TikTok. Picture: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE
TikTok. Picture: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE

For the first time since the pandemic lockdown a clear picture is emerging on advertising platform shifts and which media brands are the most resilient.

In the latest World Advertising Research Council (Warc) advertising trends report, the social media and video sharing platform TikTok has doubled its activity use over the past 12 months and brands are now upping their investment accordingly.

And another report, by valuation agency Brand Finance, says TikTok has for the first time broken into the world’s top 10 most valuable media brands.

TikTok is also growing in SA but not as much as in other markets. Research by HypeAuditor on influencers finds that the majority have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers, while just over 3% have more than 100,000 followers and are collaborating with brands and being paid for advertising.

Warc believes TikTok’s rapid expansion into social commerce is set to pose a major challenge to the likes of Facebook.

Already that has happened in Canada, where users spend as much as 17 hours a month on the platform.

Warc finds that in the past 12 months online video has eroded linear television advertising and now accounts for just over 25% of the global video ad market.

Local media watchers tell the FM that the trend has not quite hit our shores yet, but platforms like YouTube are showing increasing penetration among younger consumers.

One point media buyers would do well to take note of is that audiences the world over are becoming less concerned with platform distinctions and care more about quality content.

One in five consumers globally see no difference between YouTube and linear TV consumption.

Warc’s research also reveals that increasingly younger audiences want to connect with advertising on an emotional level and older audiences more and more want clear product information. Linear television still holds an edge over social media when it comes to style and tone.

The study says just over 30% of audiences worldwide find TV advertising entertaining compared with a paltry 17% for social media.

The Brand Finance report says Covid has increased the gap between traditional media brands, with television networks and film studios facing an uphill battle against online competitors. This is best exemplified by US broadcaster CBS being the fastest-falling brand in this year’s ranking, with a 49% decrease in brand value after a dramatic drop in advertising. NBC is down 44%; 20th Television (owned by Walt Disney) is down 25% and Universal is down 21%.

Netflix has enjoyed a spike in usage, causing its brand value to rise 9%. Despite this, the streaming platform’s growth was not as impressive as in previous years due to challenges posed by competitors such as Disney, down 9%, and HBO, down 3%.

Media is being forced to offer more personalised, online consumer experiences, and to that end the podcast market has exploded in the past two years.

Leading platform Spotify has enjoyed an impressive 39% boost in brand value. The streaming platform has had a significant increase in new users over the past year after expanding operations into 13 new markets.

Local media experts say the podcast phenomenon is starting to build.

According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report, the current addressable market for podcasting in SA is 16-million people and podcast listenership went up 50% in 2018. And there is, it seems, plenty of room for growth. Edison Research finds just 10% of metropolitan South Africans listen to podcasts in a typical month, compared with 33% of Americans and 22% of Australians.

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