Brad Podray, 40, is an orthodontist in Des Moines whose TikTok account, the Scumbag Dad, was originally a riff on work of another TikTok creator Nick Cho.

Known online as Your Korean Dad, Mr. Cho plays a wholesome, fatherly figure who treats viewers as if they were his beloved children.

'' A lot of my main comedy is based on identifying trends and deconstructing them to the point where they are no longer recognizable from the original inspiration,'' Mr. Podray said.

His P.O.V. style videos feature a series of short sketches in which the Scumbag Dad exposes his fictional kid in progressively volatile situations.

Early in Season 1 of the parodies, Mr. Podray steals his child's prescription pain medication, and by Season 6 his child is helping him assassinate drug dealers.

'' I never got to complete the series, unfortunately, because TikTok banned me too many times,'' Mr. Podray said.

TikTok prohibits videos featuring youth exploitation and abuse, fictional or otherwise, in its community guidelines, but Mr. Podray continues to make other kinds of parody videos. 

He said he earned about $150,000 a year from his content on TikTok and YouTube.

In July 2020, TikTok established the Creator Fund to reward popular accounts and encourage content creation.

It initially pledged to distribute $200 million and now expects the fund to grow beyond $1 billion. How much each creator gets, however, can vary.

'' Payouts from the Creator Fund are based on a number of factors,'' said Maria Jung, TikTok's global product communications manager.

'' Those factors include what region your video is viewed in, engagement on your video and the extent to which your video adheres to our community guidelines and terms of service.''

It has been widely reported that eligible creators typically get a few cents for every thousand views a video gets, though Ms. Jung wouldn't confirm that number.

Creators with millions of followers and views per video can make a few thousand dollars a month from the Creator Fund.

Having an engaged TikTok audience also allows creators to extend their reach on other social platforms.

Meta discontinued their Reels Play bonus program in March, but creators can still earn money from Facebook Ad Reels, a program that operates similarly to YouTube's revenue-sharing model.

Cross-posting content to increase revenue streams is a common practice among creators.

'' It wasn't until I became monetized on YouTube that I actually started making real money,'' Ms. Potenza said. '' In order to make this a living, you have to utilize a lot of different methods to make it sustainable.''

YouTube's business model is different from TikTok's in that it shares 50 percent of its ad revenue with its creators.

The combined revenue from social platforms can be significant, but the most lucrative opportunities come from brand partnerships.

Ms. Potenza recently created a sketch in which she played John Wick's therapist to promote the latest movie in the John Wick franchise. Mr. Podray's sponsors include Insta360, a camera company.

As their follower counts and average views per video grew, so do their rates. Ms Potenza secured her first brand deal in 2020 and filmed a branded video for $150.

The next year, as her account grew and she hired an agent to help her negotiate, her rate increased to $5,000 per video.

These days, she wouldn't accept anything less than $10,000 for a sponsored video.

The World Students Society thanks author Kate Ryan.


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