31 MAR 2022

Could TikTok spur the growth of AVOD in the Nordics?

In the fall of 2021, Mediavision recorded a +30% Nordic growth for TikTok year-on-year – the biggest relative growth of all services in the region.


TikTok, the video-focused social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has become immensely popular in the Nordics during the past two years – especially among the younger demos. After gaining a real momentum in this part of the world during the first months of the pandemic, the service has seen new record growth in daily reach, Mediavision said in its latest report

In the fall of 2021, Mediavision recorded a +30% Nordic growth for TikTok year-on-year – the biggest relative growth of all services in the region. This resulted in a TikTok daily reach of 1.1 million 15-74-year-olds in the Nordics, with a heavy skew towards the young. At the same time, its biggest rivals (and market leaders), YouTube and Facebook, saw significant drops (-12% and -24% YOY respectively) in daily reach. However, YouTube still has the highest reach of all online video actors in the Nordics, with a total of 4.7 million 15-74-year-olds daily. Facebook reaches approximately 1.3 million and Instagram approximately 1.1 million.

In Meta’s Q4 2021 earnings call (where its CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had lost daily active users for the first time ever), Zuckerberg spoke about TikTok as the main source of competition for Facebook and why the focus on Reels will be so important going forward. He expressed awe at the app’s ability to keep growing at such a rapid pace, despite already having more than a billion active users.

As Mediavision's data confirmed, it is mainly the younger target groups that has embraced TikTok. Figures from Mediavision’s latest analysis of the Nordic TV & Streaming market show that more than half (57%) of the Nordic 15-24-year-olds uses TikTok on a weekly basis.

Furthermore, TikTok’s success has initiated a reawakened interest in ad-financed online video. For long, in this part of the world, AVOD has been overshadowed by SVOD. However, 2021 has brought about some changes indicating that we are approaching a new phase. Mediavision concluded that AVOD had a higher weekly reach than SVOD in 2021 and that turnover for AVOD increased substantially (34%), by far exceeding the rate of growth for other video segments – SVOD included.

And the Nordic countries are not alone, as AVOD is on the rise also in the United States. A recently published report by Kantar determined that, in 2021, ad supported tiers were the biggest drivers for subscription growth in the country. Especially Comcast-owned Peacock, a hybrid AVOD/ SVOD service, performed particularly well – beating its user target in Q4 2021.

Moreover, TikTok is not only attracting the interest of consumers, but also advertisers. In Sweden, IRM estimated that the category social media, including TikTok and its competitors, attracted media investments of SEK 3.9 billion in 2020. The estimate for 2021 is SEK 5 billion, hence a growth of approximately 30% year-over-year. IRM also expects this category to see continued growth. According to the current forecast, investments will amount to SEK 5.6 billion by 2022.

“Regardless, we may conclude that both TikTok and AVOD have been on the rise during 2021, and our findings points towards continued growth in 2022,”  Mediavision concluded.