TikTok Courts Publishers with New Revenue Sharing Ad Offering

Tim Cross 04 May, 2023 

Short form video giant TikTok announced the launch of Pulse Premiere, a new product which will place ads directly next to content from premium publishers’ content on the platform. The new format will see publishers receive a fifty percent cut of ad revenues for ads which are aligned with their content – a move which TikTok will hope incentivises premium publishers to create more content specifically for TikTok.

Pulse Premiere is an extension of TikTok Pulse, a product released last year which allowed brands to buy ad placements next to the top four percent most popular trending videos on TikTok. Like Pulse Premiere, pulse awards a fifty percent revenue share with creators whose content reaches the top four percent, though these creators also have to meet other criteria, such as having 100,000 followers. Publishers, like any other creators, have already been able to join this programme.

But Pulse Premiere will specifically target content from partnered publishers. Buzzfeed, Conde Nast, DotDash Meredith, Hearst Magazines, MLS, NBCUniversal, UFC, Vox Media and WWE have signed up to the programme at launch. Publisher content is divided into three categories: lifestyle and education, entertainment, and sport, and advertisers will be able to target their ads towards these categories. TikTok says these campaigns can either run alongside specific tentpole events, or ad evergreen ongoing campaigns.

Publishers’ new social circles

TikTok’s new product comes at a time where publishers’ historically imbalanced relationships with social media platforms are being highlighted perhaps more than ever.

A number of digital media publishers whose growth was driven in part by the growth of social media are now facing dire financial situations. Just in the last few weeks, Gal-Dem and BuzzFeed news announced their closures, while Vice Media is reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy. And even traditional publishers have been burned by the double edged sword of social distribution – just earlier this week, UK local news publisher Reach partly attributed its own decline in digital revenues to changes in how Facebook distributes news content.

But part of the problem with Facebook was that it never offered direct monetisation for publishers, creating quite a one-sided dynamic. While publishers will be wary of the dangers of becoming over reliant on social platforms, TikTok certainly presents an opportunity to reach young audiences where they spend a lot of their time online. And with the added benefit of direct monetisation, publishers might feel more at ease with investing in TikTok-specific content – which in turn will provide TikTok with a slate of new premium, advertiser-friendly content.

“At Condé Nast the power of our brands allows us to create culture-defining content for one of the most engaged audiences across many relevant platforms,” said Pam Drucker Mann, global CRO and president of US revenue and APAC at Condé Nast. “TikTok has become one of our most valuable partners, providing us with a variety of tools to ensure that our brands are driving these conversations on their platform. Our advertisers know that culture is the new KPI, and the Pulse Premiere solution finally enables clients to match media buying with how consumers are consuming our brands.”

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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