- 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.
TikTok, mostly considered as an entertainment platform is improving its advertising offerings and nascent Creator Marketplace that matches advertisers with vetted publishers and influencers. DigiDay reported that TikTok is testing a new ad format namely the ‘Shop Now’ button. This would link brands to the leading influencers allowing the creators to display the Call-To-Action button in their videos. The ad revenue will be divided between TikTok and influencers.
The revenue split ratio is not decided yet but DigiDay reported that the company is discussing 20/80 splits in Tik Tok’s favor. This model allows TikTok to tap into revenue that was previously shared between advertisers and influencers.
Can you shop on TikTok?
The Shop Now option influences the user to shop the product right away is one way of having both – performance and direct response ad products. The creator CTA feature is still in the early testing stage and is available to only select advertisers and agencies.
As quoted by DigiDay, a TikTok spokeswoman,
“We are constantly experimenting with ideas and features to improve the app experience for our users. TikTok is a platform for creative expression and a big part of that is showing and sharing the things you love with others. We’re in the early stages of testing a way users can add links to products to their videos and will share more updates when we have them.”
Earlier this month we witnessed Levi’s was among the first brands to partner with Tik Tok’s influencers and trial the Shop Now’ program. It partnered with the influencers to promote its “Future Finish” customizable denim technology on the platform.
Levi’s reported the product views doubled on the ‘Future Finish’ page that featured in the campaign. All advertisers can access to ‘Shop Now’ button to help drive traffic to their websites but is different from the CTA Beta test said TikTok spokesperson to DigiDay.
Is TikTok following the YouTube way?
TikTok has increased its focus on Creators and for this, it had launched Creators Marketplace late last year. The Creators marketplace helps advertisers to filter out the platform’s top creators.
It appears that TikTok is moving towards YouTube Creator shared revenue model than the Instagram model. Amy Luca, chief executive at influencer marketing company TheAmplify said,
One of the things that Instagram struggles with is retrofitting some of their programs to pull out money from the gray market ecosystem that is being earned by influencers and paid by brands on their platform.”
Growing users of the social video app
TikTok has been growing rapidly over the past year and has been on a tear since the lockdown. Data company Apptopia estimates TikTok was the second top free app on iOs and Google Play stores in the U.S. on April 28. It is also estimated to have 328 monthly active users and was downloaded 100 million times worldwide between Mar 20 through April 28.
Jude Rajanathan, a global director at media agency Zenith stated that TikTok will work on improving its CTA buttons to push for more performances and direct-response ads.