Jun 15, 2023

TikTok's Impact on the FAST TV Industry: Embracing Change to Reach the 13-24 Year Old Audience

Post by 
Michael Dutcher

Before we start some stats:

  1. TikTok screen time per user is crushing its competitors –currently at 26 hours per     month.
  2. 29% of consumers that have TikTok installed on their phone use it every day
  3. 67% of teens use TikTok (second only to YouTube)
  4. Nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google,     according to Google’s own internal data.
  5. According to Pew Research, 33% of TikTok users say they regularly get their news from     the app.
  6. According to the Wall Street Journal, users currently spend 17.6 million hours on     Instagram Reels, versus 197.8 million hours on TikTok.


In the fast-paced media and entertainment world, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for industry players. As technology continues to evolve, no-platforms emerge, capturing the attention of younger audiences. One such platform that has taken the world by storm is TikTok. While many may view TikTok is a simple app for short videos and dance challenges, its influence on the media landscape, specifically the Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST TV)industry, is far-reaching and often underestimated. In this blog post, we will explore how TikTok has revolutionized how 13-24-year-olds consume content, leaving the FAST TV industry struggling to keep up.

  1. The Rise of TikTok and its Appeal to Younger Audiences:

TikTok, with its addictive short-form videos and user-friendly interface, has become a cultural phenomenon. The platform has captivated the attention of millions of users, especially those in the 13-24-year-old demographic. Its algorithm-driven content recommendations and viral trends have created a highly engaging and personalized user experience. As a result, young viewers are flocking to TikTok for their daily dose of entertainment, bypassing traditional television.

  1. The Challenge of Traditional TV Advertising:

The FAST TV industry, which heavily relies on advertising revenue, is facing a significant challenge in reaching the 13-24-year-old audience. This demographic, often referred to as Generation Z and younger Millennials, is increasingly spending their time on TikTok, where content is consumed in bite-sized, easily digestible formats. In contrast, traditional television often struggles to hold their attention with long-form programming and interruptive ad breaks. This shift in attention poses a threat to the traditional TV advertising model.

  1. TikTok's Influence on Content Creation and Consumption Patterns:

TikTok's impact extends beyond just capturing users' attention. It has fundamentally changed the way content is created and consumed. The platform's emphasis on user-generated content and the democratization of fame has empowered a new generation of creators. These influencers have built massive followings and wield considerable influence over their dedicated fanbases. They have become valuable partners for brands seeking to engage with the elusive 13-24-year-old demographic.

4.     Embracing Change and Finding Opportunities:

The FAST TV industry must recognize the transformative impact of TikTok and embrace change to stay relevant in the evolving media landscape. Rather than viewing TikTok as a threat, industry players can explore the following action ideas to leverage the platform's popularity and capture the attention of the 13–24-year-old audience:

a.     Collaborate with TikTok Influencers: Partnering with popular TikTok influencers can provide the FAST TV industry with a direct channel to the younger demographic. By leveraging the influencer's reach and influence, TV networks and streaming platforms can create sponsored content or branded challenges seamlessly integrating their programming. This collaboration allows organic exposure to the influencer's followers and opens up new avenues for engagement and viewer acquisition.

b.     Create Short-Form Content for Social Media: Recognizing the appeal of short-form, snackable content, the FAST TV industry can repurpose existing programming or create original content specifically tailored for social media platforms, including TikTok. By condensing engaging moments, highlights, or exclusive behind-the-scenes footage into bite-sized videos, TV networks can capture the attention of younger audiences scrolling through their feeds. This approach keeps the audience connected to the TV show and acts as a teaser to entice them to watch the full-length content.

c.     Develop a TikTok-like Platform: To tap into the growing popularity of short-form videos, the FAST TV industry can create their own TikTok-like platform. By developing a dedicated app or section within their existing streaming platforms, TV networks can curate user-generated content related to their shows. This approach encourages audience participation, fostering a sense of community and loyalty. Additionally, by offering rewards or recognition to top creators, networks can incentivize users to engage with their content and generate buzz around their programming.


5.     The Rise of Creators and the Evolving Compensation Model:

In addition to its impact on content consumption, TikTok has revolutionized the concept of creators and their compensation within the media industry. Unlike traditional TV writers who receive fixed salaries or royalties, TikTok creators are often remunerated based on the performance of their content. The platform's algorithm-driven nature rewards creators whose videos garner high engagement and views, leading to potential monetization opportunities.

This evolving compensation model has democratized the industry, allowing aspiring creators to showcase their talent and build a following without the need for traditional gatekeepers. The popularity and influence of TikTok creators have become valuable assets for brands, who seek collaborations to tap into their dedicated fan bases. As a result, creators are now positioned as influential partners for advertisers, with potential revenue streams including brand partnerships, sponsored content, and even merchandise sales.

This shift in compensation represents a departure from the traditional TV industry's payment structure, highlighting the changing dynamics of content creation and consumption. As the FAST TV industry aims to engage the 13-24-year-oldaudience, it must adapt to this new landscape by recognizing and embracing the power of TikTok creators. Collaborations and partnerships with successful TikTok creators can give the industry fresh perspectives and authentic connections to the desired demographic, opening up new avenues for content creation and revenue generation.

By acknowledging the impact and value of TikTok creators, the FAST TV industry can harness their creativity and influence, resulting in innovative content that resonates with the younger audience. Embracing this new compensation model and providing opportunities for creators to thrive will benefit the industry and foster a vibrant ecosystem where both creators and the industry can mutually thrive.


TikTok's profound impact on the media landscape cannot be ignored. The FAST TV industry must recognize that the 13-24-year-old audience is increasingly turning to TikTok for entertainment, leaving traditional television struggling to compete. Industry players must adapt and find innovative ways to engage this tech-savvy generation to stay relevant. By understanding and embracing the power of TikTok, the FAST TV industry can unlock new opportunities and create compelling content experiences that resonate with the younger audience, ensuring their continued relevance in the ever-evolving media landscape.

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