With social media platforms evolving fast, it’s hard to know what trend will develop next. A lot of content creators, are very conventional, creating and sharing content, which eventually brings in a following and allows them to monetize their brand.
But, with the introduction of “live” video features that allow people to be viewed in real-time, social media is getting even more edgy and coming out with interesting new ways for their content creators to make money and interact with their audiences.
The most recent craze to sweep social media, leaving many confused is NPC streaming. NPC Streaming trend is made popular on TikTok thanks to a couple of top users making headlines because of the meme culture surrounding NPCs.
Without context, NPC live streams seem bizarre. So let’s jump in and take a closer look at this trend and how social media platforms along with the monetization of content are evolving.
What are NPCs?
The first thing one might ask when hearing about the NPC streaming trend is, what exactly is an NPC?
NPC is an acronym for Non-Playable Character. The lingo stems from Table Top Role-playing games such as, but not limited to Dungeons and Dragons, Mage Knights, and Warhammer. The term is made to represent a character that isn’t able to be played and that has “pre-loaded” or “scripted” prompts, such as a pedestrian in Grand Theft Auto.
This term has recently made a comeback in pop/meme culture since an anonymous user created the meme, in 2016, called the NPC and uploaded it to 4Chan.
The bizarre viral NPC content falls somewhere in the niche realm of ASMR mixed with reaction videos and live streaming. The trend now making headlines everywhere due part to a few trending videos of some top users that have mastered this fad and generated millions of views on their videos. Content creators like PinkyDoll and Cherry Crush have been utilizing this and making thousands of dollars per day.
What are TikTok NPC Streams?
As stated before NPC streams fall into a sub-category online and fall somewhere alongside ASMR and live streaming. Users have a “generic persona” that use to react to different Stickers that are gifted to them by users watching their video stream in real-time on TikTok. The users will then have a scripted saying or reaction, that never changes, for each sticker that TikTok users send them.
One of the viral clips making its rounds on the internet is one of the user PinkyDoll saying a combination of nonsensical words that leave viewers that aren’t familiar with the trend, unsure of what is happening. Statements like “yes yes yes” or “Gang Gang”, and “Ice cream is so good” are said sporadically as viewers send the creator gifts.
The character that these creators are emulating aren’t specific all the time and sometimes are a combination of various personas to which each content creator seems to add their own style as they interact with their viewers
How are Creators Earning Money from NPC Live Streams?
While creators are live streaming, viewers can send them gifts in the form of stickers, that are shaped like various objects. With shapes like ice cream cones, roses, birthday cakes, and “gg”, the live stream will react accordingly giving viewers a robotic NPC monotone response.
How does this convert to actual money we can use in real life? Well, the stickers that are purchased with TikTok’s native token that is real money.
For example, 70 coins can be purchased for 74 cents and 7000 tokens go for around $74. After one has a wallet full of TikTok’s coins they can head on over to the recharge page to purchase gifts that they in turn can give to creators as they please during live streams. The gifts do range in price from 1 TikTok coin all the way up to 34,000 TikTok Coins, so it can become a bit pricey when sending a gift to someone.
The content creators can then “cash out” the stickers for half the value, or 50% of the cost it took to buy them for Digital Diamonds that can only be redeemed once you hit a total of $100 worth of diamonds.
TikTok has made the statement that they only keep what is left from the 50% of the proceeds after people behind the scenes, app stores, payment processors, and any other adjustments required by the company’s policy are covered.
So how much can a creator earn? Well, one of the top NPC streamers named PinkyDoll has made a statement on the topic and claims to be making between $2000 to $3,000 per stream, equating to approximately $7,000 a day, which was reported on by the New York Times. Another streamer by the name of Kai Cenat has said he was able to make $6,000 by going live on TikTok and posting the stream on Twitch.
Most Popular NPC streamers
Here’s a list of some of the most popular NPC streamers on TikTok.
Fedha Sinon is 27 years old woman from Montreal Canada who goes by the name Pinkydoll. On TikTok, her account has over 750,000 followers and her username is Pinkydollreal. She is also an adult content creator.
She’s often seen broadcasting in her apartment with her kitchen as a backdrop while live-streaming and participating in the NPC trend. With people sending her hundreds if not thousands of stickers Fedha is constantly in a mindless state of reacting to the gifts as they come in. This is interesting because it allows the viewers to be in control of the show and interact with their favorite content creators directly.
- Cherry Crush TV
Cherry Crush TV is an English-American content creator who was born in Miami, Florida on July 9th, 1990. Originally starting her content creator career by posting ASMR content to her YouTube channel, CherryCrush_TV, in 2015.
One of her most popular ASMR videos featured her licking, eating, and whispering into a pair of microphones that looked like ears. You may think this content is odd but it turned out to be one of her most popular videos with well over 19 million views.
Recently, she has gained a large following on social media, amassing over 1 million followers on Instagram and 2 million followers on TikTok. On TikTok, she’s best known for her “NPC” live streams.
Despite the mysterious persona, Cherry Crush is a talented content creator who has gained a large following of dedicated supporters on social media. Her ASMR videos are relaxing and enjoyable, and her NPC live streams are often funny and entertaining so she most certainly will continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.
She started live streaming on TikTok in October 2021, where her unique character quickly caught on. Natuecoco looks doll-like, with blushed cheeks and colored contact lenses. She’s rarely on camera without her cat ears and matching wig.
In her live streams, Natuecoco acts like an NPC in a video game. She mimics idle animations and only reacts when people send her gifts. This simple but effective formula has made her one of the most popular TikTokers in Japan.
Natuecoco’s success has pushed other content creators to try to develop their unique persona as an NPC and join the trend.
4. Jay Monique
Jay Monique has hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok alone. Jay released a video examining PinkyDoll’s rise to fame. She’s since decided to give the trend a go on her accounts, mainly because of the money PinkyDoll has made.
Jay created her own NPC personas and typically live streams for hours on end.
It remains to be seen whether Jay Monique will be able to achieve the same level of success as PinkyDoll. However, the NPC trend is still relatively new, so there’s an opportunity for other streamers to make a name for themselves.
Moving forward in the space of social media and monetized viewing, it seems to have merit when saying we’re building an airplane mid-air. As time goes on and with various updates, platforms are evolving and we’re seeing creators become creative with how they monetize and adapt to such changes.
We’re not yet sure if this trend will stick around for good, but the core concept that the platform has implemented will be making this a first step into a new era of social media, with a key emphasis on live streaming.