TikTok may soon pilot an ad-free subscription service on its app.
Code within the social platform suggests that subscribers may soon be able to access content with no interruptions from adverts for $4.99 a month.
Screenshots of TikTok asking users if they’d like to upgrade to an ad-free experience were shared by Android Authority.
Why we care. If sign-ups for TikTok’s ad-free subscription tier prove to be popular, then this could have a significant impact on reach for the platform’s advertisers, which will ultimately lower the product’s value.
What ads will be excluded? Influencer marketing one-offs or campaigns will still appear on the paid-for version of the app – it’s only ads that are served by TikTok that will be excluded. This means the change is unlikely to help combat the issue of TikTok influencers not disclosing brand partnerships.
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Why now? TikTok generates most of its profits from ad revenue – which came to $9.4 billion in 2022. That number is expected to quadruple by 2026. However, in a bid to mitigate financial risk, the platform’s executives are exploring the diversification of revenue streams, with the potential introduction of paid subscriptions not coming as a surprise.
Deep dive. Check out TikTok’s newsroom for more information on the platform’s latest developments.
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About the author
Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.