The US Short-Video Landscape

What Marketers Should Know About TikTok, Instagram Reels, and 4 Other Players in This Fast-Changing Space

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About This Report
User-generated short videos are all over the internet, from TikTok to Instagram Reels to Triller, and the marketing opportunities are exploding. Here’s how the main venues compare across usage, paid advertising, organic and influencer marketing, and commerce.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The short-video landscape is exploding. Here’s how the main platforms—which also include Snapchat Spotlight, YouTube Shorts, Triller, and Dubsmash—stack up as venues for organic and influencer marketing, paid advertising, and social commerce.

Why are short entertainment videos an important marketing trend?

Both the user base and the amount of time spent in these venues are growing. As prime places for user-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing initiatives as well, the apps are starting to play a larger role in social commerce.

Which short-video platforms are the most important ones for US marketers to know about?

TikTok is the clear leader. Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are still working on gaining momentum for their relatively new offerings. Standalone apps Triller and Dubsmash (the latter recently acquired by reddit) are two other players carving out niches.

How can businesses use short videos for organic or influencer marketing?

For some marketers, creating their own videos has helped increase organic engagement. Marketers are also using these platforms for social listening to discover trends. Partnering with creators is a significant opportunity on nearly all of the short-video platforms we examined.

What are the ad opportunities in short videos?

Of the properties we studied, only TikTok and Triller carry paid advertising, although the others plan to eventually. TikTok’s ad offerings are more plentiful than Triller’s at this point. One large advantage that Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube will have, once they start offering short-video ads, is that many marketers are already used to their tools and systems and may find it easy to extend their buys.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explores six reasons why short, UGC videos are an important trend and profiles the marketing opportunities in several key venues.

KEY STAT: Adult monthly users of TikTok in the US spent an average of 33 minutes per day on the app in 2020. That’s greater than the time spent on either Instagram or Snapchat.

Here’s what’s in the full report

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25expert perspectives

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    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. Social Entertainment Is a Bona Fide Trend
    3. Marketer Usage Is Growing
    4. TikTok
    5. Instagram Reels
    1. Snapchat Spotlight
    2. YouTube Shorts
    3. Triller
    4. Dubsmash
    5. Key Takeaways
    1. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    2. Read Next
    3. Sources
    4. Media Gallery

    Charts in This Report

    Interviewed for This Report

    Candice Beck
    Chipotle Mexican Grill
    Senior Manager, Social and Digital
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Bonin Bough
    Triller
    Chief Growth Officer
    Interviewed January 21, 2021
    Gayitri Budhraja
    e.l.f. Cosmetics
    Vice President, Brand
    Interviewed February 2, 2021
    Audra Carson
    Post Consumer Brands
    Senior Director, Integrated Marketing Communications
    Interviewed January 22, 2021
    Shamsul Chowdhury
    Jellyfish
    Vice President, Paid Social
    Interviewed January 6, 2021
    Simon de Beauregard
    Pernod Ricard
    Global Director
    Interviewed January 11, 2021
    Michael Dobson
    Horizon Media
    Vice President, Social Media Strategy and Buying
    Interviewed January 11, 2021
    Paul Donato
    Advertising Research Foundation
    Chief Research Officer
    Interviewed January 21, 2021
    Lindsey Gamble
    Mavrck
    Innovation Strategist
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Sandie Hawkins
    TikTok
    General Manager, US Global Business Solutions
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Matt Higgins
    Blue Hour Studios
    Vice President, Strategy
    Interviewed January 19, 2021
    Mary Keane-Dawson
    Takumi
    Group CEO
    Interviewed January 21, 2021
    Kolin Kleveno
    Tinuiti
    Senior Vice President, Addressable Media
    Interviewed January 20, 2021
    Mike Lu
    Triller
    CEO
    Interviewed January 29, 2021
    Ross McCormack
    Havas Media Group
    Vice President and Director, Social Strategy
    Interviewed January 19, 2021
    Sean Naegeli
    Mavrck
    Co-Founder and Chief Influencer Officer
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Eric Petersen
    Weber Shandwick
    Senior Vice President, Platform Strategy
    Interviewed January 21, 2021
    Victor Potrel
    TheSoul Publishing
    Vice President, Platform Partnerships
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Peter Sellis
    Snap Inc.
    Senior Director, Product
    Interviewed January 22, 2021
    Vishal Shah
    Instagram
    Vice President, Product
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Vikram Sharma
    Crisp
    President
    Interviewed February 2, 2021
    Rogier Vijverberg
    SuperHeroes
    Founder and Executive Creative Director
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Allie Wassum
    Digitas
    Vice President and Group Director, Social Strategy
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    William White
    Walmart
    CMO
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Maria Wollenburg
    DSW
    Manager, Social Media and Content
    Interviewed January 14, 2021

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    Read This With Insider Intelligence

    authors

    Debra Aho Williamson

    Contributors

    Blake Droesch
    Junior Analyst
    Jasmine Enberg
    Senior Analyst
    Nina Goetzen
    Analyst
    Zach Goldner
    Junior Forecasting Analyst
    Chris Keating
    Director, Research
    Natalie McGranahan
    Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
    Oscar Orozco
    Director, Forecasting
    Melissa Rosenberg
    Senior Researcher
    Lauren Ruhlen
    Researcher
    Audrey Schomer
    Senior Analyst