By: RILEY PULT
Tik Tok content houses are swarming parts of LA. With some of the most famous faces on the platform joining these houses, it is a marketer’s dream for a cash grab. For influencers, these houses allow for a place to live when they first arrive in LA. They are also able to grow faster because they bring together different fan bases. But, there is much more to these houses than just 15-second dance videos.
Living in these houses can have strict contracts. One the biggest, if not the biggest, houses in the world of Tik Tok, is the Hype House. Thomas Petrou, the person who is said to have founded the house, has implemented strict rules for being a part of it. “If someone slips up constantly, they’ll not be a part of this team anymore,” Thomas said. “You can’t come and stay with us for a week and not make any videos, it’s not going to work. This whole house is designed for productivity. If you want to party, there’s hundreds of houses that throw parties in L.A. every weekend. We don’t want to be that.”
There has also been news in the past that certain content houses take a percent of what you make. Although the Hype House has strict rules, they do not take any revenue from the members.
Renting situations vary depending on who is funding the house. In another popular house, Sway House, they live rent-free. But, they have to meet their contract requirements. “It’s company-sponsored, so the guys don’t have to worry about if they can afford rent,” Tal Fishman, leader of Tik Tok management company claims. “Because of the structure that we put in place, they’re able to be extremely productive.” This type of management can be difficult because you are a product of a company, meaning you are told exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Unlike the Sway House, the Hype House asks that you pay $900 a month for rent. However, this number may fluctuate depending on the number of members.
To join or become a part of these houses, there are many requirements that have to be met. First, you must have some sort of following and a solid fan base. Then depending on how you promote yourself, you may be signed to a management or agency. Usually, if you live outside of California or LA, it will make the most sense for you to pack your bags and move to the entertainment capital of the world. From here, your management may put you into a house to produce content with other people on the same platform as you. If you are not under an agency, you may be scouted by someone who believes you will continue to grow on social media. A member of the Hype House, Chase Hudson, says that to be big online, “you must be young, have a lot of energy and personality and honestly a little weird. The weird people get the furthest on the internet. You either have to be talented at something, or a weird funny mix, or extremely good looking.” He does a lot of the scouting for the house and finds new people to join the house.
This idea of collab houses is not a new concept; houses can be traced back to the Vine days. Vine no longer exists, and almost every time you turn around someone is claiming Tik Tok is going to get banned. This over looming factor shows how uncertain and unsustainable it can be to have a platform on social media. These houses exploit famous people in order to get the bag. Content houses may look very fun from your phone, but behind the scenes, it is a business and money maker.