TikTok Takes The Gold Medal In Olympic Coverage

NBC may be the home for the 2020 Olympic Games Tokyo coverage, but it is social
media that is drawing in all of the viewers. With the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in full
swing, millions of videos have been circulating across all social media, specifically
TikTok.

As discussed in a recent Washington Post article, many viewers are not watching hours
of Olympic coverage on their television which includes sitting through commercial
breaks, they are instead scrolling through their TikTok with instant access to the
Olympics biggest and most memorable moments. In addition to endless amounts of
videos, TikTok also provides their audience with a platform to watch and engage with
their favorite Olympians. Olympic athletes have brought their followers with them to
Tokyo as they have shared videos of them walking around the competition site, dorm
room competitions, and other behind the scenes videos that can only be seen on their
social media profiles. These videos help the Olympic athletes tell their personal stories,
and people on TikTok are gravitating towards these personal stories. While NBC has
done their best in creating captivating content with their own social media accounts, it
remains an uphill battle as the average Olympic viewer is not loyal to their TV network,
but rather to the people.

TikTok has not seen the daily active user count that other social media platforms have
during the games, but their growth has outmatched their competition. This is thanks to
TikTok’s spot on algorithm that provides content to its user that they think they will like.
These TikTok users are of the younger generation as half of users are under the age of
25.

TikTok has decided to roll with this momentum as they have made updates to their
platform which includes increasing its video length from 1 minute to 3 minutes in an
attempt to “better monetize its content for advertisers and compete with YouTube”.
It isn’t all fun and games for TikTok and the Olympic athletes posting on the platform as
they have to tiptoe NBC’s broadcast rights to the games. TikTok has ensured that they
are working with NBC to ensure that the IP is protected.

However, where there is a will, there is a way as some athletes have worked around
these rules in order to post their content in order to win the gold in their events and on
social media.

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Anthony Costagliola