Tik Tok is the cell middle social media platform began in September 2016 that permit customers create, add, and share music primarily based movies.
It’s an all offshore byte dance with Chinese roots a platform that has grown rapidly to eight,000 customers world vast.
And how all of a sudden the world has discovered itself on this COVID 19 lock down.
2020 when social distancing was prescribed, so now what?
Well we’re right here to talk with TikTok’s head of content material partnerships, Brian Penson, about what occurred on TikTok not too long ago, and what lies forward.
So, to start with, Brian, thanks for becoming a member of me.
Hey, thanks a lot, Jim.
Great to have you ever right here.
So begin us off with how is consumer habits actually modified since February?
What have you ever seen?
Boy, it is actually been, , kindA a wild time.
I believe after we take a look at the customers, the creators and actually simply consumption on the platform What we have seen is clearly an explosion of consumption, proper?
So many movies, being watched now I believe as of us are sheltering in place and are at dwelling.
I believe what we’re seeing although is an inflow within the quantity of creation That actually is about inspiring creativity and bringing pleasure, individuals are digging even deeper than they’ve earlier than, are bringing their true genuine selves out and are beginning to actually experiment with with new codecs, , issues which are beginning to actually open the aperture on the platform to, , new worlds of content material, genres, issues like.
Sports and gaming, DIY, cooking, style and sweetness.
So we’re beginning to see much more that sort of content material pegging up into the appropriate progress trajectory.
Yes, it is wish to dive into a few of that stuff.
Let’s begin out although, with what new issues are you guys at Tic tock rolling out?
New programmes, new initiatives you’ve got been growing To assist the brand new modifications that you just’re seeing in consumer behaviour.
Yeah, so I believe two issues actually are, in our instant line of sight and our, large strategic focus within the brief and in the long run.
The first, not surprisingly, is stay streaming.
This alternative that once more, I believe of us have on this type of very unusual and unprecedented time.
To go stay, to once more I believe actually put their genuine self on show and connect with the audiences in a means that they perhaps do not get the chance to do as randomly by way of the dailies, by way of the publishing in feed.
And so from that perspective, stay streaming, trying throughout once more lots of these completely different content material classes Thinking about ways in which we will make stay streaming distinctive to TikTok.
You know, leveraging the platform and type of these typical consumption habits.
And actually give you some cool codecs, some revolutionary and interactive concepts, that we will inject some life into from our creator group with Are public figures and celebrities and even a few of the media publishers we now have on the platform.
So stay streaming for certain is is an enormous one.
This let’s discuss stay streaming for a minute we will go to the following one cuz I believe stay streaming tremendous attention-grabbing and folks take into consideration Tiktok is , it is a 15 second platform or it is like a 62nd platform.
Live Streaming goes on rather a lot longer than that, proper?
Talk about what that stay streaming habits has been like.
And are your customers actually spending a major period of time watching stay streams once they’re used to this type of shorter kind video habits?
They are Jim, they’re.
You know, the standard content material type of format or size on the platform is like as much as 60 seconds and.
Normally its like that 15 to 30 second verse which actually [UNKNOWN] and kinda forces you to be as artistic as you presumably may be in a really brief house.
But what it additionally does is it creates this fandom, this unprecedented type of Love for the creator group that actually interprets in stay.
So what has been traditionally , an enormous driver of stay streaming have been lots of our, our high creators which have these large audiences.
And now, once more with a few of the new challenges that we’re dealing with.
I believe what we’re seeing is considerably longer time spent and watch time, codecs are elongating as properly.
I believe what that is giving our creators is a chance to play with completely different storytelling mediums.
And so within the stay format and performance, We are seeing full like cooking tutorials.
We’re within the kitchens with a few of our cooking creators and our celebrities and we’re seeing from starting to finish from soup Nuts this full expertise on the way to and and finally what that that meal appears like on the finish of the day.
So, yeah, I believe it is actually enjoyable to have a a platform that is predominantly brief kind but additionally has lengthen Tensions into this longer format.
Yeah, when VidCon was in Australia, however late final yr, I used to be speaking to some individuals are already utilizing Live they usually’re saying one in every of them was principally a farmer and was saying, Yeah, I’m going on, I get like lots of of individuals watch.
