and TikTok make money by allowing advertisements to run on their platforms. While YouTube lets its creators decide how many ads they want to include within one video, TikTok itself puts ads in-between videos. That said, YouTube and TikTok use widely different approaches to paying their creators. 

YouTube adopts a split-percentage paying system, in which a percentage of the revenue earned by the advertisements in the video gets sent to the creators. YouTube gives 55% of its total ad revenue to its creators while keeping the remaining 45%. In 2021, YouTube paid more than US$15 billion to its creators altogether. 

TikTok, on the other hand, uses part of its revenue to pay its creators by putting money into the Creator Fund. That pool of money is then split among all the eligible creators. In 2020, TikTok had invested US$200 million into its U.S. Creator Fund and GBP 231,000 (over US$290,000 at the time of writing this article) into its European TikTok Creator Fund. 

So… whose creators earn more from the platform?

The variation in their payout models translates into a massive difference in the amount of money earned by creators from these platforms. For YouTube’s creators, gaining percentage-based revenue means that when they get more views and subscribers, their profits increase since more people can see the advertisements in their videos. 

However, since TikTok’s Creator Fund is only a “static pool of money” and it is not tied to TikTok’s revenue or popularity. Therefore, as TikTok introduces more and more creators into its Creator Fund, each creator makes less and less since more people are sharing that static sum of money. As a result, as the platform becomes more successful, its creators make less due to increased competition for limited resources.

If TikTok pays its creators so little, why do so many people still prefer it over YouTube? The answer lies within other sources of revenue available to creators on TikTok. 

Other sources of income for TikTok creators

It is important to consider that YouTubers and TikTok creators don’t just make money through the Partnership Program and Creator Fund alone. They have multiple ways to earn an income, like brand deals, paid product placements, sponsorships and endorsements. 

YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, or MrBeast, is currently the highest-paid YouTuber. He made over US$54 million in 2021. Jake Paul comes in second with earnings of over US$45 million. Some TikTokers have also made quite a fortune. Charli D’Amelio, in particular, is currently the highest-paid TikToker, earning around US$17.5 million in 2021. Coming in second is Addison Rae, with over US$8.5 million. But an important aspect to note is that both D’Amelio and Rae had only started their TikTok accounts in 2019, while MrBeast and Jake Paul launched their channels back in 2012 and 2013 respectively. 

But recently, TikTok launched a new monetization scheme called “TikTok Pulse”, which is similar to the YouTube Partnership Program. It allows creators to run ads on the top 4% of most popular videos. The advertisement revenue will then be split 50:50 between TikTok and its creators. This will allow both TikTok and its creators to have another way of generating income. 

Thanks to its skyrocketing popularity and high growth rate, TikTok creators can earn a similar amount to YouTubers in the coming years. As a result, it does not make a huge difference whether the TikTok Creator Fund pays less than the YouTube Partnership Fund as long as you have your other income sources sorted.

Also Read:

Header image courtesy of Unsplash


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


Elon Musk’s Neuralink Debuts Brain Chip Implant: A Bold Future with Ethical Questions

Elon Musk’s Neuralink is back in the spotlight with a major update: they’ve put a brain chip, called the Link, into a human for the first time. This small device has set its sights on monumental goals, such as helping people who’ve lost their limb functionality. Musk’s big dream doesn’t stop there—he wants the chip to boost our brains, improve our memory and eventually blend the human mind with artificial intelligence (AI).

Mercedes-Benz Launches the New Luxurious CLE Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz has launched the CLE Cabriolet, building on its heritage of creating four-seater convertible vehicles. This new addition is characterized by its expressive design, advanced technology, and high-quality features, ensuring an enhanced driving experience. The model, which evolves from the CLE Coupé, stands out with its traditional fabric acoustic soft top and distinct high-quality details, making it uniquely positioned in the market. Designed to offer dynamic performance alongside exceptional daily comfort, the CLE Cabriolet supports year-round open-air enjoyment.

4 Companies Reusing Coffee Husk for Eco-Friendly Innovations

A daily cup of coffee is more than just a morning ritual—it’s a powerhouse of energy and health benefits. Beyond keeping you alert, coffee supports brain health, maintains liver function and may even lower the risk of depression. However, the journey of coffee from plantation to mug involves an energy-intensive process that produces significant waste, particularly coffee husks.

Fort Worth Hosts New LG Electronics Facility for EV Charger Assembly

LG Electronics has initiated its first U.S. production facility for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Fort Worth, Texas, aiming to bolster the national EV charging infrastructure and generate employment opportunities. The facility’s inauguration was marked by an event attended by Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and LG executives Alec Jang, H.K. Suh and Nicolas Min. This development is part of LG’s strategy to expand its presence in the EV charger market by providing high-quality charging solutions and services.

KPMG Introduces “The Road to Leadership” along with Harvard Business School

KPMG in India and Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation (HBSPC) have announced a collaboration to launch “The Road to Leadership”, a program designed to empower mid-level managers with the skills and insights needed to ascend to leadership roles. This collaboration brings together HBSPC’s rich legacy in leadership education and KPMG’s deep industry experience, offering participants a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical insights tailored for the Indian context.