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  • Meerelle Cruz

TikTok Signs Exclusive Content Deals with the NHL and NHLPA

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) have announced a new partnership with Tiktok in which the NHL will provide original material and unique experiences, bolstering the app’s broader content push. The NHL will share more than just highlights as part of the new collaboration, including player fashion interviews and other programming tailored to TikTok trends and engaging its in-app audience.

According to TikTok:

“We know the TikTok community loves sports - whether it's soccer, rugby, or car racing - we're redefining entertaining sports content. With 12.3 billion global views, it's undeniable that #Hockey is gaining momentum. The @NHL on TikTok has steadily grown its account to 1.7 million followers, team accounts on the platform have amassed more than 546 million views around the world. Content like trick shots, behind the scenes and off-the-rink activities, and anything to do with sports and pets are favorites of the community.”

TikTok will also benefit from new promotional opportunities, such as in-ice branding and the debut of a new 'TikTok Tailgate Stage' at forthcoming key outdoor NHL events. TikTok and the NHL will collaborate on music tie-ins and collaborations for NHL events.

TikTok's announcement comes as the company strives to expand its content offerings and provide creators additional reasons to keep contributing to its platform. Because you can't incorporate pre- and mid-roll adverts into a 30-second clip, successful monetization is a challenge with short-form video content. TikTok has tried to combat this with its Creator Fund, and it's also working on in-app tipping and other monetization mechanisms, but some of the platform's top artists have begun to voice concerns about the platform's approach, as well as the disparity in revenue share for their efforts.

That might become a bigger stumbling block for the company's best performers, who may eventually migrate to YouTube and Instagram instead. However, if TikTok can provide a more direct incentive to post, such as through new relationships with major companies, it might provide another method for TikTok to connect creators to these deals, and open up more avenues for the audience growth and income.

As a result, TikTok has signed exclusive content deals with Vogue and GQ, concentrating on another significant area of interest for TikTok users, and with these new collaborations, TikTok will try to increase immediate engagement while also giving more opportunities for its top stars.

Is that going to work? It's difficult to say — popular producers can currently make a lot more money on YouTube, and the growth of YouTube Shorts has also reduced TikTok's value as a unique product in certain aspects. TikTok, on the other hand, has a tight grasp on audience attention, with forecasts of 1.5 billion users this year.

If creators want to go where the audience is, they'll continue to flock to TikTok – but if the rumblings about revenue share continue to rise, more of them may start posting elsewhere instead, bringing their audiences with them.

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