TikTok Jumps into DOOH

One growing media channel continues to be on-prem content streaming. This is media and entertainment that’s delivered to flat-screen TVs in your dentist’s waiting room or grocery store endcap. Not necessarily new (erstwhile the domain of DOOH), the sector has begun to advance in new directions.

For example, the latest activity involves TikTok, which has formed a deal to join Atmosphere’s streaming network. You may remember we covered Atmosphere a few weeks ago when it secured $100 million Series C funding. The company streams ad-supported, license-free video in 19,000 U.S. locations.

Those outlets include commercial venues and multi-location brands like Westin, Taco Bell, and Texas Roadhouse. But its network also includes a growing segment of SMBs. We’re talking doctor’s offices, gyms, and hardware stores. The idea is to provide an onsite engagement mechanism.

What’s the Opportunity in SMB On-Prem Content Streaming

Visual Impact 

Back to the TikTok deal, its signature snackable clips now join Atmosphere’s content mix. That library otherwise includes advertorial and action-packed content from brands like Red Bull. As we examined recently, it’s all about content without volume, which broadens Atmosphere’s addressable venues.

Moreover, content that doesn’t include audio must be purpose-built for high visual impact. And that aligns with TikTok fare. Indeed, it’s become known for content that doesn’t necessarily need audio – everything from dance routines to creative formats that draw users in for hours of content discovery.

As for how this will play out, the partnership cements a new TikTok channel that will be played in fitting venues in Atmosphere’s network (think: bars vs. dentist waiting rooms). As we discussed last time, the name of the game for Atmosphere is to have this breadth of content, fitting to a range of environments.

On the channel itself, Atmosphere creative teams will curate TikTok videos. They’ll then get creator permission, extract the audio track, add captions if necessary, and collate a given clip into a video stream. Atmosphere monetizes this content through adjacent ads and advertorials (more below).

For TikTok, this triangulates a larger distribution play for screen real estate beyond the black mirror in your pocket. Prior to the Atmosphere partnership, it has inked deals for channels, apps, and airtime on various over-the-top platforms. Those include Amazon Fire, Google TV various OEM smart TVs.

Place Rewind: ‘Creative is King’ on TikTok

Streaming as a Service

As further background for Atmosphere’s approach, its value proposition to SMBs is to create a more media-rich, and thus sticky, customer experience. We’ve begun to call this streaming-as-a-service, which is a modern offshoot of the longstanding DOOH playbook in its ad-supported monetization.

To unpack that further, its business model is 100 percent ad-supported, so it’s driven to gain the widest audience possible. In other words, the service is free to business locations, including the display hardware. This eliminates a cost barrier for SMBs, while getting a free on-site multimedia mechanism.

And paradoxically in the Covid age, it’s working. Over the past year, Atmosphere doubled the venues where its planted to (again) 19,000. It also reaches 20 million monthly unique users which attracts advertisers and puts it on par with some of the largest ad-supported streaming media channels.

Momentum seems to be on Atmosphere’s side and TikTok should propel that further. Its next goal is to diversify locations as 60 percent of its installed base is in bars and restaurants. We’ll keep an eye on where it goes next.. and look for Atmosphere screens at the next dentist appointment.

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