If you are a teenager, there can be limited
opportunities to make cash for your skills. Some talented young musicians,
though, have discovered how they can make money on Musical.ly. (Now TikTok)
the benefit of anybody over the age of 21, we recently profiled Top 20 Musical.ly Influencers Who Have Built Small Media Empires
for Themselves. In that article, we explained what Musical.ly is, and
profiled some of the hottest young talents who star on the platform today.
DMR has tried to curate statistics relating to Musical.ly, although as they observe, it can be much harder to find hard facts and figures about Muscial.ly than for the more prominent social networks. However, DMR reports that Musical.ly currently has 200 million users, 60 million of whom use the network each month.
an average of 13 million videos per day uploaded, Musical.ly’s young users love
showcasing their talent. It must be remembered that many of these will be
lip-synching copies of pop songs.
all of this interest by 13-21 year-olds, it was inevitable that brands who
target this demographic would take notice. This means that there are now income
opportunities for the more talented, outgoing and influential of the youngsters.
One of the top muser’s is Ariel Martin, aka
@BabyAriel. Ariel has over 20 million Musical.ly followers. She has now turned
it into a full-time job and works with brands such as Sour Patch Kids and
does operate a multi-platform campaign, working on Instagram, Snapchat, and
YouTube as well. It is not uncommon for the top deals across the three
platforms to generate six-figure incomes for the musers.
course, the secret to success on Musical.ly is the same as every other social
network. You need to be forever engaging. If you want to make money on
Musical.ly, you first need people to notice you. You don’t even have to be
musically talented. Quite a few of the more popular acts still lip synch, and
some have expanded their repertoire into comedy.
have been willing to pay $200 to $20,000 per branded video promoted by
influencers, depending on the individual’s level of influence.
But the most natural way for
the talented performers to make money, however, is on Musical.ly’s live
streaming app, Live.ly.
Live.ly burst upon the world in
mid-2016. According to Musical.ly, the top 10 performers made on average
$46,000 over a two week period in those early days. Bart Baker earned
$30,000 from his first dozen performances.
If you earn money through Live.ly, you do have to share some of it. Apple’s iTunes takes a 30% cut, and then Muscial.ly takes a further 20%. Presumably, Google has a similar arrangement as Apple does for payments made through the Android app.
Lauren Godwin discovered the
benefits of performing on Livel.ly. She can take in $40,000 a monthfor her
Livel.ly performances, making $600 to $3,000 per performance, depending on how
long she performs.
How the Live.ly Payment System Works
The youngsters who use Livel.ly
can buy virtual coins – 100 coins for $0.99.
When viewers like a particular
performance on Livel.ly they can use their virtual coins to buy emoji which pop
up on the screen during a live performance. These emoji come at a range of
prices, from five cents for a panda head up to $50 for a blue creature with a
halo, wearing a pink dress.
The more somebody is prepared
to gift the performer the more prominent their name displays on the screen for
everybody to see.
The better performers encourage
their followers to support them. They give a shout out to their more generous
This appeals to the youngsters
who watch these videos. They love the public praise they receive if they make a
significant enough donation.
Plus there will always be the
collectors, who deliberately aim to buy one of each available emoji.
The shout-outs can generate
even more than the virtual emoji gifts can. Viewers quite often buy their stars
gifts, just so they can hear their heroes shout-out their name.
The more organized musers
include honors boards on their pages showing everybody who their top
To the hip youngsters of
Generation Z, this is a form of a pay-to-play system. They are happy to pay
their virtual dollars (using real cash of course,), to be part of the
The nearest their parents got
to public recognition like this came with old-style telethons, where you saw
your name flash across the screen if you made a significant enough donation.
Today’s youngsters can see their name instantly appear in their “programs,” and
can even chat with their heroes.
Essential Elements of
Musical.ly’s Gift Points Policy
Although people buy tokens to
spend on emoji, technically they are buying Musical.ly Gift Points. Part of the musical.ly
Gift Points Policy states that “You may exchange gift points purchased by
you for Gifts to be used by you for other Users.” Technically, the fans are
giving gifts to the performers.
The performers can “redeem such
gift points anytime, provided that each User may redeem no more than $1000 in
any calendar day/week with the minimum amount being $100 for each request.”
With Apple and Musical.ly
keeping half the proceeds between them, this means that performers will receive
$100 for every 20,000 coins that people donate to them.
Even Mainstream Artists Use Musical.ly and Live.ly Now
The service has come a long way
in a short time. Initially, it was just children who supported the service, and
serious musicians ignored it. As the bulk of amateurs lip-sync, one of the
first things that Musical.ly had to do was to set up arrangements with major
recording studios, for their music to be used.
Over time several mainstream
celebrities discovered the popularity of the service, and that it is where many
of their fans spend their spare time. Hence, you will find that mainstream musicians
like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Gwen Stefani now frequent the site.
This, of course, has a snowball
effect. The more celebrities see their peers operating on a service, the more
likely that they will go and try it out. This, in turn, keeps their fans
interested and increases their music sales.