After the ban, TikTok in a court filing had said it is losing $500,000 in a day. But TikTok alone is not staring at losses. According to the Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) recent report, TikTok's exit has created a dent of about Rs 120 crore for the top 100 influencers.
On June 29, the Indian government blocked 59 Chinese apps including TikTok leaving stars like Faisal Shaikh and Jannat Zubair staring at big losses.
If we look at the top TikTok stars, highest grosser Riyaz Aly annually earned around Rs 5-6 crore. Aly collaborated with many Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone, Shilpa Shetty among others.
Jannat Zubair, another TikTok star, was not far behind in terms of annual earnings compared to Aly. With an estimated revenue of Rs 5-5.5 crore, she charged more than Faisal Shaikh and Arishfa Khan who have larger follower base. While Zubair had 27.6 million followers, Shaikh and Khan had 30.8 million and 28 million followers, respectively.
The interesting thing about Zubair is that she invested in building her followers on Jannat Zubair Rahmani official app which was launched in 2018. Plus, her makeup and beauty channel has 1.5 million subscribers. Now, these are her safety net after the shuttering of TikTok.
So how did TikTok stars earn?
For a picture post, a top 10 TikToker would get in the range of Rs 1,20,000 to 1,50,000.
A Carousel or GIF's cost was Rs 1,50,000 for a top 10 influencer but dropped to Rs 5,000 for a top 100 ranker.
When it comes to a story, the price was between Rs 5,000 - 50,000 depending on the pecking order. A story highlight was priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,00,000 and a link in bio (24 hours) fetched between Rs 50,000 to Rs 35,000.
While the remuneration of TikTok stars may seem lucrative, Sandeep Goyal, chief mentor at IIHB said: "For followers running into millions, this is poor compensation."
He added, "Crass content could be one reason TikTok did not find much favour with brands conscious of their public reputation. Also, the predominantly, Tier 2 and 3 audiences made the platform unattractive to many metros and urban faced brands."
Comparing other platforms, he said: "Category-A player on YouTube can make upwards of Rs 25 lakh a month, Rs 5 lakh a month on Instagram and Rs 3-4 lakh with comparative bases on TikTok."
However, when it comes to cost related to content creation there is none on TikTok. But YouTube videos need far more expense, camera work, editing, graphics, computer effects, and more. But this also results in more possibilities for meaningful integration for brands.
"Some say, the quality of the audience on YouTube is better because it is an ‘invoked’ content platform," said Goyal.
With TikTok gone, where are the influencers going?
When it comes to TikTok's alternates, made in India app Roposo is leading the way with 50 million downloads so far, followed by Mitron, Chingari with over 10 million downloads each.And many of these platforms have welcomed TikTok stars on their platform.