TikTok, X: what lies behind social media’s attempts to conquer the big screen

X confirmed last week its intention to provide its video App on the living room screens. This announcement comes at a moment when TikTok also multiplies partnerships with TV operating systems (TVOS) to expand its reach beyond the handheld devices and reach the wider demographic installed in front of the TV sets. If Youtube managed to secure a solid spot within households’ homes and TVOS interfaces, is there still room for competitors on the user-generated content side? What are the perspectives for platforms like TikTok or X to leap from mobile to TV screens? Half of Youtube viewership happening on the TV screen in the US The connected TV audience represents Youtube’s fastest growing viewership, as stated by the company last year. The segment grew to reach 45% of all of the platform’s viewership in the US, up from below 30% in 2020. More recently, Youtube was described as the most watched streaming service by Nielsen. In January, it accounted for 8.6% of total TV usage in the country. In the UK, BARB measured that the reach of Youtube on TV sets amounted to 18.8 million adults (16+) and 24.5 million counting the total population in Q1 2023. The TV screen accounts for a third of the Youtube viewing captured by the measurement company.  In both regions, Youtube is the leading social media platform, reaching 76% (North America) and 63% (Europe) of the population. Other social media are close challengers globally, with Facebook exceeding Youtube’s penetration in Latin America and in Asia-Pacific. TikTok shows the largest growth among these services. Tapping into the TV audiences after making their mark on mobile could also be a profitable strategy for these challengers. The installed base of Smart TVs reaches approximately 1 billion devices in 2024. Addressing them would unlock the possibility for social networks to diversify their viewers, as the big screen can allow them to reach more members of the family. Some platforms have been appealing to very specific demographics and need to talk to new profiles to increase their reach. It’s an opportunity to capture a share of the growing CTV advertising segment, and a way to maintain a relationship with users across their entire viewing journey, through accounts enabling them to follow videos, profiles and recommendations across different devices. TikTok multiplied efforts to conquer the TV screen in recent years. Although not including its full catalogue, the app was made available on millions of TV sets on Samsung Tizen Smart TVs in Europe in 2020, followed by Amazon Fire TV devices, as well as Google TV / Android TV, LG webOS and Samsung Tizen in 2021 in North America and in several European countries. In 2022 Vestel announced the...

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