They simply preserve doing they, there’s a capability for them to provide me digital presents and I can truly generate income doing this, which I assumed was superior.
So it appears like Live streaming is An amazing product that you’ve got been engaged on, and have you ever actually seen the COVID quarantine type of speed up it as a result of individuals are simply sitting round they usually’ve received actually nothing to do, however they’re spending extra time on platform, for certain.
Yeah, in an enormous means.
Music is such an important a part of our platform, and so, once more, the power to faucet into music artists like Jason Derulo, who went stay With simply an unbelievably once more interactive and distinctive type of music format, once more, I believe that is what of us are actually clamoring for is one thing new, one thing distinctive, one thing to type of brighten their day and, convey somewhat pleasure.
And once more, I believe it is it isn’t simply music, it is.
All these completely different codecs from cooking to QA to, , somewhat little bit of a spread present we have type of experimented with lots of various things.
And I believe what we’re seeing is that our customers are actually grateful and , actually closely engaged in what’s occurring on-line.
I do not know if it could make sense however subsequent time we discuss Tiktok.
About we do it stay streaming on tik tok.>> I like it.
Let’s do it.
We can get some mates and a few creators to hitch the occasion as properly.
Yeah, I believe I’ve I believe I’ve 100 followers on tik tok.
So, in fact.
So what are a few of the different issues that you just guys have been engaged on new options and capabilities that you just’re rolling out?
Yeah, so the second factor I believe to enhance our stay streaming efforts is admittedly about bringing extra utility and enrichment to the platform.
Again, as I talked about, we’re beginning to see an explosion of content material range on the platform.
Certainly, lip sync and dance and comedy are type of three juggernauts for us from a style perspective, however We’re beginning to see a lot extra, as I discussed earlier than, meals and animals, gaming, DIY, life hacks.
And so these issues are actually giving means and giving start to a barely extra instructive and informational content material format that we’re actually leaning into in an enormous means so We not too long ago introduced on type of the heels of an enormous type of COVID aid initiative, international COVID actually a aid initiative, a artistic studying Fund, which is admittedly meant to First and foremost, assist these creators which are type of sitting in that educational academic vein.
And an incredible instance is a small enterprise proprietor, any person who runs a ironmongery store in a small city, who Has actually been affected by this social distancing and the sheltering at dwelling.
There’s not as a lot foot site visitors to her ironmongery store.
But she’s additionally a closet chippie and a DIY knowledgeable.
And so the power to convey a few of that funding, a few of that aid to that exact creator and assist her construct a enterprise on the platform, it’s a actually great factor for us to have the ability to do.
And what it additionally does.
It is it brings extra academic educational tutorial even content material to tik tok.
So, think about Yeah, no I used to be gonna say so look down the highway and take into consideration a few of the educational and informative and academic issues is that turn into an excellent greater a part of the platform.
If you are trying down say 12 or 16 months Is academic, does it take over, and does music sorta seep into the background?
Or how do you concentrate on that blend growing?
Yeah, no, I do not assume it takes over.
I imply, I believe for us, it is all about complementary items, proper?
The for-you feed The personalised advice engine that actually drives the platform.
Is about customizing and expertise for you.
And so if academic content material, if informational and educational content material is what you are into, we wanna ensure that we now have an abundance of that, proper?
To feed your wants.
But I do not assume it takes over actually not, on the music aspect the place the sonic identification of the platform and of those , these movies is such an important a part of that, , type of development storytelling.
I believe it is simply, it is including extra legs to the stool and and I do assume that educational.
Content, academic informational content material will turn into a a lot greater a part of, , the following 12 to 18 months down the highway and is one thing that we’re going to proceed to put money into as we convey extra of that content material and the creators that make it to Tik Tok.
Okay, so discuss so I need to transfer on to creators and viewers in a minute however simply give me an instance of 1 very shocking type of educational DIY or one thing round that.
They’re like, wow, I by no means thought I’d see that on TikTok, however boy, that’s tremendous cool.
Yeah, I believe a few of our medical professionals and once more, I believe that strains up actually properly to a few of the COVID stuff that we’re doing, however We have a creator named foot doc Dana, she’s a podiatrist and a surgeon.
