Disney Partnering With TikTok to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

The Walt Disney Co. is partnering with China-owned social media video platform TikTok as part of the media giant’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Beginning Oct. 16, TikTok users will be able to watch videos from across Disney’s brands, create their own videos with Disney music and effects, play daily Disney trivia, and collect and trade “Character Cards” of favorite Disney characters.

Disney brands, which include Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, ESPN, National Geographic, and Disney Parks, have more than 150 million combined followers on TikTok. TikTok claims Disney brands such as the #marvel universe and #encanto have 277 billion views and 31.8 billion views, respectively.

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TikTok is also curating a special Disney100 Playlist featuring some of the most popular hits from the Disney catalog, including songs from classic movies like Cinderella and The Lion King, as well as the upcoming Wish, alongside hits from the likes of Toy Story and High School Musical.

“With over 240 billion views across Disney’s portfolio of brands and experiences, TikTok has become a go-to destination for Disney fans to create, engage and connect around their favorite Disney films, shows, characters and experiences,” Asad Ayaz, chief brand officer of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement.

TikTok, which claims to have 1.4 billion monthly users worldwide, was threatened with banishment in the U.S. during the Trump Administration, which cited concerns over the alleged storage of user information and data on Chinese servers. TikTok, in a series of posts, stressed that user data is tightly controlled on servers located in the United States, Singapore and Malaysia — not China.

Redbox, Crackle Connex Ink Deal With TikTok

Redbox and advertising platform Crackle Connex, both Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment companies, have announced they are now working with entertainment platform TikTok.

TikTok will provide Redbox with top content from the platform, which will be featured on more than 3,000 video screens on top of Redbox kiosks nationwide, and brands will have the opportunity to advertise alongside it.

“TikTok is the go-to destination for short-form video consumption by over a billion people globally,” Philippe Guelton, Crackle Connex chief revenue officer, said in a statement. “This new partnership provides advertisers a unique opportunity to reach new audiences and drive engagement. Our Redbox kiosks are in high-traffic locations where millions of people frequently shop, such as grocery stores or value retailers. We look forward to working with TikTok on expanding this partnership as our DOOH [digital out-of-home] network expands.”

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“People come to TikTok to experience the entertainment, joy, and creativity of our community and we are excited to expand that experience to Redbox kiosks,” Dan Page, TikTok head of global distribution, new screens, said in a statement. “This partnership allows us to bring together the power of our exceptional content with the high-visibility of Redbox kiosk locations, creating an effective and fresh approach to advertising.”

Hub: Gen Z Entertainment Choices, Device Use More Varied Than Older Cohorts

There’s a fundamental shift in how the next generation of consumers defines “entertainment,” according to data from Hub Entertainment Research.

Gen Z spends more time watching non-premium video and playing video games than watching TV, according to Hub. Unlike their parents — for whom “must see TV” was not just a pasttime but a cultural touchstone — TV is just one of a constellation of on-screen activities for those under 25. In fact, those over 35 say they spend more than double the time on TV shows that Gen Z does, Hub found. And Gen Z respondents spend more time on both gaming (22%) and non-premium videos on platforms such as YouTube (21%) than they do watching TV shows (17%).

Gen Z doesn’t watch cable much, according to Hub. Gen Z consumers spend about one-fifth of their screen time watching through apps on a smart-TV (the same as their older counterparts), but only 8% of their time goes to watching shows through a cable box (compared with 31% among older viewers). And they spend more time watching on their cell phone than on any other screen.

Platforms such as YouTube face the prospect of being left behind, according to Hub. YouTube has flourished as viewers spend more time on non-premium video. But for Gen Z, TikTok has become a go-to destination in a very short amount of time. Among Gen Z consumers who use both platforms, 54% say they spend more time on TikTok (and 40% spend “a lot more time”), and 73% say that if they could only use one, they’d keep TikTok. More than half of Gen Z viewers say they watch less “regular” TV because of the time they spend watching non-premium video.

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“Gen Z is just as passionate about entertainment as their Gen X parents and Boomer grandparents,” Jon Giegengack, principal and Hub founder, said in a statement. “But they are content omnivores, and TV is just one of a constellation of things competing for their attention. Most importantly: so far, there’s no reason to think they’ll outgrow their attachment to short form video or gaming as they get older.”

TikTok App Now Available on Vizio Smart-TVs

Vizio June 23 announced that the TikTok app is now available on its branded Smart-TVs. This integration allows TV users to discover videos from their favorite TikTok creators and topics directly from the Vizio home screen.

