- Disney veteran Kevin Mayers who oversaw the launches of Disney+ and ESPN+ is leaving the company after 27 years to become the new CEO of TikTok.
- Mayer will take the lead on ByteDance’s music, gaming, and emerging business along with heading TikTok.
- Mayer will start on June 1 and report directly to Bytedance CEO Yiming Zhang.
- TikTok had an immense impact on the music industry and grabbing eyeballs of gaming and esports companies.
TikTok appoints Kevin Mayer as the new CEO after being poached from Disney. Kevin Mayer who was passed over for the Disney CEO role is taking a jump from the entertainment industry’s most esteemed names to one of its most dynamic new arrival.
TikTok’s new CEO plans to explore business opportunities in music and gaming as the company looks to capitalize on a recent increase in app downloads. Mayer, head of The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer and international business said in a statement,
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance. Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok – a creative, positive online global community – and I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world.”
Advertisers and brands taking advantage of music trends
TikTok is a significant player in the music industry for discovering new artists and making songs to hit status. The platform contributed to the grand success of Lil Nas X’s record-breaking “Old Town Road” and more recently with chart-toppers like Doja Cat’s “Say So” and Megan thee Stallion’s “Savage,” which are all featured in the TikTok videos.
Advertisers have found new ways to use TikTok music and dance trends to their advantage in order to drive brand awareness among the Gen Z audience. Brands like e.l.f. Cosmetics and Warner Bros. have used original music and dance challenges to attract the audience and generate billions of views and user engagement on the app. As quoted by Business Insider, Evan Horowitz, CEO of the creative agency Movers+Shakers said,
“I think the nature of TikTok as a platform is that it’s one. It’s only natural that brands that create really good music.that the community on TikTok really resonate with, that music can start to trend and be successful outside of the platform.”
Gaming and esports companies jumping onto the bandwagon
Video games companies and esports brands have shown keen interest in the TikTok app as it continues to be popular among Gen Z users of the app.
Many esports brands like FaZe Clan, Team SoloMid (TSM), and 100 Thieves have officially created verified accounts whereas video game content is slowly taking up TikTok’s content recommendation landing page (ForYou). It’s too early for gaming creators on the platform even though esports companies are slowly and carefully exploring TikTok in recent months. Jason Wilhelm, CEO of TalentX Gaming told Business Insider,
“For TikTok, they haven’t really found what is the best way forward for gaming yet. You need a lot of requirements in order to stream video games. TikTok obviously is not set up for that right now, but that is something that we’re going to be figuring out.”
TikTok has seen a significant surge in users since the pandemic hit U.S – 315 million downloads across the iOS and android app stores in 2020 Q1, that’s the most download for one app in a single quarter as per mobile data analysis group Sensor Tower.
COVID-19 has compelled the world into self-isolation which means working from home indefinitely- which is challenging for highly collaborative and creative industries like marketing and advertising. Technology bridges the gap of connectivity but nothing can replace the buzz that comes from working in a busy agency. Therefore, Wunderman Thompson Canada is keeping you company with the ambient noise of an agency office from the pre-pandemic times.
The 8-hour soundtrack spans from 9 a.m coffee to 4 p.m happy hours, every elevator ping, chatter, and email notifications of a typical office day, recorded by the agency’s remote employees. The audio is called ‘Isolation Station’ on SoundCloud and is hoping that this tracklist might recreate the familiar and nostalgic buzz which will help employees feeling sick of working from home in the pandemic, get the feel of a more productive setting. Even the track names remind of office life with titles such as “But first, coffee” and “Beer o’clock”.
Wunderman Thompson Canada executive creative director Ari Elkouby said that they tapped real Wunderman Thompson Canada employees to record themselves having conversations with colleagues over Microsoft Teams and on their mobile devices to make the soundtrack truly authentic.
“We created a story map over the course of eight hours and got employees to contribute to different parts of the day. That dialogue was mixed over an audio bed of office ambient sounds to complete the track.”
Ari Elkouby also mentioned that Isolation can be scary and less ideal for many, however, this is to show the team and industry that we are together and provides much-needed comfort in a creative and fun way. Who knew that a conference room discussion meet can be so nostalgic?
This is similar to a campaign from the New York Public Library, in which the sounds of the bustling New York City were recreated.
This is also an interesting read: Noise-O-Meter By Bose Rewards Rising Noise Level With Discounts On Its Headphones.