Triller is launching a funding program that will provide Black creators posting on the app $2,000 in cash and $2,000 in company equity per month.
Participating creators, who can sign onto one-year contracts with the social platform that begin on Jan. 1, will need to post eight videos to Triller per month and eight different posts with references to Triller on any other social platform, according to an individual with knowledge of the contracts. The videos need to be at least 30 seconds long for lifestyle content, while dance videos can be shorter at 15 seconds. The equity will be provided to creators in the form of standardized service provider units, which convert to stock warrants in TrillerNet, which is planning to go public.
“We felt like there was no better way to showcase the opportunity to create a more participatory kind of economy than to give those [creators] actually some ownership in the company,” TrillerNet CEO Mahi de Silva told The Hollywood Reporter. “The intent is that these creators get equity just like an employee would.”
The Triller incentive program follows a number of other creator funds at platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Snap to reward creators for posting to their platforms. The idea to create the funding program came as part of Triller’s Assembly for Black Creators, a monthly virtual event that brings together hundreds of Black creators to learn more about the business of being a creator and to connect with brand marketers.
“Learning about finances and stuff like that is a great thing because the Black community, we never had that coming up,” said Marco Hall, a boxer and creator with 7.3 million followers on TikTok who will be participating in the one-year contract. “Most definitely I didn’t know anything about finances until I got older. Financial literacy and Triller has been … a great door-opening way for the Black community to thrive more.”
Bonin Bough, Triller’s chief growth officer, said the requirements for the contracts — which amount to about two Triller posts a week and two on any other social platform — were meant to give creators the freedom to post on other channels without being “too big of a lift.” “From a number perspective, it was really what we felt was not the heaviest lift, but at the same time, a value exchange that we could both benefit from,” Bough said.
But Bough said he’s most “proud” of the equity portion of the program, which he said is meant to better acknowledge the imbalance in power between platforms and creators. “It also creates, quite frankly, a different trust relationship,” Bough said. “It’s not just about using our platform to build your audience, but also providing feedback on how our platform can be changed and adjusted and actually work better for the creators. And that’s the open dialogue that we’re looking to build with creators because they’re now owners.”
The equity component hasn’t gone unnoticed by some creators, either.
“We’re never offered any ownership in anything that wants to hire us, even if we come up with it from the beginning,” said actress and creator Noelle Bellinghausen, who has signed onto the one-year Triller contract. “So here we are in the digital age: Now we have all these competing apps out there wanting us to create content on their platforms, but who is coming to say, ‘Hey, we also want to offer you something bigger than just come be a part of our app and just get views. We actually want you to have some ownership that you can take with you and build a legacy with.’”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.