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Brands and Rights Holders Should Circle These Digital Media Developments

Last week’s full-scale launch of Twitter Circles received plenty of attention as the social media platform attempts to provide users with 1) a way to communicate information they don’t want to share with the entire world and 2) a way to build and strengthen communities (of 150 people or less).


For sports marketers, the new feature could be a new activation tool. By creating the opportunity for fans to join a private group, a brand or a property could offer exclusive access to content, live streams, etc.


For example, through a random draw or by being one of the first 150 people to take a certain action, fans could earn temporary entrance into a team Circle—each Twitter account is allowed to have only one, so membership would need to be recycled—that offers a private group chat with a star player or a similar “digital VIP” experience.


On the B2B front, Twitter Circles could also be used to form communities among a property’s sponsors or premium seat holders, allowing for private communication between members of the group in a way that email newsletters and other less interactive tools do not.


Meanwhile, another digital platform—TikTok—is in the spotlight based on some astounding numbers that have some in the media and marketing world suggesting it’s time to stop thinking about TikTok as a social network and recognize that it is a mobile streaming service.


Chris Ebmeyer, senior vice president, director of media services for cultural marketing agency 160over90 asked (and answered) this question in a recent post: “What streaming platform had over 22 trillion minutes of content watched in 2021? Not Hulu, not Disney+ and not Netflix. It's TikTok. And as a way of comparison, Netflix, the clear leader in streaming, only had 9.6 trillion minutes watched in 2021.”


He goes on to make the argument that “while the app still has much of the same functionality as other social platforms, it’s not the primary reason we’re drawn to it. The app has become our new, short-form streaming platform…TikTok has captured what we all knew: short-form video was going to be the wave of the future.”


Viewing TikTok through that lens not only raises the importance of creating great content for the platform—which many brands and rights holders are already doing—but points to the opportunity of using it as a paid media vehicle to advertise products, services, tickets, etc.

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