TicToc, a global news network from Bloomberg, presents news to consumers on a variety of screen types. Jean Ellen Cowgill is General Manager of TicToc by Bloomberg and Head of Strategy and Business Development, Bloomberg Digital. She shared the company’s plans for DOOH market with Mel Stott.
A significant reason you joined DPAA was to support your new TicToc by Bloomberg venture. What is TicToc?
TicToc launched in December of 2017 and launched with 7 founding sponsors, AT&T, CA Technologies, CME Group, Infiniti, Goldman Sachs, SAS and TD Ameritrade. We have continued to bring on new partners consistently throughout the year. So far the company has exceeded expectations for revenue in year one.
TicToc is a global news network built for the social, mobile world. Our goal is to make it easier for consumers to truly understand the biggest stories and trends shaping their world. We do this by designing our content for the screens people use, in the ways that they prefer to use them throughout their day.
Our aim is to make the micro moments of consumption more meaningful. What if, every time you looked at a screen, you came away a bit smarter?
TicToc’s primary output is short, social news video. We are pioneering this format as a news genre, and the impact we can have on consumers’ understanding of the world in just a few minutes’ time.
We rely on the reputation of Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists and analysts — a differentiator in an age in which trust and unbiased news is at a premium.
Describe the TicToc audience. Who is TicToc trying to reach?
Given its focus on powerful, short-form video across topics from culture to technology, TicToc can appeal to a broad range of consumers.
The core TicToc audience, however, is a group we have identified through our research as the “New Guard.” These are people in their twenties and thirties who are already in charge of teams, budgets, businesses, and other endeavors.
They have come into leadership roles over the past ten years, and they will only grow in their authority and influence over the decades to come. These leaders are globally-engaged and ambitious, informed but busy. They want a news source that recognizes their power and ambition as well as their worldliness and curiosity – that’s where TicToc comes in.
Does the DOOH version of TicToc differ from what users see on Twitter?
The DOOH version of TicToc will be similar to what users see across TicToc’s content offering. TicToc’s videos are “nutrient-rich” — we bring together visuals, data, and text to make the most of a viewer’s time and attention. Every second is crafted with intention.
How does TicToc differ from the competition, such as Buzzfeed?
We see an opportunity to stand out by combining the rigorous, in-depth reporting of a media stalwart like Bloomberg with the latest in engaging, social-first video production. With this goal in mind, we have done a couple things very differently than our competitors.
For one, we didn’t launch into social news with a standalone show or even videos at a weekly pace. We committed to 24/7 global coverage from the outset. We need to seamlessly fit into our audience’s lives, to be there with timely insight whenever they choose to dip in and out.
TicToc also leans onto Bloomberg’s global presence. With journalists in 120 countries, we have unique, unparalleled access to stories and on-the-ground context from around the world.
And, we embrace the test-and-learn innovative spirit of our parent tech company, Bloomberg LP. When you watch our videos, you’ll see us breaking out of traditional broadcast conventions. We are experimenting with what truly works best in the spaces where people now consume, from social to DOOH.
Is this Bloomberg’s first venture in the DOOH sector?
Bloomberg is present in DOOH with our other products including Bloomberg TV. It has been part of out-of-home campaigns on large screens in airports and metro, as well as smaller screens like on airport shuttles and in bank branches.
What is TicToc’s business model? Is it ad-supported?
TicToc is currently ad-supported. We help our brand partners achieve their larger business goals through the expanding TicToc ecosystem. Brands can take advantage of a variety of turnkey and custom integrations targeted at the audiences they most need to engage.
Do you have a dedicated sales team for TicToc?
TicToc has a dedicated sales team and also benefits from the efforts of the global Bloomberg Media Group sales team. Our distribution and licensing team lead our distribution sales.
Where can we see TicToc content?
TicToc’s main platform currently is Twitter. Select content is also available on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and in taxi screens in New York City.
In addition, TicToc has a daily podcast on the top global news stories of the day. We also produce a newsletter that breaks down the tweets surrounding the day’s most important stories.
TicToc’s presence in taxi screens in New York is an initial testing ground for generating additional brand awareness.
We plan in the near future to expand into screens where people consume content throughout their day — at work, during a commute, or at play. This includes taxis, elevators, airports, as well as screens in shopping areas. We also aim to be in city streets, similar to LinkNYC — any screens where people can watch news video.
Unlike previous types of in-taxi news, TicToc is designed to be experienced with or without sound. All of our videos maximize the screen space to show what’s happening through data, text, images and video.
How does Tic Toc handle the audience’s rejection of ads that interrupt what they are viewing? Or is the ad model different from TV?
TicToc’s advertising model is not based on the traditional pre-roll and mid-roll that interrupt the news experience. TicToc integrates sponsored content into the news experience, and brand messages appear natively within the news content.
Do you provide any attribution metrics to advertisers?
We work with Twitter to provide reach and effectiveness metrics and performance reviews of TicToc’s videos.
To learn more about TicToc, visit: https://www.bloomberg.com/series/tictoc
To learn about DPAA, visit: https://dp-aa.org