And she’s finally began on the platform actually once more leaning into the developments.
Utilizing unique sounds in addition to as music to, type of, discuss her occupation somewhat bit and actually body up, what, what being a physician and in her case of foot physician is all about.
With COVID, I believe you’ve got began to actually see her lean into a few of that.
Education as properly by way of simply, speaking about greatest practices, by way of limiting the unfold of the illness and, issues of that nature and that now clearly we’re getting again into, what it takes to go to medical faculty and, she’s a lady in a predominantly male dominated trade, and so.
It’s additionally, there’s some motivational, and educational, and DIY round the way to kinda break by way of, and actually comply with and pursue your desires.
So she’s been, I believe, a shock by way of actually having the ability to adapt and turn into type of a multi-hyphenate in our world, masking lots of floor, so far as content material creation goes.
All proper, [UNKNOWN] Dana, I’m following right here as quickly as we’re achieved.
[LAUGH] Check her out.
That’s so cool So transferring on to creators and viewers, lots of Tik Tok is about creating with mates collectively.
How has the format of creation modified now that you could’t be with your pals anymore?
You see that increasing on the platform.
Well, I’ll let you know Jim, one in every of my favourite occasions of yr for Tik Tok is the vacations and I believe, you take a look at Thanksgiving and Christmas
Where, in non-COVID associated occasions, you simply see households and folks come collectively and actually, uncover to speak for the primary time normally, by a barely youthful type of lighthouse, member of the family.
And I believe, once more, that is actually, Just a little completely different than the vacations, these occasions, however what I believe it has achieved is for these which are sheltering in place with their households, it is introduced these households collectively in a lot the identical means.
And so I believe what we’re beginning to see is a multi generational content material strategy, like we’re seeing Mom and Dad get delivered to the platform and , they’re doing these these type of development oriented Hashtag challenges and content material items.
Grandma has gotten on the motion and naturally we love that strategy as properly.
And in order that’s the parents which are type of dwelling below one roof and dealing collectively in that capability.
And then I believe we’re additionally seeing and that is the great thing about impressed creation and that is such an necessary little bit of the material of tik tok is, that you could be create a video at this time and that will get picked up and re expressed it Then reinterpreted, , by a pal of yours or by any person you’ve got by no means met overseas.
So that is, I believe, actually been, the place lots of the constraints on, social interplay have actually fueled tik tok is that, we’re beginning to see extra of that impressed creation occur, virtually like a baton move proper from creator to Creator.
As these developments morph and evolve and type of tackle a lifetime of their very own.
Yeah, collaboration was all the time such an enormous factor within the progress of another social video platforms and it is such an enormous a part of TicTok.
It’s nice to see that collaboration begin to occur, even when folks cannot be in the identical place.
100% yeah, we’re simply we’re making an attempt to actually construct out our communities a few of these micro communities that both emanate in More of type of an ethnic place, if you concentrate on black creator group or LGBTQ creator group.
Bringing these creators collectively, once more just about or irl, as soon as the sanctions are lifted is a extremely necessary type of facet of what we wanna attempt to foster by way of collaboration.
And then clearly additionally
You know the health group and the woodworking or calligraphy group like these tremendous area of interest lengthy tail micro communities.
Again, I believe it is all about bringing folks collectively and permitting them to share greatest practices and be impressed by each other as they could.>> Their , one of many issues that I’m all the time actually happy after I get to speak and take a look at is that sense of positivity there.
It’s very a lot a peaceful as you might be platform proper?
You not making an attempt to curate the proper instance of you and making an attempt to and in some ways, customers can find yourself feeling type of distraught once they see all these excellent folks on some platforms and attempt to create an ideal model of themselves that does not actually exist.
And I believe, notably lately the place it is a annoying time that we’re all going by way of
I like the truth that there’s not that sense of getting to maintain up with different influencers.
How do you concentrate on positivity and convey positivity on platform as properly, by way of the best way you curate content material, the best way the best way you spotlight content material and the best way you create new capabilities for folks to create content material?
