TikTok allows for better discovery of media content and small businesses alike

The news: TikTok has licensed data from IMDb to make it easier for users to link to movies and TV shows and provide their audiences with information on credits and release dates from an in-app interface.

  • The functionality will first be made available to viewers in the US and the UK. Once videos are published, any tagged piece of content will show up above the caption. Users who click that link will be taken to another page with details about the title as well as a list of other TikTok videos featuring the same IMDb tag.

The move makes perfect sense for IMDb, and fortuitously indirectly helps its parent company, Amazon, by improving the utility of TikTok and thus dinging one of the ByteDance-owned platform’s chief competitors, Meta.

Small businesses, big results: Just as the IMDb deal stands to benefit media entities, small businesses in general are benefiting from TikTok’s viability as a search engine. Nearly four in five (78%) of small businesses that run TikTok advertisements have already seen a good return on investment, with the majority doing so in less than six months, according to a newly released Capterra study.

The study also found:

  • More than half (52%) of TikTok marketers said they intend to increase their spending on the platform in 2023.
  • While less than two in three marketers run ads on TikTok, more than three in four post organic content on the platform.
  • Of businesses that use both organic and paid content on TikTok, 72% consider the former extremely valuable to their marketing performance; 55% say the same for the latter.

Our take: Gen Z uses TikTok for search—and the cohort doesn’t mind reading less to find what it’s looking for. TikTok is focused on making that type of discovery easy, while entertaining consumers—and keeping them in-app—in the process.

  • Besides Meta getting affected ever so slightly by the IMDb deal, Google’s utility diminishes just a bit as well. The search leader has publicly acknowledged the threat posed by TikTok and is making moves to cater to modern users’ preferences
  • Meanwhile, Yelp and other platforms that cater to small businesses are right to be concerned about TikTok’s ability to eat into their ad market.