TikTok's Billion Dollar Year
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TikTok's revenue growth is an interesting trend to look at.
While the trend has almost always been curving up the way every business wants to see its revenue evolve, there were periods of more (and less) growth.
Going back to the early days, we see App Store revenue rose from a little under $2M in January of 2020 to $8M in January of 2021, to a whopping $97M in January of 2022. And all of that is net, which means what ByteDance gets to keep after Apple takes its share.
And no, I didn't add an extra 0 by accident. Revenue really grew more than 10x in 2021.
Early 2022 was a big one for TikTok. The first quarter was its biggest by far and totaled $272M of net revenue. It didn't last too long though. Revenue declined in May to $59M.
Consider that a hurdle, because revenue continued to grow, and guess what? Q1 of 2023 is even bigger at $298M of net revenue, according to our estimates.
And this doesn't includes TikTok's China revenue which comes from a different app.
That's a lot of money, and here's why this is relevant - this money isn't going to TikTok but rather to creators on the platform.
TikTok's in-app purchases are coins that users buy and then use to reward creators. By far the most thriving ecosystem (on mobile) for creators on any social platform.
Elon is trying to push Twitter in this direction using subscriptions, and possible rev share from ads, but TikTok already has Twitter beat.
A Cool Billion
But that's not all!
In addition to breaking revenue records almost every month, TikTok's revenue has hit a new milestone - the Big one. I capitalized that B on purpose.
In the last 12 months, TikTok's net revenue from the App Store hit a billion. And a friendly reminder, that's net, meaning after Apple's share. As these in-app purchases aren't subscriptions and TikTok doesn't qualify for Apple's Small Business Program, we can guess Apple's share was around $430M.
TikTok sits second in our list of highest-earning apps and games in the world, right below YouTube. The two have completely different business models but one important thing in common - video.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.