Yeah, it is it is actually, , our aggressive benefit, I believe our level of differentiation, proper, this concept that we’re occupying a whitespace That actually is a mirrored image of our mission to encourage creativity and convey pleasure and I believe the enjoyment aspect is admittedly born of authenticity, proper?
It’s Come as you might be as a good way to take a look at it.
You know, to actually take into consideration content material creation with that extremely curated polished veneer.
Is a liberating and liberating feeling.
I believe for lots of parents that you do not have to shoot one thing or movie one thing, 10 occasions or no matter to get it proper.
does not should be excellent, proper.
We type of have fun The imperfections as a result of , TikTok is about type of discovering that , commonality and all of us as human beings that like we’re imperfect and somewhat quirky, somewhat bizarre, and that is type of the great thing about the platform.
So we do discuss that rather a lot.
You know, regardless of who you We’re working with throughout the companion spectrum.
That’s one thing that we completely need all of our companions our creators to lean into.
I believe you take a look at Will Smith and lots of celebrities particularly, there’s been for therefore a few years I believe in conventional media, proper?
This type of velvet rope, proper?
And I believe celebrities should be somewhat cautious you bought paparazzi climbing, the The hedges, making an attempt to snap photos and so there’s a component of privateness that has to occur however the great thing about the web and the great thing about social media and I believe what YouTube received began and what we’re I believe hopefully actually cautious.
Carrying the torch on is this concept that, , accessibility between fan and creator and the partitions are damaged right down to such an extent that you could be your self and also you’re celebrated for being your self and for , type of exhibiting that aspect of you that perhaps you do not all the time get to see we now have the , the NFL as a companion and one of many issues that they are actually Finding is as an enormous success is, more often than not soccer gamers have a helmet on.
And you do not actually get to know their personalities and you do not get to see how quirky and humorous and peculiar they’re.
And that is the great thing about what a few of these athletes and groups have achieved is that they’ve come onto the platform and simply been so unapologetically them, proper?
And and uniquely I believe genuine and that is what’s actually, I believe, driving what is the adoption.
The rocket ship that we’re all on right here is that stage of authenticity that each creator brings on daily basis to their work.
I like that quirky, humorous and peculiar.
I’m gonna preserve that in thoughts when I’m-
We have fun all of it, yeah.
Explaining TikTok to folks that do not learn about TikTok.
It’s like, simply go there.
You’ll discover somebody such as you.
On creators once more, they’re cooped up now similar to their viewers cannot go exterior.
They’re locked down.
Have you seen that for creators that been irritating for them?
Or is it turn into an actual supply of inspiration?
And what are a few of the issues that you just assume have come out of that in case you assume it has been an inspirational time for a few of these creators,
Yeah, I imply, look.
It’s a irritating and difficult time for us all, and I believe that creators are not any completely different.
And so I believe it is much less concerning the quarantine, and extra simply concerning the stress of life round us that is likely to be creating some friction.
But I do not assume that is stopped The creation of content material and that once more that creativity and pleasure that we see , video, video, video.
What it has actually achieved is give folks time to assume extra about what they need after I say they, I imply creators, what they need out of our platform.
And that is one other large facet of what we wish, , our type of partnership, , structure to appear like proper?
A really- Ears, open eyes open, listening, type of an surroundings the place what our creators have actually been doing greater than than ever earlier than, is choosing up the cellphone and calling and saying, Hey, I received an incredible concept.
It can be nice if proper, have you ever ever considered and I believe we’re taking lots of that suggestions in from a product perspective.
You know, by way of like content material codecs and simply doing various things I discussed stay earlier than.
You know, there have been so many actually attention-grabbing pitches and concepts round.
You know, simply the way to inform tales.
And had a program that I do not know essentially would have come as rapidly if not for, lots of this new environmental change that we’re seeing.
So, I’m so impressed by, once more the quantity of of recent creators on the platform because of folks having extra time on their palms and likewise Again, the inspirational ideation that is popping out of the Creator group round issues that we will and may construct within the brief and long run.
That’s tremendous inspiring.
I need to shift gears somewhat bit and discuss monetization and types.
More and extra, I’ve been seeing manufacturers exhibiting up on tik tok.
