Aussie TikTok stars could soon see big pay day
It's the social media platform on which traditional celebrity has little currency. Kardashian? Swift? Celeste? Even Bieber. Pfffft. They might be famous. But they ain't TikTok famous.
TikTok - for all the mumblings about Chinese spyware, porn infiltration and social bullying - is the place where normal kids rule.
Well, sort of normal.
It's a place where it's not enough to have loads of money, a reality TV show, nice clothes, nice houses or an expertise in applying the right amount of contouring makeup.
On TikTok you have to be able to dance, act a little and, most importantly, you have to be funny.
It also helps if you are easy on the eye, but it is not essential.
So influential are these kids that pedestrian celebrities such as RnB singer Jason Derulo are lining up to star in TikToks with them - just to get their numbers up.
One TikTok dance with Addison Rea or Charli D'Amelio, Taylor Holder or Bryce Hall can add thousands of likes overnight.
Don't know who they are?
Well, they are the TikTok elite. Between them they have more than 100 million followers - and many of them are still in their teens.
D'Amelio, who is the world's leading TikTok star with almost 51 million followers, is just 15.
They "whoah" their days away on TikTok - entertaining their fans and kerchinging up sponsorship bucks from anyone and everyone - from clothes manufacturers and watchmakers to soft drink behemoths and even Tesla.
Some polish their dance routines in their bedrooms while others, the big ones, - live in sponsored share houses - the Hype House and the Sway House - using their collective pulling power to triple their audiences.
This is a trend across a few different social platforms, the young stars shacking up in mansions that would make some A-listers jealous and filming their videos in the pool or on the tennis court, just to rub it in. There have been such collaboration among YouTube's elite and it's also a big thing with "clans" within the gaming community.
It goes to show just how much money there is to be made on this relatively new social phenomenon, with the top users said to be earning anywhere up to $US200,000 - per post.
TikTok was born in 2017 by Chinese start-up ByteDance, who had launched Douyin, basically TikTok but with stricter censorship rules, in its home country a year earlier. When it merged with musical.ly a year later, it became available across the planet, and its rapid rise in popularity began.
AUSTRALIA'S TOP 10 TIKTOK STARS
1. Sarah Magusara 13.1m (Dance/Comedy)
2. The Rybka Twins 10.6m (Dance/Sport)
3. Mullenslays 5.9m (Gamer)
4. Mochapom 5m (Dog)
5. The Chainz Family 4.6m (Comedy)
6. Brodie Pawson 4.6m (Parkour)
7. Zinccx 4.1m (Comedy)
8. Jefo 4.0m (Comedy/Dance)
9. Jackson Aces 3.8m (Magic)
10. How Ridiculous 3.5m (Trickshots)
With much of the world locked inside during the coronavirus pandemic, the creativity has been flowing free and fast from all corners of the globe.
The platform allows users to upload short videos that are typically based around
lip-synching popular music, performing some kind of special talent or showing off their version of a popular dance routine that has sprouted up somewhere else on the service. Hilarity, or at least attempts at it, run supreme across it all.
Talent agents and casting directors across the world would be remiss not to take a deep dive into TikTok the next time they are on the hunt for a fresh new face - there is some serious young talent on this platform that would otherwise never be found.
Australia has embraced the new platform and everyone is trying to grab a piece of the action, with some attempts a little more cringey than others.
Karl Stefanovic and David Warner have both been making appearances with their respective daughters and the results have been - mixed.
While the potential revenue streams might not be quite at the levels being experienced in the US, it is certainly trending upwards.
In February, the app was downloaded more than 460,000 times here, a jump of almost 250 per cent on the same period last year. It was the most downloaded
non-game app across both the Apple App Store and Google Play, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower.
Clare Winterbourn, the founder of influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent, which represents 40 of Australia's top TikTok stars, said the platform has become a major part of marketing campaigns in Australia over the past months.
"We're having huge success in the TikTok space over a wide range of different brands and agencies," she told Insider.
"We've launched major companies onto the platform like Fanta and McDonald's."
Winterbourn said her top clients on the platform are making a decent living, especially as many of them are quite young. While she was unable to provide specific examples for individual clients, she did point out they were doing well financially.
"I can say our TikTokers all sit in the medium to high income bracket in Australia," she said, adding revenue opportunities for these young creatives is only going to rise.
"Definitely we have seen a huge growth in revenue over the past six months, (and while) nothing is certain in this current climate I am predicting significant growth in the next 12 months," she said.
A recent study of potential incomes for TikTok stars from UK company Online Casinos suggested the cream of the TikTok crop could demand $US0.005c per follower per post. If Australia was to catch up to that, our stars with the biggest followers could be in for a massive pay day.
Young mum Sarah Magusara has the most followed account in the country with 13.1 million fans tracking her dance videos, which also include her young daughter.
She could expect to rake in as much as $65,000 per post should we see that kind of financial return in Australia.
Newcastle teenager Rory Eliza is so confident of the app's potential she has taken a break from school to concentrate on her exploding online career.
The 17-year-old, who has 2.6 million followers and is represented by Born Bred, started on music.ly in 2012 and "absolutely hated it" but returned when it morphed into TikTok and soon her follower count started increasing at speed.
"I started posting ukulele singing videos and most of them blew up and that's what gave me my following," she says. "I decided to get into comedy skits and that's when it really started to take off."
Her short videos are often relatable family scenarios that many of her followers would know only too well.
One recent one involved her playing a child in the back seat begging her mum (who is also played by Rory) to pull into McDonald's instead of going home for dinner. It has already had more than 650,000 views just a couple of days since being posted. Many of her videos go well into the millions of views.
It's that sort of reach that makes her the ideal ambassador for local products. She's already signed on with a number of brands and just yesterday helped launch popular luxury fashion brand Camilla's presence on the app.
The teen is even in (very hush hush) talks with a well-known television show, although they have been put on hold until the current coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
Acrobatics instructor and dancer Jackson Jansen is another Aussie who is flying up the popularity rankings.
The 27-year-old has
more than a million followers and mixes comedy, dance and acrobatics to keep the views coming.
"I just love making content," he says, adding that he hopes he can continue making content and hopes it will help him push forward his dancing career - out of an app.
Originally published as Aussie TikTok stars could soon see big pay day