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Hi and welcome back to the Advertising & Media Insider newsletter with the latest in BI Prime advertising and media coverage. Lucia Moses here, deputy editor of the desk.
TikTok was well on its way to becoming a major social media app among Gen Z since it arrived in the US two years ago. But since the coronavirus pandemic forced everyone indoors, it’s been spilling over into the mainstream as Gen Zers on up look for some fun and optimism and distraction from the day’s news.
With 1 billion downloads and deep pockets, the major question left around TikTok is still how big of a business it’ll become. As Dan Whateley on the media team reported, social media users can be fickle, and TikTok’s ongoing success will depend on how sticky it will be with users and creators.
TikTok’s gradual approach to monetization and a slowdown in ad spending and general reluctance by marketers to experiment could also hinder its growth.
Employee relations really matters now
Internal communications used to be low on the totem pole compared to public-facing PR. But the role has been elevated with CEOs facing greater demands for transparency, internal leaks, and the rise of employee activism. And now that big swaths of the workforce are working remotely, companies are realizing its worth even more and running to PR firms for help.
It’s a bright spot for these companies that are seeing other parts of their business soften in the economic downturn.
As Jen Prosek, founder and CEO of Prosek Partners, told BI’s Sean Czarnecki: “Everyone is parsing their PR spend: Is it nice or is it necessary? Crisis, special transactions, strategic comms, and employee engagement are in the absolutely necessary bucket.”
That’s providing a windfall for firms like Edelman and Ruder Finn that started making big bets on the field a while back, as Czarnecki reported.
The biggest global PR firm, Edelman, for one has been growing its internal comms business at a double-digit rate, and expects to see that area grow 10-20% in employee engagement this year.
A silver lining of this crisis could be that improved transparency and communication becomes a permanent feature of corporate life.
Read the rest of Sean’s story here: PR firms like Edelman, Ruder Finn, and Kekst CNC are seeing a boom as CEOs scramble to reassure employees amid the pandemic
Top execs leading Quibi
Investors, creators, executives, and advertisers have bought into Quibi — but will users?
The mobile video streamer got off to a tough start. It went from the fourth most downloaded iPhone app in the US to the 71st within 10 days of launch, according to App Annie.
Quibi hired a who’s who from Silicon Valley and Hollywood, and it’ll fall to them to convince people to subscribe to the platform.
Read Tanya Dua and Ashley Rodriguez’s full list: Quibi recruited top execs from Snap and Netflix to lead its entry into the streaming wars. Here are the 14 power players who bet on the startup’s vision of changing mobile video.
Here are other great reads from the media and advertising teams:
- How much money YouTube pays for 1,000, 100,000, and 1 million views, according to top creators
- The 18 most powerful esports organizations that are running the pro gaming industry and getting millions from eager investors
- Hulu and Roku are getting a popularity boost from the pandemic but may not be able to fully capitalize on it
- People are paying more attention to advertising during the coronavirus lockdown, and brands that pull their ads could be missing out
- Amazon is cutting rates for a program that splits sales with publishers, and it could be a warning sign for companies like BuzzFeed and Wirecutter that bet big on the e-commerce giant
- Music artist Tiagz explains how he mastered TikTok’s algorithm to score a major record deal, with help from Charli D’Amelio and a 1950s jazz classic
- Layoffs and furloughs hit holding companies WPP, Omnicom, and MDC Partners as advertisers slash spending
That’s it till next week. Take care, and as always, if you’re new to this email, here’s where to sign up for your own.