YouTube has been around since 2005, and today, YouTubers like MrBeast and PewDiePie make approximately $50M a year thanks to the video platform. For many years, YouTube was the best (and pretty much only) option for creators to upload long-form videos and make money.
However, that all changed in 2018 when TikTok was born from the merging of the app Music.ly and ByteDance, a Chinese tech giant. Who knows if it was the coronavirus or simply that people were eager for a different video-based platform, but in 2020, TikTok suddenly became a viable contender to compete against YouTube (and we’re not just talking about the YouTube vs TikTok boxing). Whatever the case, a number of creators, including Charli D’Amelio and Anna Sitar found major success on this social platform.
It has become clear that in order to truly succeed as a content creator, you should have a strong presence on a number of different platforms, and understand the benefits (and shortcomings) of each one. But, many creators are left wondering which platform is better - YouTube or TikTok? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. The key is understanding the pros and cons of each platform, and deciding what’s most important and relevant for you and the content you create.
So here it is - TikTok vs YouTube:
Let’s be honest, aside from enjoying sharing the things you love with a growing audience, money is on your mind. But, how exactly do you make money on YouTube and TikTok, and is there a platform that’s more successful at monetization?
If you are interested in delving deeper into how much money YouTubers make, you can check out this article.
Preston Seo, a personal finance influencer known on TikTok as The Legacy Investing Show who has 2.4M followers, shared with Business Insider that he earned a total of about $1,664 from the Creator Fund between January 2021 to May 2021, and his account earns between $9 to $38 a day on average.
Making money on TikTok is possible, it just seems that it’s not quite as fleshed out as it is on YouTube. This makes sense - YouTube has been around a lot longer than TikTok, but TikTok is definitely progressing in the right direction in terms of monetization.
Both platforms have the same opportunities for brand partnerships once you’ve built up a loyal following.
If you’re not sure how to reach out to brands for potential partnerships, let us help you match with relevant brands.
According to Forbes, here are the YouTuber creators that made the most money in 2021:
According to Forbes, here are the TikTok creators that made the most money in 2021:
The YouTube algorithm is ever-changing and, for the most part, remains a mystery. There are several tips and tricks that help creators optimize their content and channel to help them stand out amongst the 500 hours of content that is uploaded to YouTube every minute (read more about that here).
In general, Social Media Examiner has recommended creators to aim for videos to be 7-15 minutes, as they are the videos that tend to perform best. However, YouTube has been incredibly vocal on its shift into short-form content. YouTube product manager, Pierce Vollucci, has said that based on YouTube’s analysis, “channels that create both Shorts and long-form video are performing better, overall, than those that aren’t investing time into Shorts.”
TikTok’s recommendation system is curated for each user, based on user interactions, the content they search for, and device and account settings (such as language preferences and interest categories). All these elements are comprised into the For You page that is constantly changing and adapting to your video-watching habits.
TikTok has been making changes to its video lengths - videos started at 15 seconds, grew to 60 seconds, and grew to 3 minutes by the end of 2020. The option for 10-minute videos is also coming to the app very soon. TikTok has shared that videos longer than one minute receive over 5 billion views globally, and, on average, 2-minute videos are now the average on the app.
A 3-minute video is by no means ‘long-form content’, but TikTok definitely understands the benefits of content that’s longer than just a handful of seconds. Long-form content is what allows the viewers to build a meaningful connection with the creator and an overall sense of community.
YouTube has definitely proven itself as a successful platform over the last 18 years, while TikTok has taken the world by storm in the last few years. There really is no ‘correct answer’ in choosing what platform is best. The platform that is the best for you, as a creator, depends on what your goals are and the type of content that you want to produce. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how both platforms continue to evolve as trends change and the creator economy advances.
If you are a creator interested in scaling your YouTube sponsorship, let us help you match with relevant brands.
Which platform do you prefer? Let us know! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.