The Rundown: Not even TikTok can break the agency model

Digiday 10 Feb 2020 05:00

No one likes the middleman, not even the middleman himself.

For a publisher, creator, advertiser or even a platform company, cutting out the middlemen — the platform companies, the marketing agencies or influencer agencies — and having a more direct relationship with the people one is trying to reach is always desirable. But it’s just not always possible.

And that holds true for even the buzziest of social media companies, TikTok, which has logged more than 1.65 billion downloads of its app to date.

In September, TikTok began testing a Creator Marketplace, inviting companies to use it to connect with select TikTok creators so they could work together on branded campaigns. The beta version shows a dashboard for each individual creator with sample videos, information and relevant video analytics.

TikTok knows it needs to nurture its talent. “TikTok, more than any platform, is reliant on the talent of individuals,” many of whom have “talent that’s unique to their platform,” wrote Stephen Karaolis, the CEO of public relations firm Pear the Agency. His company represents several media and influencer marketing agencies.

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