As many are now aware, it can be easy to start scrolling through TikTok on your phone late at night, then end up squinting at your device screen, bleary-eyed, at 3am, still giggling to yourself at the clips you come across. TikTok’s algorithm-matching is very good at keeping you glued to the app, which can make for compulsive, small-screen viewing – but what if TikTok was actually available on your TV, like any other channel?
What if you could flip across and see a feed to your latest ‘For You’ clips, on the big screen and from the comfort of your couch?
Well, wonder no more, because today, Samsung has announced a new deal with TikTok to enable Samsung Smart TV owners in Europe to watch TikTok clips on their TV sets.
As explained by Samsung:
“Samsung Electronics Ltd and TikTok are proud to announce a new app partnership that brings TikTok’s trending content into the home. TikTok will be exclusively available on Samsung Smart TVs in Europe, launching first for UK customers today.”
The new TikTok app for Samsung TVs will be available for all 2018 models onward, and will provide big-screen access to your ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds, “as well as the majority of the most liked and viewed content on TikTok”.
“This content has been organized into 12 categories covering everything from gaming and comedy, to food and animals. The entertainment doesn’t stop there though, as people can also view #LearnOnTikTok videos so they can get the latest cooking hacks, fitness tips, and fun facts that TikTok has to offer.”
That seems kind of cool, but also kind of risky. As noted, the compulsive nature of TikTok can keep you glued to the app, and if you can view the same on the big screen, that could be even worse, maybe? But then again, you would think that some of those TikTok clips, which people have shot on their phones, are probably not going to look great on bigger, 4k screens. That could make it a less compelling option – but it might also open up new opportunities for top creators, and for TikTok advertisers to reach new audiences.
Indeed, YouTube has seen a big increase in viewers watching content on connected TVs, which has lead to it launching new TV-specific ad options, like Masthead Ads, providing marketers with additional ways to reach this specific audience.
If the new Samsung integration goes well, TikTok could look to add similar, providing more ways for advertisers to reach these viewers with customized, big-screen specific campaigns.
Samsung notes that the function, which can be accessed by downloading the new TikTok app for your TV, will automatically operate in Restricted Mode, in order to filter out content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. That could additionally provide more brand-safety assurance, if TikTok were to move into dedicated format ads.
Samsung also notes that users will not need a TikTok account to use the app.
It’s an interesting option, which underlines the ongoing growth of TikTok – which, despite various controversies, looks set to continue on its path to becoming the next billion-user app.
Incidentially, TikTok has also launched a new TV ad campaign this week – its biggest promotional effort yet – as it continues to push ahead, despite ongoing questions around its ownership.
It remains unclear as to whether TikTok will need to be sold off in order to continue operating in the US, with the legal documentation around such in debate. But it seems like the app will be allowed to continue on, unchanged, for the immediate term at least, with a potential break-up still a possibility in the new year.
So now, you’ll be able to watch TikTok on your TV, which could help increase viewership, and provide new ways to follow your favorite creators in the app.
And as more digital platforms merge onto TV screens, traditional channels will get less and less focus, which will eventually change the TV ad process as we know it.