What has happened?
There’s set to be a new player in the smartphone space soon, with Tiktok’s Chinese owner, Bytedance, confirming their intention to enter the marketplace. It is reported that the device is already several months into development and is expected to feature Bytedance’s suite of apps, including social network Tiktok, news aggregation app Toutiao, and an as yet unreleased music streaming service. Bytedance’s video chat app, Doushan, (similar to SnapChat) is also expected to feature on any device.
The Media Store Take
Chinese smartphones make up over 14% of the Australian device market, with four of the top 10 brands being Chinese (Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus). Whilst there is a clear appetite for Chinese produced devices, another player will add to market fragmentation, though this isn’t likely to contribute towards a downfall in Apple or Samsung’s desirability.
Tiktok has a reported 1.4m monthly active users across Australia and New Zealand, and it’s expected that the device carrying this (and other) apps would be popular, offering opportunities for substantial user growth post-release. This makes Bytedance and their app suite an interesting area for media investment.
However in a world of zero trust with all eyes focussed on the final ACCC digital platforms inquiry report, analysis of the platform will be key. In recent years Tiktok has been criticised for breaches in ethical data collection, settling with the US Federal Government over the illegal collection of personal information from children while the app sat under its previous name, Musical.ly.
With this in mind brands must consider the data being utilised by their media partners, openly conversing with all parties to ensure they are remaining ethical as data miners and utilisers.