In support of the launch, Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio is highlighting TikTok content on a dedicated carousel showcasing popular trending genres so users can more easily discover their next favorite videos.

TikTok, one of the fastest-growing entertainment platforms, allows users to discover short-form videos across every entertainment genre. The TikTok app has been specifically created for a TV home-viewing experience, allowing audiences to view the most-popular videos across a huge range of categories, from gaming and comedy to food and animals. In addition, Vizio users with a TikTok account can link their accounts to enjoy content from their ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds.

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“Extending this unique app off the mobile phone and onto the biggest screen in the home is an important evolution of the Vizio experience,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development at Vizio, said in a statement.

To get started, Vizio users can check out the TikTok TV app with a few clicks on the home screen or sign in with their existing account details. TikTok’s big-screen software is optimized for a TV home-viewing experience, making it easy to watch content on the big screen. Enjoy TikTok “For You” and “Following” feeds or check out the ‘Discover’ page and find more of your favorite content, creators, and categories on TikTok. The best part, the TV app offers AutoPlay, which serves a continuous content feed without interruptions between TikTok videos.

Rotten Tomatoes Partners With TikTok for Movie/TV Show Marketing

Online movie/TV show recommendation service Rotten Tomatoes Dec. 14 announced it is teaming up with social video platform TikTok to help content creators market movies and TV shows.

The Rotten Tomatoes TikTok Jump will enable creators to link to movie and TV trailers, Tomatometer and Audience ratings, reviews, information on where to watch, clips, and cast and crew info for entertainment fans.

Film and TV clips and soundbites have been popular on TikTok, with users often requesting more information on the content. The companies are working together with studios for the new holiday releases, Spider-Man: No Way Home, West Side Story, Sing 2 and The Matrix Resurrections.

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“Teaming up with TikTok is the next step in our journey and we’re thrilled to provide [their] community access to all that our site has to offer,” Sandro Corsaro, SVP and chief creative officer at Rotten Tomatoes, said in a statement.

Launched in 1998, Rotten Tomatoes has evolved over the years to harness social media and help moviegoers and consumers find movies, TV shows, and streaming content. Earlier this year, the brand launched its first-ever channel on Roku, Samsung TV Plus, Peacock and Xumo, featuring 24/7 linear programming with over a dozen originally produced shows and nearly 400 hours of premium long and short-form video content, in addition to its original video series “The Ketchup,” “Binge Battle,” and the “Rotten Tomatoes is Wrong” podcast.

“Through the new Rotten Tomatoes Jump feature, we’re excited to give our community access to a trusted source of entertainment reviews, recommendations, trailers and more,” said Harish Sarma, global head of content business development at TikTok.

TikTok Triples Video Streaming Length to 3 Minutes

Social video-sharing media behemoth TikTok is expanding the length it will allow users to post videos to three minutes from 60 seconds.

With 689 million monthly active users worldwide, the Chinese-owned app has a strong following in the U.S., which leads in the platform’s monthly revenue and users.

In a blog post, product manager Drew Kirchhoff said the move underscored the platform’s desire to afford users an “even richer storytelling and entertainment” experience.

“With all the ways our community has redefined expression in under 60 seconds, we’re excited to see how people continue to entertain and inspire with a few more seconds — and a world of creative possibilities,” Kirchhoff wrote.

The move underscores increasing competition within the social media video space with recent launches that include YouTube Shorts, Instagram’s Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight and Triller, among others.

TikTok generated nearly $2.1 million in U.S. app revenue from Apple’s iOS platform in February, according to Statista. The U.S. accounted for 44% of TikTok’s revenue throughout the Apple App Store.

Tubi Partners With TikTok for TV Show Reunion Special

Tubi will debut the first-ever live-TV show reunion special on June 30 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) on TikTok.  Hosted by social media personality Brittany Broski, the hour-long live trivia and challenge event features appearances by Marlon Wayans (“White Chicks”), Paris Hilton (“The Simple Life”), Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”), Joey Lawrence (“Hit List”) and Lacey Chabert (“Party of Five”).

The special will highlight Tubi’s catalog of nostalgic TV titles, including “Dawson’s Creek,” “The Nanny,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Leading up to the live event, Tubi is launching a series of brand-new nostalgic videos on TikTok featuring Wayans, Drescher, Hilton, Lawrence, and James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek”).

