- 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.
Publishers have a new tool in their monetization kitty with the launch of Project Agora’s new Native Content Solution, Explore More.
Over 15,000 websites use Project Agora’s Native Content feature in partnership with Taboola to drive revenue, increase engagement and page views, and acquire new customers.
What is Explore More?
‘Explore More’ is designed to make mobile users, who are visiting the publisher’s site directly from social media and apps to stay longer and re-engaging them before they exit with the relevant content recommendation.
Explore More serves organic and sponsored content. However, they feature 70% organic content which increases organic re-circulation and improves revenue.
How Beneficial is it?
Explore More has impressive results on smartphones and Tablets.
On Smartphones, it brings 60% uplift in RPM (Revenue per Thousand Pageviews) and 100% uplift in Organic CTR whereas, on Tablets, it brings a 45% uplift in RPM and 30% uplift in Organic CTR.
How to Use it?
It is simple to use for publishers already working with Project Agora by just adding the Explore More feature to the website. Project Agora’s expert team will undertake all the processes, and there is no work needed from the publisher to start seeing immediate results.
Project Agora’s Publishers such as protothema.gr, alon.hu, a1.ro, alwatanvoice.com have already upped their game by implementing Explore More on their mobile websites
Dimitris Tsoukalas, Regional Director MEA, Project Agora said,
“More than 19 of Project Agora’s publishers, in the Middle East and Africa, have already upped their game by implementing Explore More on their mobile websites. In their battle to retain users for as long as possible and increase ad-revenues, Explore More is a no-brainer, quick win for publishers.”
After attempting to take over Instagram with its new “Shop Now” button, TikTok is getting prepared to launch its new augmented reality ad format which is similar to popular app Snapchat and Instagram.
The upcoming ad format will allow users to place dynamic visual effects that interact with their physical surroundings to TikTok videos. For instance, a car could zoom the length of the kitchen table or the user can interact with the advertiser’s mascot as it jumps around the room.
The product is expected to launch later this year with unknown pricing. The AR ads will be clickable and will have music while the user shoots video. As reported by DigiDay, a TikTok spokesperson said,
“We’re always exploring new ways to bring creativity and joy to our community. Creative effects are a fun way for our users to express themselves and for brands to bring an interactive element to their campaigns with branded creative effects.”
He further added that they will share details soon and are still experimenting with various ways to make it a valuable experience for brands. This new ad product will be in direct competition with Sponsored Lens and Word Lenses augmented reality formats and Instagram’s AR filters, though the latter is not an ad product but a filter.
TikTok already offers a product ‘Branded Effect’ which allows users to add 2 D animated lenses to their videos through their hand and face movements. These effects were produced by an in-house team costing $100,000 whereas Snapchat helped pioneer augmented reality advertising but launched Sponsored Lens costing $500,000 minimum for brands. However, over time, Snapchat introduced its lenses to ad auction, bringing the price down and billed on a CPM basis. In its Q1,2020 result, Snapchat reported that 85% more over the last year are playing with the lenses and self serve ad platform is a predominant way to buy AR products.
Meanwhile, the popularity and growth of the video app are soaring. The measurement firm Sensor tower s reveals, TikTok app and its Chinese version, Douyin, crosses 2 billion downloads on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in March.
TikTok is quick in following the roadmap laid out by competitor social media platforms in rolling new ad products and the pace at which they are moving forward is frightening. As quoted by Digiday, Paul Kasamias, managing partner of performance at media agency Starcom said,
” If they get it right they’re going to be a huge player in the next six months to a year.”
News of the AR effect ads follows just in a month after the development of TikTok testing a new ad format call-to-action button ‘Shop Now’ for Influencer videos
Union, the joint venture of five leading technology providers has now launched a new video advertising platform in London for Europe, Middle East and Africa(EMEA) to help local content providers access to video ad spend from global brands who want to support local media at a time when trusted content is the need of the hour for their readers. At the same time, it enables international advertisers to activate video campaigns on the sites that really matter to their local audiences.
Union empowers local publishers to cater to the premium inventory demand by global brands. With a total of over 300employees located in 34 cities, Union and its founding members – regional technology providers PlayAD, Project Agora, ShowHeroes, Video Intelligence and Viralize enjoy strategic relationships with thousands of local market websites across EMEA region providing video content, monetization and technology to publishers.
This strategic partnership helps Union bring a blend of pre-roll and out-stream video formats to the market for advertisers to target. This is achieved using a powerful combination of programmatic and contextual targeting to reach nearly 300 million users on relevant, brand safe and trusted publishers. Union’s publisher partners involve global brands like Marie Claire, Elle, Vanity Fair, and CNN, as well as leading local publishers such as Aller Media, Axel Springer, Stryia, Libero and Funke Media Group.
Steven Filler has been announced as Managing Director for Union and will lead the launch across EMEA focusing on London, Paris and Amsterdam agency buying hubs.
With 20+ years of experience in the digital industry, Filler has held major commercial roles across a range of leading companies including The Guardian, AOL, and upon his appointment, he said:
“The current global crisis has highlighted the continued importance of local quality media in providing the truth and guidance to readers, so that they can be informed citizens. At the same time, advertisers demand more quality, brand safe video inventory and Union makes this possible through a single-entry point while also allowing brands to support the publishers that really matter to their local audiences.”
Odysseas Ntotsikas, founder of Project Agora, said:
“The launch of the Union is further reinforcing and expanding the reach of Project Agora’s mission to Keep the Open Web Open. Local Publishers so far unable to attract advertising budgets from international advertisers and trading desks can now see an uplift in such revenues by working with Project Agora, Union’s founding partner in Central, SE Europe and MEA. For local advertisers looking to advertise out of their home market there is now a unique opportunity to see their brand in the top local sites of every European market that people trust for their news and entertainment”.