TikTok brings back fund to pay 25 publishers to create ‘instructive and informative’ videos
TikTok’s Creative Learning Fund is returning with a new name — Instructive Accelerator Program — and another opportunity for publishers to get paid by the social platform to produce “instructive and informative” videos for its users.
The latest incarnation of TikTok’s program narrows the number of publishers that will participate, but the platform plans to expand the mix of content to new categories beyond topics like science and education, DIY, motivation and advice, though those categories have yet to be determined.
Through March 12, media publishers can apply for TikTok’s Instructive Accelerator Program, which kicks off in April. Twenty-five publishers will be chosen, a smaller pool from last year’s selection of 45. This time around, TikTok is focused on “quality over quantity,” said Brett Peters, education and non-profit content partnerships lead at TikTok, adding that in an effort to hone in on what is the most engaging for the community. (The number of individual video creators and other partners selected for the fund is still to be determined.)
While Peters wouldn’t say how much money TikTok will be paying fund recipients this year, he did say partners would be paid “fairly” to make the program a “worthwhile endeavor.”
Last year, TikTok paid individual publishers $50,000 to publish 35 posts over a seven-week period, Digiday previously reported. In addition to the payments from the platform, publishers will also be able to sell ads or sponsorships against the videos made with the help of TikTok’s grants.
The program has four, eight-week cycles during which publishers will post videos four times each week. At the end of each cycle, TikTok will let publishers know whether or not they are moving to the next cycle.
Any partners not meeting “our minimum threshold requirements” may be replaced by another partner, Peters said. Those metrics are “determined internally,” said Peters; he declined to give more information. TikTok also offers publishers in the program monthly webinars and one-to-one content strategy meetings with growth strategists.
The initiative was created last year as part of TikTok’s COVID-19 relief fund for creators and publishers in support their production of educational content and resources for young learners. The first round of the fund launched in May 2020 with $50 million for over 2,400 participating partners. The #LearnOnTikTok hashtag was created at that time to amplify the program partners’ content and has generated 75 billion video views.
The fund’s name change signals that it will live beyond and outside of TikTok’s COVID-19 relief efforts for creators and publishers, according to Peters.
Advertisers are more willing to experiment on platforms like TikTok as a result of the pandemic, said Andrea Mazey, BuzzFeed’s vp of talent partnerships. Allie Wassum, vp/group director of social strategy at Digitas, echoed this from the advertiser’s perspective. “Lots of exploratory budgets” are going to TikTok, she said. “You’re not going to have a viral moment anywhere else other than TikTok right now.”
Last year’s program had media companies like Discovery, Insider and Group Nine Media participate. Group Nine’s science brand Seeker produced TikTok content around environmental issues and received a licensing fee and advertising opportunities. The program revealed that instructive, informative, thought-provoking or actionable videos inspired other TikTok users and creators to produce similarly focused content. “There was a ripple effect,” Peters said.
For this year’s program, TikTok is looking to pay publishers to create content in a greater variety of categories such as mental health, sports, fashion, video editing and music.
In selecting publishers that produce educational and engaging videos, TikTok will not only consider publishers’ videos on TikTok but also on other platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Applicants for the grant can show how a video format is performing well on another platform and how that can be converted to a format for TikTok.
“There’s a lot more innovation happening in the short-form space,” Buzzfeed’s Mazey said. “The stakes are lower, so you can iterate and play on insights in a more rapid way.”
Tinuiti Report: Facebook still in hot demand with clients, despite Apple ATT hit
According to a report from agency Tinuiti, it clients increased their ad spend 32% YOY in Q4 on Facebook and its ever-growing cousin Instagram.
With Marquee, Jellysmack looks to turn non-digital natives into a new generation of internet stars
Jellysmack, one of the largest creators of social video on the internet, is trying to use its insights to make real-life celebs more internet-famous.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: Publishers grapple with an existential crisis as they prepare for post-cookie landscape
This week's Media Briefing looks at why some publishers would prefer to completely reset the online ad market amid the third-party cookie's demise rather than repeat the problems the cookie introduced.
SponsoredHow the relationship between live events and mobile devices is evolving in 2022
Sponsored by AdColony The pandemic has accelerated changes in the way people consume content — and live events are part of that transformation. For advertisers, the questions are the kind on which campaign success depends: In what ways (and numbers) have people returned to watching sports, e-sports and events such as the Grammys? Are they […]
Axios schedules its largest in-person event for April (for now)
Axios' first hybrid event of 2022 will be a two-day summit tied to its What's Next newsletter, and it is not allowing brands to buy virtual-only sponsorships.
Why media unions are demanding to participate in management’s return-to-office planning
Media unions demand management come to the bargaining table over RTO plans and are fighting back against office return mandates and dates.