Tiktok to launch subscription model for content in Kenya

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China’s entertainment platform Tiktok has announced plans to launch a subscription model for content in Kenya.

The short-form video hosting service says the subscription will borrow heavily from other African countries where it has seen a success.

According to Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Tiktok director of government relations and public policy in Sub-Saharan Africa, paying for content is a work in progress.

Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday, Mgwili-Sibanda said the platform is considering introducing a firewall where users would have to subscribe to access content.

“In terms of some of the features we have launched, the Tiktok Series allows them (content creators) to put their content around firewalls and have people subscribe.

“It is not yet in full force in Kenya as it is in other African countries. But that is something that we are working very hard on to make sure that we can roll it out here [in Kenya] so that we can address some of the concerns that the Kenyan government has raised with us.”

The social media platform notes that “as of June 6, 2023, creators in select regions who are 18 years or older, have an account that is at least 30 days old with at least 10K followers, have posted more than three public videos in the last 30 days, and have at least 1K authentic video views in the last 30 days, are eligible to join Series.”

The firm said creators with less than 10,000 followers but meet the other requirements can apply by providing a link to premium content they’ve previously sold on other platforms via the Creator Center on the TikTok app.

“Application does not guarantee access,” it added.

The popular social media app hosts user-submitted videos that can range in length from three seconds to 10 minutes. It allows users to create, view and share videos recorded on mobile devices or webcams.

According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2023 survey, Kenya leads the world in TikTok usage. The report indicates that Kenya has 54 per cent of global TikTok usage, with 29 per cent of Tiktok activity in the country revolving around staying informed with news updates.

Tiktok is considered one of the fastest growing social networks, with the report revealing that 44 per cent of respondents use the platform and that it is popular among 18 to 24-year-olds.

Kenya is followed by Thailand and South Africa.

Mr Mgwili-Sibanda was speaking during the launch of TikTok’s partnership with Yunus Social Business (YSB), an arrangement that aims to invest financially in selected social enterprises, while providing others with training and mentorship on branding, sales, e-commerce and using digital platforms for business success.

In this way, they will support selected social enterprises.

Youth, Creative Economy and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said: “TikTok has had an impact beyond entertainment and social interaction; it has influenced various aspects of society, education and philanthropy, positioning itself as an impact organisation by providing a platform for people from diverse backgrounds to share their stories, talents and creativity.”

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