- Tech startup PearPop launched a new platform last month that lets TikTok stars earn money by "collabing" with their fans.
- PearPop users can pay influencers to feature their content in "duets," "stitches," and "sounds" on their main accounts.
- Influencers set their own rates, ranging from a few dollars per post to thousands of dollars for a creator to duet a video featuring a fan or brand.
- TikTok has been slow to add features to help its top creators make money, opening up a window for monetization startups like PearPop to fill the void.
- Subscribe to Business Insider's influencer newsletter: Insider Influencers.
Tech startup PearPop wants TikTok stars to earn money by "collabing" with their fans.
Through its creator-fan marketplace, PearPop users can pay their favorite influencers to feature their content in videos. A user can ask an influencer to do a "duet" (when an influencer posts a side-by-side video with a fan), a "stitch" (when a creator stitches a clip from a fan's video into their own), or use their "sound" in a video.
The company is enabling everyday TikTok users to act like brand marketers for their own social-media accounts.
"You're paying to share screen time with influencers," PearPop's CEO Cole Mason said. "They're actually posting it on their platform."
Since its October 7 launch, PearPop said it's signed on 350 influencers and has received applications from an additional 4,500 creators. It currently has around 35,000 users, according to Mason.
There's no follower count requirements for influencers to sign up. If interested, a creator simply needs to verify that they own their account on TikTok, set rates for what they want to charge per post, and connect their bank account to get paid. Creators have the ability to approve or deny post requests from fans at will, and PearPop gets a 20% cut of each transaction. Payment goes through once PearPop has verified that the creator has followed through with their paid promotion.
Monetizing influencer interactions with fans isn't new. Creators have been doing in-person meet and greets at events like Playlist Live for years. The tech platform Cameo lets users request a video message or shout-out from a celebrity or influencer. And the text-marketing app Community enables fans to message their favorite influencers directly.
To drive buzz for PearPop's launch, the company paid TikTok star Noah Beck to promote its tool in a TikTok video. Beck's listed rate for a TikTok duet, stitch, or use of a fan's sound is $10,000 per post. Mason said Beck received six requests for posts on the platform, which each required the bidder to put a payment card on hold to verify their ability to transact. But none of the requests have been published yet, meaning no user has been charged.
TikTok stars are eager to find new ways to make money
TikTok has been relatively slow to introduce in-house products that allow creators to make money when compared to competitors like YouTube and Facebook.
Earlier this year, the company released a creator marketplace to facilitate brand deals between influencers and marketers. It launched a "creator fund" to pay its users for their posts, often at low rates when compared to competitors like YouTube. And app users can earn money by receiving "virtual gifts" from fans during livestreams.
But many of its top creators have largely turned to alternative revenue streams like paid song integrations, brand deals, app marketing, and merchandise sales to make money.
PearPop's platform offers another path to monetization using features that already exist within TikTok, and in some instances, brands have even started using the platform.
"[PearPop's] main focus is just to connect with fans, but then it also brings business opportunities," said Esteban Sainz, a 21-year-old college student with 1.3 million TikTok followers who recently started testing out the platform.
Sainz said he's done two paid PearPop posts so far for a brand (not a fan) who reached out through the platform. His listed rate on PearPop is $100 per post.
"When it comes to TikTok itself, there hasn't been a specific app that just focuses on engagement with people that are interested in using your platform to improve their [platform]," Sainz said. "I feel like the only direction PearPop is going is up."
PearPop recently raised funding from Rocket One Capital and said it plans to close its seed round in the next couple months.
"People are loving the idea now that they can monetize a lot easier than before," Mason said. "We think social-media payments is going to be a huge business moving forward."
For more stories on how TikTok users are earning money on the app, check out these other Business Insider posts:
- TikTok influencers reveal how much money they're getting paid from its $1 billion Creator Fund — and it's pennies per thousand views: Three creators who qualified for the fund told Business Insider they're earning a few dollars for videos that generated tens of thousands of views.
- TikTok influencers reveal all the ways they're making money despite the app's limited monetization features: From selling direct-to-consumer products like merch to partnering with brands on sponsorships, there are a number of ways TikTokers are making money.
- TikTok influencers say they're making tens of thousands of dollars by promoting apps in videos: 'There's not really a limit on how much you can earn': Creators and marketers told Business Insider that they can earn tens of thousands of dollars from promoting an app in a single TikTok post.
- TikTok influencers are getting paid thousands of dollars to promote songs, as the app becomes a major force in the music industry: TikTok creators, talent managers, and music marketers shared how much influencers earn by promoting songs in videos on the app.
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