Bloomberg Media is rebranding its social video news network, TicToc, to QuickTake by Bloomberg. It will also combine all of its digital video operations, both long-form and short-form, under the new brand, which will launch its own streaming news channel in the first half of 2020.
The renaming avoids confusion with ByteDance’s TikTok, a short-form social media app that’s skyrocketed to popularity, and recently surpassed 1.5 billion downloads according to SensorTower. Bloomberg Media originally launched TicToc as a Twitter-based 24/7 streaming video network in December 2017. ByteDance launched TikTok in September 2017, but TikTok didn’t rise in popularity in the U.S. until ByteDance later combined TikTok with Musical.ly in August 2018 under the TikTok name.
Bloomberg’s TicToc has since expanded beyond Twitter and onto other social platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Echo and U.S. airport TV screens. It now reaches an audience of more than 90 million monthly views. Bloomberg said that in the last year, TicToc’s audience size has increased by 79% and skews toward a “primarily younger demographic.”
QuickTake was originally launched as a brand that examined and explained timely topics to Bloomberg’s business and financial audience, primarily on the Bloomberg Terminal but also on Bloomberg.com and in print.
The newly combined QuickTake by Bloomberg brand will comprise a new 24-hour streaming news channel. It will also have on-demand programming on multiple platforms, offering live coverage as well as longer-form features of five- to 10-minutes in length, small documentaries and the one- to two-minute videos on which the TicToc brand was built. Bloomberg Media hasn’t yet announced its OTT channel partners for QuickTake, but it’s clear the company sees OTT as an area ripe for investment.
In September, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith spoke about the growth of streaming channels, saying, “OTT is now representing about 30% of actual television viewing, and yet only three percent of the actual TV budgets are directed against that 30% of viewing. So you’re going to see a huge swing of television advertising or video advertising moving toward OTT.”
The new unit will combine TicToc’s existing 60-member staff with the 20-person Bloomberg digital video team and will use the original reporting of Bloomberg’s more than 2,700 reporters based in 120 countries around the world. It will be led by Tre Shallowhorn, who previously led the Bloomberg digital video team, Jean Ellen Cowgill, the former general manager of TicToc and Mindy Massucci, head of global content for QuickTake. Cowgill told Variety Bloomberg plans to add to the QuickTake staff next year. The print version of Bloomberg QuickTake will continue to be led by Leah Harrison Singer.