Seeing extra methods for manufacturers to get built-in in however it’s type of completely different from the standard means that promoting is interrupted video.
Can you give me a way of the state of monetization proper now on Tick Tock and the way you see manufacturers, actually being profitable after which perhaps somewhat bit about the place that is going and what its gonna appear like sooner or later.
Sure, so I believe monetization or actually model, presence on the platform, it is received to begin with.
Creative and content material and is it interruptive?
Or is it additive?
It is type of the query that we ask ourselves very often and people manufacturers which are getting it so very proper.
Look at Kapolei who’ve leaned into David Dobrik in an enormous means and also you perceive the ability of creators and serving to to type of inform their model tales.
I believe Kapolei has all the time You know, demonstrated themselves to be a model that type of, is not nearly promoting burritos there.
They actually are, making an attempt to entertain and so I believe those that get that the way to use the platform natively like Chipotle a make a ton of sense elf cosmetics is one other.
You know, they created an unique sound that took off and went viral on the platform, , simply as a lot as a lizard monitor may.
And so I believe to have the ability to get him to lean into the appropriate issues and use the platform, , for all of the completely different type of enjoyable ways in which can be utilized is the appropriate model technique.
As we take into consideration, , the model presence, I believe that is one thing we now have to make sure we’re safeguarding proper is the The expertise of all of our customers in order that once more, that model content material that exhibits up within the feed will not be interruptive however you virtually cannot inform such as you’re watching these creators, and people movies which are,cultivated and curated for you.
And you get one other nice video, once more with a creator you may love or with a model you may love It feels so bespoke to the surroundings and the expertise.
You know, for us, I believe particularly, very often about how we’ll not simply speed up and develop our creators from a content material level Perspective, however how we’ll additionally work with them to construct companies.
That’s even, , extra necessary to lots of our media publishers on the platform, proper?
You have advert gross sales groups and, , large shiny glass buildings in Manhattan that , they have they have to construct a p&l round this.
And so I believe, , as we’re working with these Creators with these media manufacturers to develop their viewers.
it is incumbent upon us to assist them convert that viewers to advertisers, proper?
So making these these channels, giant sufficient to draw potential sponsors or advertisers is might be the most important alternative for monetization, , for creators and companions at this time.
You talked about stay streaming and type of your Observations in Australia that has turn into I believe a extremely significant income for , these creators which are eligible to go stay and obtain presents and and , type of the the guidelines and monetization that occurred when you may provoke and mobilize a tribe of followers and followers.
And then , I believe we have lots of issues that we’re serious about.
You know, it actually began with what we name Lincoln bio.
So , you will have numerous creators and publishers which are considering In about methods to promote issues direct to shopper, proper?
Whether it is merge, whether or not it is once more in a non COVID time, tour tickets, simply issues that dimensionalize their manufacturers in a much bigger means with their followers.
So offering extra avenues and shops like Lincoln bio, to have the ability to consummate transactions that really feel born of the content material is admittedly I believe gonna be an enormous focus.
So these three issues are primarily type of our triumvirate round how we take into consideration monetization for our companions and creators.
And once more, hope to see so many extra manufacturers soar on the platform and Do it natively and organically.>> Yeah, I see lots of companions beginning to pop in.
And actually creators, there are a bunch of creators that do it as a passion.
But there are lots of them which are so good that they need to be turning this right into a vocation, and a few of them are.
It’s good to see that you just guys are engaged on a bunch of various methods for creators to receives a commission, cuz I believe that is an important a part of the platform.
And these varied belongings you’re speaking about coming to US over time, which is nice.
But how do you assume that stability for the consumer who’s on platform, seeing manufacturers begin to pop up seeing purchasing begin to pop up, seeing their digital presents and issues like that begin to pop up.
How does that change the expertise is it begins to muddy the type of pure expertise that TikTok kinda is at this time.
I hope not I believe our imaginative and prescient is that it dimensionalize is it, proper?
That it is additive, proper?
Imagine that you just’re watching a scuba diving video, proper, and that is what you are into.
It’s personalized, gyms for you feed in that means.
You know, think about a world someday the place you are then in a position to do a little analysis on the place you will get Patty licensed to turn into, , a scuba diver your self or you may analysis a visit to Australia to go to the Great Barrier Reef.
