TikTok is testing 60-minute videos. Could it expand into the lucrative live concert film business?

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ByteDance-owned video app TikTok is reportedly testing videos up to 60 minutes long.

That’s according to TechCrunch, which reports that a limited group of TikTok users in “select markets” are getting access to test the feature and that a wider expansion isn’t currently being planned..

This isn’t the first time TikTok has upped the length of its traditionally short-form videos, of course.

In 2021, TikTok rolled out the option for its users to create videos of up to three minutes in length – an increase from the previous per-video maximum of 60 seconds.

Then, in 2022, the app expanded the maximum length of its videos to 10 minutes, making TikTok look like a much more serious direct competitor to YouTube.

Now, as TikTok reportedly looks to expand its videos by an additional 50 minutes in length, a number of global media giants – from YouTube to Disney, Netflix, and Spotify – will be watching this latest news very closely.

For YouTube, the concerns will likely be multi-faceted.

The longer TikTok’s video hosting capability, the more potential content providers it could partner with to bring long-form content to its platform, from TV series and news to web-based influencers and documentary makers and more.

Plus, the expansion of TikTok’s video inventory means an expansion of its advertising inventory, which is YouTube’s bread and butter (although it recently exceeded the significant milestone of 100 million paid YouTube Music and Premium subscribers worldwide).

Netflix and Disney+ will be watching this situation very closely too – and for similar reasons to YouTube.

Advertising is already becoming an important part of the revenue mix at Netflix, which announced last week that its ad-supported tier hit 40 million users – up from just 5 million one year ago.

The ensuing competition for ad spend and viewers’ time in the event of a global 60-minute video rollout at TikTok will be the last thing that Netflix, YouTube or Disney+ execs would want in an ultra-competitive attention economy compounded by strained ad budgets.

Spotify is yet another platform for whom TikTok’s push into long-form video will be bad news. SPOT has been investing heavily in video content on its platform lately.

In March, for example, Spotify started testing video-based educational courses in the UK, teaming up with ed-tech companies like BBC Maestro, PLAYvirtuoso, Skillshare, and Thinkific. Spotify also offers long-form video podcasts, as used by its superstar roster of podcast creators including Joe Rogan and Trevor Noah.

What’s stopping TikTok from launching long-form educational videos about music or any other subject matter? And what’s stopping it from launching long-form video podcasts?

But for the music business specifically, the biggest opportunity for TikTok in potentially expanding its video length to 60 minutes may be in the lucrative live concert film space.

In 2023, two concert films – Taylor Swift’s Era’s Tour film and Beyoncé’s Renaissance – performed so well at US movie theater operator AMC, that they were cited as driving “literally all” of its revenue growth in Q4 2023.

By the start of January 2024, Swift’s concert film had generated more than $261.6 million in box office revenue globally, more than any other concert film or documentary in history. It even surpassed Michael Jackson’s This Is Itwhich grossed $261.2 million in 2009.

After the film’s theatrical release, Swift sold the ‘Eras Tour’ Concert Film Rights to Disney+ in a reported $75 million-plus deal, outbidding the likes of Netflix in the process.

All this is to say that concert films are big business right now.

Superstar artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish have already demonstrated their willingness to work with TikTok on their album campaigns over the past couple of weeks. And if TikTok were armed with 60-minute videos, what would stop the app from competing with other video platforms to strike exclusive deals with superstar artists to host their concert films… and charge its users for access to them?

An expansion into concert films would be a natural progression for TikTok, which has become increasingly involved in the live music space in recent months.

It operates its own ‘TikTok In The Mix’ concert, which attracted over 33.5 million viewers across the original broadcast and subsequent three rebroadcasts last year.  The app has also previously struck content deals with the likes of Tomorrowland, plus it already has ticketing deals in place with AXS and CTS Eventim.

Long-form concert films could even be included as a subscriber perk with ByteDance’s Premium-only music streaming service TikTok Music, if the music app ever gets rolled out globally.

It’s important to note that if TikTok were to expand into this space, it wouldn’t only be competing with the likes of Disney+  for the exclusive rights to concert films.

TikTok would become a serious challenger to both Amazon Prime and Apple Music, which both offer exclusive concert content.

With its billion-plus global users, and possible video length expansion, TikTok could become a serious new destination for concert films in the coming months. Watch this space.Music Business Worldwide

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