Samsung and TikTok have partnered to give people access to some of the short-form video-sharing network’s most liked and viewed content on their televisions.
The new TikTok smart TV app, currently only available to Samsung smart TV owners in the United Kingdom, has been specifically created for a home-viewing experience. This experience allows people to view the ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds, as well as the majority of the most liked and viewed content on the platform, organized into 12 categories, including Comedy, Learning, Sports, Travel, Animals, Art, Food, and Gaming. People can also view #LearnOnTikTok videos, so they can get the latest cooking hacks, fitness tips, and fun facts that TikTok has to offer. The social network app is compatible with Samsung smart TV models that were released in 2018 or later. This also includes lifestyle models, such as The Serif and The Frame, 4K and 8K Smart Monitors, and The Premiere projector.
“The past year has dramatically changed the way we live, work, and play. More of us are spending more time at home, watching TV with loved ones, and enjoying the content that entertains and educates through our smartphones. This has led us to think about how we can bring the creativity and joy of TikTok to even more people across the UK. Our new TikTok app will do just that, giving the millions of Samsung TV owners access to our trending recipe hacks, comedy skits, challenges, and more – straight into living rooms across the country.” – Rich Waterworth, General Manager, TikTok UK.
For Rebecca Holloway, an avid TikTok user, content creator and social media consultant at London-based digital marketing agency Base Creative, the appeal of content being shown in 4K and 8K on bigger smart TVs is something that is not yet evident.
“2020 has proven that TikTok isn’t just for teenagers taking part in the latest dance trend. It’s proved itself to be an entertainment hub across all ages, especially since we’ve all been staying at home during the lockdown. So, this seems like a natural progression. However, although the platform’s videos are extremely immersive on phones, I wonder if this will carry over in the same way or not. Will the footage look as clear? will there be a lot of negative screen space sitting on either side of each TikTok video ruining that immersion? We’ll have to wait and see!”
Recently the Chinese video-sharing social networking service, owned by ByteDance, has been allowing users to upload three-minute videos, which is triple the length of its current clips. This is an early roll-out, and the new partnership could result in TikTok becoming similar to other video content platforms widely used by an older social media demographic. In recent years, this demographic has seen significant increases in TV viewing rather than watching content on smartphones.
“It’s an interesting play by TikTok and shows they’re looking to come for YouTube’s dominance on TVs. The short-form content on TikTok has been what’s propelled it to popularity, but YouTube also made changes to the maximum length of its videos and now looks a lot like the TV it set out to replace. TikTok has already mooted extending video length to three minutes, and moving onto TVs means it’s likely to become more popular with older generations who aren’t perhaps as glued to their smartphones.” – says Chris Stokel-Walker, British Journalist and author of ‘YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars’.
But, most importantly: will content creators and brands be able to benefit anytime soon from that partnership between Samsung and TikTok?
“It will help Samsung, and it’ll help creators a little in that it will give them exposure. However, it’s TikTok that will profit the most from this. If that’s on the telly playing in the background, ad impressions will rocket. This will mean better revenue for them.
I think it has the potential to be a good move. In essence, what they’ve done is turn TikTok into a TV channel. Something that you can put on in the background whilst you’re cooking or put on in the morning whilst you’re getting ready for work. It’s a way to access and consume large volumes of content with ease. Facebook has been trying to do this with Facebook Watch, and the way videos autoplay from one another. However, this deal helps TikTok to effectively integrate with television media in a way, unlike anything we have seen before – it’s like a new episode of ‘You’ve been framed’ every day.” – David Glenwright, head of training at social media agency www.jcsocialmedia.com.
For now, creators, marketeers, and brands will be paying close attention to how content will translate onto a bigger device. Crucially, they will be focused on how this change will help content reach and sales as we get our social media – and TikTok videos – ready for 2021.
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