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Other social media personalities on TikTok joining the event, include Suede Brooks, Zach Lugo, Chunkysdead, Tre Clements, Wisdom Kaye and Rodney Lee.

“We’ve seen a direct correlation between titles that trend on TikTok and the growth of those titles on Tubi, which serves as the prime viewing platform for TikTok users,” Natalie Bastian, VP of marketing for Tubi, said in a statement.

Ad-supported Tubi is rolling out pre-reunion nostalgia videos, ranging from TV celebrities reacting to their “favorite kisses” and “clapbacks” to “re-creating their TV looks from yesteryear.” TikTok users will be prompted to participate in two hashtag challenges: #AsSceneOnTubi that highlights well-known one liners from popular Tubi titles; and #TubiTaughtMe that will encourage enthusiasts to recreate nostalgic looks from their favorite Tubi titles.

Select user-generated content from these challenge videos will be featured in the live reunion special. From acting challenges with Marlon Wayans to a retro runway show where Paris Hilton sits front row, the live streaming special is jam-packed with programming geared towards the TikTok audience.

Fox Entertainment-owned Tubi has more than 30,000 movies and television series from over 250 content partners, including every major studio, in addition to the largest number of live local and national news channels.

Biden Ends Trump-Era War on China’s TikTok, WeChat Apps

President Biden June 9 signed an executive order effectively ending the former Trump Administration’s efforts to force a sale of Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to American business interests.

The order ends the former administration’s war on the WeChat app, a multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Chinese media giant Tencent. The Trump administration had sought the ban in the United States, citing national security risks.

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Biden’s order stipulates that the Commerce Department is now tasked with determining the potential security risks associated with software owned and operated by foreign adversaries, among other responsibilities.

“I have determined that additional consideration must be given in addressing the national emergency declared in [Trump’s] Executive Order 13873 of May 15, 2019, including the threat posed by certain connected software applications designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary,” Biden wrote in a letter to Congress explaining his executive order.

Trump last August issued an executive order mandating the ban unless TikTok sold its U.S. operations. An acquisition deal involving chip maker Oracle and Walmart for 20% in a newly configured ByteDance parent remains in the works, but has not been finalized.

A federal judge last September issued a preliminary injunction stopping Trump’s proposed ban that would have effectively stopped 100 million Americans who use TikTok for social messaging and commercial influencing.

The move wasn’t unprecedented considering China blocks its citizens from using American apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Netflix.

Regardless, the political posturing between the U.S. and China over TikTok saw its CEO Kevin Mayer, the former Disney executive who help launch Disney+, exit the company. Mayer was also COO of TikTok parent ByteDance.

In March, Mayer was named chairman of the DAZN sports-themed subscription streaming service.

Netflix Adding Comedy Clips to Mobile App

Netflix has begun rolling out short-form comedy clips for its mobile-centric subscribers. Taking a page from social media platform TikTok, Netflix’s clips — dubbed “Fast Laughs,” offer full-screen feed of funny clips from the streamer’s comedy catalog, including movie Murder Mystery; “Big Mouth” series; sitcom “The Crew,” and standup comedians Kevin Hart and Ali Wong, among others.

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“You access the feed through your bottom navigation menu by clicking on the Fast Laugh tab,” Patrick Flemming, director, product innovation, wrote in a blog post. “Clips will start playing — when one ends, another begins.”

Fast Laughs is available on iPhone in select countries, and will begin testing on Android devices in the near future, according to Flemming.

Ex-Disney+ Executive Kevin Mayer Named Chairman of DAZN Streaming Platform

Kevin Mayer, the former Disney executive who helped launch Disney+, and then departed to briefly head social media platform TikTok, has been named chairman of DAZN, a boxing-themed SVOD service.

Mayer replaces John Skipper, who will transition to Meadowlark Media, a DAZN subsidiary focused on developing original programming.

“As chairman, I’m looking forward to partnering with the management team and my fellow directors to help DAZN build on its impressive track record of success in developing a truly global sports platform,” Mayer said in a statement. “I’ve been impressed with DAZN’s ambitions and ability to quickly grow from a new entrant to an important player in key markets throughout the world. I look forward to guiding DAZN’s strategic development into its next chapter.”

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Mayer was previously chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and International at The Walt Disney Company. There, he launched and ran the company’s streaming businesses, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Hotstar, as well as overseeing Disney’s global advertising sales, content sales, channels sales and international operations. Prior to that role, Mayer served as Disney’s chief strategy officer, leading the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 21st Century Fox and BamTech.