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Local apps look to sign on TikTok celebs

BENGALURU: Local video streaming platforms that are racing to snap up top-ranking content creators from the banned short video app TikTok are finding the stakes too high and competition too rough as nearly a dozen companies jostle to fill the slot vacated by the Chinese social media major.Recently Varun Saxena, the founder of Bolo Indya, a short-video app that is funded by Ah! Ventures, was asked to join a bidding war with a rival platform to snag a deal with aprominent creator. Unwilling to fork out the hefty price he backed off.In the last month, as demand for the big-name stars from TikTok intensified, creators have begun demanding fees ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 1 crore for six-month exclusive contracts, according to executives at multiple companies and creator management agencies.77116408“It’s like a gold rush. One platform has left but ten more are here,” said Apaksh Gupta, founder of One Impression, a multi-channel network that works with top short video platforms to source content creators. “If they ( short video platforms) don’t capture these creators, they will lose out, so they are paying twice and thrice the price,” he said.ShareChat’s Moj, Mitron, Chingari, Roposo, and Trell are wooing creators directly or tying up with networks like One Impression and Qyuki to seal contracts, people in the know told ET.“There are so many doors open. I get emails every day,” said Sameeksha Sud, one of TikTok's top creators. “My agency, Qyuki, is in talks with some of these new platforms. Let the storm settle, I don’t want to decide in a hurry,” said Sud who is waiting to see which way the large brands that requisition content on these platforms go and also how peers line-up. “It will be better if all TikTok creators go to one place.”Creators are rated on the basis of the age, gender and social-economic status of their followers. Instagram and YouTube followers are seen as more valuable than TikTok followers due to their perceived spending power, industry executives said.“We are aggressively onboarding creators and paying them as well,” said Sumit Ghosh, CTO at Chingari. He declined to reveal exact numbers saying only that the home-grown platform plans to offer a revenue-sharing model to creators once it begins brand collaborations. ShareChat and Trell declined to comment. Email sent to DailyHunt didn’t elicit a response.Terming the war for content creators as a short-term solution, Mitron’s founder Shivank Agarwal said the app is focused on creating an ecosystem for creators with tools and visibility to win brand deals. Bolo Indya’s Saxena said while 2% of its creators get a fixed payout, the rest get paid according to engagement, playtime, shares, comments, and likes.MX Player, owned by Times Internet (TIL) , the digital arm of the Times Group, which publishes this paper has launched short video platform MX TakaTak recently. “The most crucial deciding factor for online creators is the ability to engage their fans seamlessly,” said MX Player's CEO Karan Bedi.TIL-owned Gaana’s short video format Gaana Hot Shots has onboarded around 400+ top influencers according to its chief executive officer Prashan Agarwal. “Monetization on short video platforms will be led by branded content and promotions through influencers having large followership. This, of course, will take time,” he said. Elsewhere, Facebook-owned Instagram claims to have not paid any creators to develop content for its newly launched short video product – Reels.