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TikTok is taking on TV and challenging YouTube with its new streaming option

Posted by Dina Zubi in Comment

5 months ago

TikTok can now be streamed directly to TVs via Chromecast in the latest move by the app to challenge YouTube.

45% of YouTube viewership take place on TVs as of 2023, up from 30% in 2020. The monthly reach of YouTube through TV was estimated to be 18.8 million (UK users aged 16+ only) in June 2023. In the US, the monthly reach is 135 million viewers. No wonder TikTok wants in on the TV action.

YouTube has invested significant sums into becoming a destination to rival TV channels – in 2022 it reportedly spent $14 billion (£11 billion) on the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket to draw sports fans. Now it looks like TikTok is in the process of making its mark as the new TV challenger.

The ByteDance-owned app has also made moves to attract sports fans. In 2022, it signed a four-year deal with Six Nations, becoming the women’s rugby competition’s first title sponsor – although this deal was cancelled in December 2023. In March 2023, TikTok became a partner of Major League Soccer, the top football league in the US and Canada. The app’s global livestream content deal with UFC was extended in the same month.

TikTok started out as a short-form video app, but in 2022 it started allowing users to post 10-minute clips, opening up for more in-depth content. While it took a page out of YouTube’s book, the OG video platform had already started to adopt TikTok’s winning short-form format with its Shorts videos.

TikTok might be new in the TV game, but films and series are already huge on the app. From show recommendations and analysis to outfits, makeup and food inspired by iconic characters, TikTok has become a destination for film buffs – #FilmTok has more than 44 billion views. Could the move into TV result in original TikTok content down the line?

Recently, HBO launched a TikTok account for its cult favourite show The Sopranos, where it shares 25-second highlights of each episode to mark the show’s 25th anniversary. In just two weeks, the account has gained more than 46,000 followers and 100,000 likes. With TikTok now available to watch on bigger screens, entertainment brands will invest more in its offering on the app. Watch this space.

By Dina Zubi, CORQ news and features writer.