TikTok begins testing $4.99 ad-free subscription tier

Soon, you might be able to watch TikTok ad-free. Mostly. And for a price.

As first reported by Android Authority, code within the TikTok app indicates that TikTok is beginning to test an ad-free subscription tier for users in the U.S. For $4.99, subscribers get an ad-free experience on TikTok — no other major strings attached, from the looks of it.

Of course, the subscription only covers ads served by TikTok — not influencer marketing one-offs or campaigns. So it won’t do much to combat the raft of TikTok users failing to disclose their brand sponsorships, which include big-name influencers like Charli D’Amelio.

TikTok makes most of its money from ads, and so far, it’s proven resilient to the broader slowdown in online ad spending.

TikTok ad-free

TikTok’s ad-free tier, in testing.

A recent report from market research firm Cowen found a TikTok embrace even amid more cautious ad buyers, with 60% naming TikTok as their preferred short-form video venue. Standard Media Index reported that, as of November, TikTok parent startup ByteDance’s share of big agency spending on social media reached to 11%, with companies including Pepsi, DoorDash, Amazon and Apple among the top spenders.

The question is whether an ad-free tier can meaningfully replace any of that revenue. Evidently, TikTok’s willing to give it a go — following in the footsteps of social media rivals X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) and YouTube.

We’ve reached out to TikTok and ByteDance for more information and will update this post if we hear back.

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