December 9, 2020: TikTok tests three-minute videos; YouTube launches new features for Premieres; Walgreens develops in-house media network
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
TikTok Tests Going Long-Form
TikTok is reportedly testing longer, three-minute videos with select creators.
In case you’re not spending every second of free time on TikTok like we are (#NoShame), currently, TikTok only allows creators to upload videos up to a minute long. In a world dominated by longer content, the bite-sized length has proven to be quite successful — longer than Vine (#RIP) and shorter than most YouTube videos (#RIP my attention span).
And why would TikTok do this?
Two words. Creator monetization. Currently, TikTok offers creators no way to monetize through ads — the only way they can make money is through brand partnerships (and hiii, we can help with that). As a result, many big TikTok creators have launched YouTube channels to share long-form content and monetize through ads (think: a lot more money).
The ability to share longer videos on TikTok would enable that same type of content on TikTok with an existing audience creators have already built on the platform. For TikTok, the motivation is to get creators to double down and invest even more in its platform vs. having to go elsewhere, like YouTube. It also gives TikTok more ad space and another format to sell ads for.
One of the reasons why TikTok has been so successful is because of its focus on quality content. Unlike on other platforms, where users go to interact with their favorite creators, users go to TikTok to interact with content. On TikTok, it’s more about the content and less about the creator, while on other platforms, it’s more about the creator and less about the content.
Our POV? Big risk, big reward. With a dominant Gen Z user base, it’s worth considering if this demographic who is known for their attention spans (as in lack thereof), will even want to watch content this long. While, on the one hand, this could rid the infamous “like for part 2,” it could also lower the addictiveness of content being created. However, the value to brands and influencers is obvious — more time to build a connection with their audiences.
Lights, Camera Action: YouTube Premieres Launches New Features
YouTube Premieres, which allows creators to generate interest in a video before it goes live, is gaining 4 new features.
What are the new features?
- Live Redirect: Creators will now be able to hold a live stream prior to the video going live and automatically redirect viewers to it once it starts. Think of this as your virtual pre-show or red carpet.
- Premiere Trailers: These are designed to fill in another pre-Premieres space, this time by looping a 15-second to three-minute video on an upcoming premiere’s watch page. Creators can use this to advertise an upcoming premiere and remind viewers to tune in.
- Expanded Countdown Themes: Creators can now customize the countdown timer that plays before a premiere with a Countdown Theme. YouTube says creators will be able to choose from a variety of “themes, vibes, and moods” so the timer better matches the video vs. YouTube’s default style.
- Schedule Premieres on Mobile: For the first time, creators will be able to schedule Premieres via the YouTube mobile app.
With all in-person events postponed since March, event organizers have had to get creative about how to bring the event experience in-home. Unsurprisingly, live-streaming across all platforms has skyrocketed as a result.
YouTube’s Premieres has seen record growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, since March 1, YouTube has seen over 85 percent growth in daily Premieres from over 8 million channels AND of these channels, over 80 percent had never before used Premieres. With the release of these new features, it’s likely that YouTube is looking to continue to build on the momentum of online events.
Walgreens Thinks Beyond Cookies
Walgreens is launching a new in-house media network for advertisers: Walgreens Advertising Group (WAG).
WAG offers media buyers ad placements across Walgreens.com, over 9,000 brick and mortar stores, and on Facebook, Pinterest and Google. Already, the retailer is currently working with more than 30 advertisers within WAG.
What’s Walgreens saying?
“We are finding ways to make it as easy and seamless as possible to work with us to enable speed for advertisers to be able to get the full breath of the value that we can offer.” — Luke Kigel, VP of Walgreens integrated media and head of Wag.
On the other side of things, this inadvertently accelerates the need for innovation from ad sellers. Walgreens, like many other retailers, owns masses of consumer data thanks to its handy dandy loyalty card system — to the tune of 100 million+ members. With data like this becoming increasingly attractive to media buyers, it’s likely we’ll continue to see retail brands (and others) building their own media networks.