Scott Galloway wrote a blog post titled TikTok Boom (May 20, 2022).

« TikTok now commands more attention per user than Facebook and Instagram combined. Downloaded more often than any other app for each of the past five quarters, it was the world’s most visited site in 2021. TikTok has 1.6 billion monthly active users — more than Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn combined.

« TikTok is a streaming platform, and the testicles being kicked over and over by TikTok belong to another company, Netflix. Over the past four years, ByteDance (parent company of TikTok) has gone from half the revenue of the original gangster of streaming to double. Six months ago Netflix was worth more than $300 billion — today it’s at $80 billion. And at its last valuation event, ByteDance was valued at … $360 billion. »

« We’ve been watching the streaming wars for the past few years, but we were looking in the wrong place. “Video-based social media” was the Trojan horse. »

« Talent Liquidity… The top eight U.S. media firms will spend $115 billion on original content this year. Netflix alone will spend $17 billion. TikTok produces its content for almost nothing —  the company’s payout to top creators is a rounding error, at $200 million per year. »

Side note from a May 13, 2019 Fast Company article: “To have any hope of keeping up with its rivals, Netflix must keep ramping up its spending on content. Problem is, it can’t. Netflix makes only a small profit, so it’s had to borrow gobs of money… Its debt has exploded 71% in the past year… That’s not sustainable.”

« Signal Liquidity… Cable is heavy, high-sulfur-content crude, as its only signals are weekly Nielsen ratings reports. Netflix gets signals directly, but just a few: what you watch, how long you watch, and whether you recommend the program… Then there’s TikTok, where the average session lasts 11 minutes and the video length is around 25 seconds. That’s 26 “episodes” per session, with each episode generating multiple microsignals: whether you scrolled past a video, paused it, re-watched it, liked it, commented on it, shared it, and followed the creator, plus how long you watched before moving on. That’s hundreds of signals… With great signal liquidity comes great content. Specifically, unique and personalized content. »

« As the day goes on, we get tired and stop wanting to make decisions. It’s called decision fatigue. The biggest mistake we make in marketing is believing choice is a benefit. No, it’s a tax. Consumers don’t want more choices, they want more confidence in the choices presented. »


This reminds me of a related thought from the book The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore: “Fundamentally, customers do not want choice; they just want exactly what they want… Variety is not the same as customization.”

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