TikTok Jumps into Local Events

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TikTok’s local commerce ambitions continue to grow by the day. Its latest move: local events. A partnership with Ticketmaster expands TikTok’s repertoire into event discovery. This could be a natural pairing, as TikTok has become a go-to place for music discovery and, correspondingly, event marketing.

Specifically, the collaboration lets users discover events on TikTok as they’re in the process of discovering content in the app’s natural flow. Moreover, users can purchase tickets within the app, making this move align with the momentous shoppability trend.

Fuel for Network Effects

Ticketmaster’s integration plays out in a few ways: user-facing and creator-facing. For the former, users discover local events through a call-to-action in the bottom-left corner of contextually-relevant videos. Tapping that link brings them to a Ticketmaster module within TikTok to secure a ticket.

From the creator’s perspective, they can add event links to their videos. That could include a band or event organizer looking to directly promote their event through organic and viral means. Or it could be any creator that wants to add a link to an event that they support or that relates to their content.

To that end, one incentive for creators to go through these steps is a revenue share. TikTok, along with Instagram and other influencer channels, continues to compete for creators, who are fuel for network effects (and free content). Monetization mechanisms like affiliate revenue are one way to do that.

This is also a strategic move for Ticketmaster, which gains a new channel for ticket sales. Beyond greater distribution in general, TikTok’s audience appears to be well aligned with Ticketmaster’s target demographic of event attendees, given their affinity for entertainment and music discovery in the app.

In fact, Ticketmaster appears to be on a roll with such integrations. As we examined recently, it partnered with Snap to be one of the first “layers” in Snap Map’s local discovery feature. As background, these layers feature thematic content (e.g., “sushi,” “events”) that users can dynamically toggle.

Content and Context

Lastly, it’s worth noting that this deal aligns with the privacy environment. As we examined in light of Lyft’s new media network, privacy reforms have cracked down on behavioral targeting. This creates demand for contextual targeting, such as placing promotions based on adjacent organic content.

That framework is not only present in TicketMaster’s new integration but in TikTok’s very DNA. The TikTok UX is all about content and context. Any behavioral targeting is based on your past viewing (which is first-party data, so it’s privacy compliant), while there’s rich opportunity for contextual targeting.

As for Ticketmaster’s integration timeline, the new feature will be available to select creators and will expand to more users over time. Artists and personalities already signed on for the program include Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Usher, Backstreet Boys, and WWE. Expect many more to follow.

Implications for Multi-Location Marketers

For multi-location marketers, TikTok’s foray into events, and its increasing role as a destination for local discovery, signal that the platform is joining Facebook and other forums as a key place to connect online with local shoppers. TikTok can’t be ignored as an online-to-offline marketing channel.

Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local, and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at Localogy.com