In the future, we’re all going to be shopping on video apps like TikTok. Whether you’re buying instant noodles or high-end sweaters, it has become increasingly clear that short video clips are the future of ecommerce. Think of them as compulsively watchable commercials—with a direct link to buy.
In the US, the usual monetization system for video is limiting. On YouTube, the biggest online video platform, compensation is still largely driven through through ads. But for most creators, that amounts to a meager living: a 2018 report found that the top 3 percent of video creators accounted for nearly 90 percent of total views on YouTube. Even those who broke into that coveted top 3 percent were still only earning about $16,800 in ad revenue annually.