Or , once more, numerous various things can can type of Evolved from there simply watching that content material and I believe we now have a duty to make sure that the content material is all the time King and all the time made the middle piece within the middle level to the expertise.
And that we will add these part components once more, whether or not there may be there are manufacturers which are leaping onto the platform as type of sponsors or native publishers, or we’re including these items to the video expertise.
It needs to be additive, it has to really feel seamless and native and natural and in obtrusive or non interruptive.
That’s the important thing to creating it work.
And I believe we Are going to proceed to take heed to our customers to our creators, take that suggestions, beta take a look at lots of issues and type of see what works.
And be certain that no matter we do roll out in mass to the general public into our broad base of customers feels kinda battle examined and likewise feels very endemic and reflective of our platform and what we stand for.
Well, one last item I wanna discover is what TikTok appears like sooner or later, however I used to be struck by you mentioning David Dobrik, which is nice.
Now, David Dobrik, OG Viners, , constructed some success on Vine then on YouTube, now’s enormous on TikTok as properly.
I do know we’re beginning to see a few of these OG Viners begin to transfer into TikTok and do an incredible job there, which makes lots of sense.
I’m questioning what Tik Tok appears like when we now have OG tik talkers.
So give me a way of no look 18 months down the highway look in direction of 2022 2023 even 2024 in order for you.
What is Tik Tok appear like then what occurs if you’ve received an OG class of creators It’s a way more mature platform, how does it look and the way folks expertise it?
Yeah, so I believe this goes again to what we had been saying with respect to dimensionalizing.
The platform and the content material on the platform, I believe actually, making that Leanback expertise far more lean ahead, offering extra utility with each, content material seen.
I believe, once more, the The academic part tree, we’ll we’ll add to that, however actually, bringing product options to the desk that enable for that as properly is tremendous necessary, however on the artistic aspect of issues, the great thing about having a category of Vogue creators that had been type of both born Back within the musically days or joined TikTok, when TikTok was TikTok.
I believe what it actually does is it offers us an identification that is distinctive unto ourselves.
And look, content material creation will not be a brand new factor But our platform and the best way that content material is created and consumed is so very completely different.
And so, once more, I need to, make some extent of,, saying simply how built-in our creators and companions are within the evolution of the platform, proper right down to the best way that we advanced the product.
And, the best way that we take into consideration new codecs and programming and issues like that, so.
It’s arduous to say like what 18 months appears like after we’re working and gunning in like quarterly and even twice month-to-month installments however I do assume that offering extra dimension, extra utility More enrichment in that content material expertise.
It is actually the way forward for TikTok and what perhaps to count on there.
And then on the creator aspect, we do hear tons of concepts from creators about issues they wanna do, proper?
And I do not know that we’re in a spot the place it is full-blown unique sequence, however There’s actually a number of actually enjoyable and attention-grabbing concepts to discover new codecs to, , to dig into stay in a much bigger means.
To me, that is what the platform appears like in 12 to 18 months is that this actually wealthy, sturdy ecosystem of a number of completely different Content sorts,and and finally seeing the platform evolve into areas like meals and journey and style and sweetness and gaming and sports activities and life-style.
extra of that content material, extra creators.
From throughout, not simply OG but additionally of us that, and there was a creator that we discovered that was making Christmas ornaments on Etsy that had by no means achieved a single factor in video.
And simply her work it was like You are going to be the following huge DIY creator.
And, , have you ever ever considered turning a digicam on your self and , or your cellphone?
So I believe it is that type of stuff.
It’s cultivating the brand new class, even, of creator and, , serving to them assist us, , in lockstep to actually convey this platform into the following section of its evolution.
Cool, I for one, I’m actually trying ahead now to Christmas on Tick Tock.
There’s rather a lot happening there however we’re out of time.
So, Brian Fenton, thanks very a lot from Tick Tock for becoming a member of me.
Great to have a dialog now we all know now what the Tick Tock?
So thanks rather a lot.
Thank you a lot, Jim.
It’s been a pleasure.
Tik Tok is the cell middle social media platform began in September 2016 that permit customers create, add, and share music primarily based movies.