The strategic minds behind TikTok offered an in-depth masterclass to an RTS London audience in late October, calling on traditional broadcasters to embrace the fast-growing, Chinese-owned social media app.
“There’s a huge opportunity for news broadcasters to tell the softer or more interesting stories through the platform – also [stories] that aren’t necessarily so time relevant. That’s basically what our audience want,” said Edward Lindeman, TikTok’s European strategy manager.
“I don't really want to go on the platform and hear about [Brexit] – but I am interested in learning new things and discovering content.”
Previously known as Musical.ly – before significant rebranding – TikTok is a short video platform that currently boasts a large consumer base of 16-24 year-olds, often labelled as Generation Z.
“[Gen Z and millennials] are difficult to get hold of, they’re constantly jumping in between different pieces of content,” explained Ryan Martin, brand partnerships strategist at TikTok.
“[TikTok] is starting to be a place where they come and spend a lot of time.
“The premise behind TikTok… was this idea of making everybody feel comfortable with editing and shooting video.”
“Short-form content generally performs the best,” said Lindeman. But he added that long-form professionally generated content had also been successful on the app, showcasing extracts from BBC One dancing contest The Greatest Dancer and talent show format Got Talent Global.
“We translated that media experience from [The Greatest Dancer] onto the platform and brought it to life for our audience,” he explained. This was accomplished through “a feature of [TikTok], which allows [users] to create content the same time you’re watching a video”.
Through the feature, users were able to duet with the show’s dance captains, Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison. Lindeman said: “There are literally hundreds of videos of [TikTok users] going away and creating content around this.
“[Got Talent Global] goes against the idea that content can only be short form.”
“If your content is really high quality and has an event or a narrative that encourages users to stay till the end, then they will.”
“TikTok for broadcasters” was an RTS London event held at Atos in central London on 23 October. The event was chaired by the CEO and partner of Founders Intelligence, Rob Chapman and produced by Damien-Ashton Wellman.