Is TikTok Manufacturing Millionaires?

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According to a new report published by the Guardian, TikTok viral stars could potentially bring in earnings of up to $1 million per post. Given these numbers, it should come to no surprise that more than half of millennials and Gen Zers aspire to become social media influencers. TikTok has quickly become the go-to site for overnight celebrities as its algorithm alone enables virality. Platforms like YouTube and Instagram tend only to reward those who already have achieved fame. This factor has led to the rapid growth of the app and subsequent commercialization. 

Those who achieve virality on TikTok could potentially make a lucrative career out of their success on the platform. According to current research, popular TikTokers can charge up to $200,000 per post for brand collaborations and promotions. As the app continues to expand, researchers predict TikTokers will cost as much as $1 million per post as soon as next year. In exchange for a 15-60 second post, brands are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. Estimates suggest users can charge up to $0.005 per follower for sponsored posts and collaborations. This perfectly demonstrates the value and reach of the app and the profit potential that has attracted users. 

Among the app’s most successful accounts is that of 17-year-old Loren Gray from Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Gray is considered the most marketable creator on the app. This fact has led researchers to estimate earnings of over $197,000 per post. Loren’s popularity on the app has secured her record deals with major labels, including Virgin Records and Capitol Records. She shares new videos daily and has received over 2 billion likes collectively. Just last year, Gray was paid to participate and promote a “guac song dance-off” by Chipotle. This being only one of countless brand collaborations, the 17-year-old has shared with her more than 38 million followers. 

For some, $1 million for a 15-60 second post is unheard of and downright ridiculous. According to industry strategy professionals, this signals a significant shift in the industry. Brands are now allocating funds to digital marketing, and in turn, moving away from more traditional media and advertising conventions. Popular Tiktokers have the potential to make or break a product launch for a brand and allow brands to spread their message at the touch of a button. The influence held by these individuals makes their platform invaluable, and brands across the globe are willing to spare no expense to collaborate. 


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