TikTok ad spend grew 75x on Singular

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. December 2, 2019

Over the last six months, TikTok advertising spend grew 75x among customers of Singular, the marketing intelligence platform.

That may not be surprising given the video app’s phenomenal growth in recent months. In 2019, TikTok grew its user base by 614 million downloads – up 6% from 2018.

As more users eagerly create their 15-second videos, brands and marketers are interested in reaching the app’s unique audience: 13 to 16-year-olds.

Singular saw comparatively little spending at the start of 2019. But things have picked up since May 2019.

“Singular optimizes well over $10 billion in annual ad spend for customers like Lyft, Nike, Rovio, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Twitter, and many others. So we have good visibility into where top advertisers direct their dollars,” the company wrote in a blog post.

As of right now, the company still operates a direct ad sales model, but there’s been talk that TikTok is looking to launch a self-serve ad platform perhaps as soon as next year.

TikTok ad spend was less than 1% of combined Facebook and Google spending at the start of 2019. By autumn, it had risen to 3% to 5%.

Ad load on the app is still relatively low compared to competitors such as Instagram. One in every five to 20 videos is an ad on TikTok. On Instagram, ad load is roughly 22%.

In terms of categories, there’s lots of room to grow. Given the app’s young audience, retail and marketplace advertisers dominate. These include fashion and beauty retailers and food delivery marketplaces. Gaming and travel advertisers are not particularly present across the app just yet. However, that may change as TikTok tries to diversify and attract older users.

John Koetsier, VP of Insights at Singular, concludes that advertisers should at the very least be testing whether TikTok ads work for them.

“You should be diving into Tiktok and testing it for your vertical and your offers. If you do in fact reach a new audience and find ways to connect effectively, you’ll reap greater rewards than those who wait.”