PROCUREMENT

Is TikTok The New Streaming Service?

Oct 13, 2023

Social Media Marketing News

Is TikTok The New Streaming Service?

Seemingly bored by its adventures in dismantling the music industry, TikTok has set its eyes on the movies. 

Over the course of the past year, TikTok has become a hotspot for movie and TV show piracy. Posted in miniature clips, users can find almost any film they wish, from TV classics like Malcolm in The Middle, to 2000’s hits such as What Women Want

Much to the disdain of the film industry, the practice is incredibly popular. Why users would want to watch an-hour long movie split up into 30-second clips, disrupted by ads and other videos, is the question on every movie maker’s mind. 

Yet, Gen Z is completely enamoured.

streaming on TikTok

Fans of watching movies and TV shows on TikTok often struggle to describe what it is they actually enjoy about the trend. Some claim that it is simply the ease of it that draws them in. A clip appears on your For You Page, you stay for 30 seconds to watch it, and suddenly you are an hour deep in a crime documentary from the 90s. 

Others suggest that it is the built-in community aspect that is creating this craze. 

Given the layout of TikTok, one is able to watch a clip whilst also chatting with other users in the comment section. You can carry conversations across videos, have discussions on the film you are watching, and generally connect with others in the audience. Many have likened it to whispering to your friends while watching a movie in the cinemas. 

Whatever the reason for its popularity, accounts dedicated solely to posting movies and tv shows continue to pop up daily, with some garnering followings hundreds of thousands strong. 

Is this a potential advertising opportunity?

Whilst some in the film industry have taken to shunning the spread of streaming on TikTok for free, others have taken the opposite approach; deftly spinning the trend to benefit their brand in an act of marketing genius. 

The most prevalent example of this is Paramount Plus. Paramount Plus welcomed streaming on TikTok when it posted the entirety of its movie Mean Girls on October 3rd – also known as Mean Girls Day. The movie was split up into twenty-three parts and posted on the Mean Girls account.

@meangirls

TikTok just got a little more fetch. #MeanGirls

♬ Mean Girls is available on Digital – Mean Girls

Unsurprisingly, Paramount Plus’s decision to go ahead with streaming on TikTok was a raging success. The move generated high rates of engagement, with the Mean Girls account now having more than 2.1 million likes and the hashtag #October 3rd having over 426 million views on TikTok.

By posting the entirety of Mean Girls, Paramount Plus drew users to its streaming service, encouraged conversation around the film, and built excitement for the upcoming theatrical release of the Mean Girls musical. The film was removed at midnight on the 3rd, creating a ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ quality around the act that further fanned flames of excitement. 

However, Paramount Plus is not the only brand that has jumped on this proverbial bandwagon. NBCUniversal released a full episode of their new TV show Killing It on TikTok, in order to tease audiences and encourage them to watch the full season. In this manner, TikTok can be used almost as a new form of trailers; releasing content ahead of time to build anticipation.

The future of streaming on social media

Much like the music industry, this trend of streaming on TikTok has the ability to propel films and TV shows into the trend stratosphere at the drop of a hat. In traditional TikTok fashion, it is not newness or relevancy that pushes content to the forefront of popular culture, but rather, an ‘it’ factor that is hard to pin down. 

Industry types have cited worries on how streaming on TikTok will permanently disfigure movies and TV shows. They have taken to calling it the ‘memeification’ of film; creators are enticed to create content purely for the purpose of it trending on TikTok.

One can also notice this trend in the music industry, with many artists taking to creating songs that have catchy sections tailored to TikTok, rather than creating a holistic piece. 

streaming on TikTok

It is difficult to pin down whether streaming on TikTok is a passing craze or a permanent trend. As mentioned previously, users are enthralled with the practice, drawn in by its ease and sense of community. 

However, with TikTok showing signs of cracking down on the practice due to copyright infringement, these fans may soon have to find somewhere else to watch their favourite video content for free. In this manner, it seems unlikely that streaming on TikTok would ever pose a real threat to traditional streaming services. 

Despite the questionable future of streaming on TikTok, one thing is for certain; it is an excellent marketing tactic. As showcased by Paramount Plus and NBCUniversal, releasing your content in short clips on TikTok is a surefire way to create waves of attention and engagement. 

So, is streaming on TikTok worth the risk for brands? When looking at the case studies of Paramount Plus and NBCUniversal, the answer seems to be yes. The sheer amount of engagement that these brands created through releasing their content on TikTok was astronomical; they became the centre of conversation on social media for several days and brought in waves of new customers.

Ultimately, participating in a trend that can only be described as piracy seems counterintuitive. Yet, it may be one of the best publicity stunts a brand can perform at the moment. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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@ Socially Powerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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