China’s ByteDance has grossed an estimated US$75 million in revenue through selling virtual currency on its TikTok and Douyin, respectively the international and domestic version of its short video duo, according to mobile intelligence service Sensor Tower.
Global users who bought Duobi, the company’s virtual currency, on Apple’s App Store or Google Play, all contributed to the revenue, with spendings on Chinese 3rd party Android marketplaces being excluded, mostly because spending data aren’t accessible to services like Sensor Tower. It also means that, ByteDance’s short video in-app purchases revenue is supposed to be higher than the estimated $75 million projected by the market researcher.
With TikTok becoming a sensational success worldwide, there were concerns expressed by industry insiders over its profitability. Its monetisation scheme runs pretty much solely on ads until the launch of Duobi, which could be used to tip live-broadcasters within the app.
Duobi is available in bundles from 100 (costs US$ 99 cents ) to 10,000 ($99.99), and U.S. TikTok users have spent around $41.3 million so far, accounting for 55 percent of the global total. Chinese iOS users contributed another $17.3 million, or around 23% of the grand total, with Indians around $3.8 million.
The company recently confirmed that it had set up a central platform to integrate its live-broadcasting business scattered across different apps, a move to better monetise this sector to help its owner ByteDance achieve its annual revenue target of RMB100 billion (US$14.8 billion).