After first bringing the TikTok experience to Samsung Smart TVs in Europe last December, then expanding it to US users earlier this year, TikTok has today announced another expansion of its TV connection app, with Google and Android TV subscribers, Android Fire TV users, as well as LG and Samsung Smart TV owners, now able to experience the lean-back TikTok viewing experience on the biggest screen in their home.
As explained by TikTok:
“The TikTok TV app is built for a TV home-viewing experience, making it easy to watch content from our 'For You' and 'Following' feeds on the big screen. This includes the most liked and viewed videos across a huge range of categories, from gaming and comedy to food and animals.”
As you can see in the example above, the TikTok TV app is exactly as it sounds – TikTok on your home TV. Users are able to log into the TikTok TV app with their existing TikTok account, ensuring your preferences are factored into the content displayed, while you can also search for content and creators via the Discover function in the TV app.
The expanded viewing options could drive broader consumption and awareness of TikTok content, with the pandemic pushing more people to consume more web-based content on their home TV screens, and younger viewers, in particular, increasingly aligned with connected TV offerings.
Indeed, according to analysis from eMarketer, some 52.8% of US YouTube viewers, watched the platform's content on a connected TV device in 2020, with that number set to increase to 57.7% by 2022.
Given the popularity of TikTok, you can imagine that it could also see similar viewing trends - and even if it only achieves a fraction of the same response that YouTube’s seeing, that could still be a strong driver of content awareness and consumption, helping to boost the app’s popularity and influence.
Of course, the vertical format of TikTok clips is not ideally aligned with larger, wider TV screens, with the TikTok app displaying content in a sort of inverted letterbox format, with blurring at the edges.
But even so, it could be a valuable addition – and for brand promotions, it could, eventually, provide another means to facilitate TV-like ad reach through more targeted social app campaigns.
As such, it’s worth keeping tabs on the rollout, and adoption of TikTok TV viewing. We’ll keep you updated on any progress.