Weekly Column: A Link and Click Theory, Functionality on TikTok Leads to Efficient Consumerism

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about entertainment, media, and sports companies and social media platforms utilizing increased functionality in a link and click strategy to reach more consumers.  

You can read the full column below.


TikTok’s new IMDb tool is what Instagram and Facebook are to their in-platform music functionality. On both of the latter platforms, Universal Music Group brokered deals to allow users to add music to their posts and stories, while also paying a fee to artists through their label or publisher. The IMDb tool, owned by Amazon, will offer the ability for users to add links to their video posts that reference movies, actors, television shows, writers, and the like. It will be an educational tool, but also a way to add content and potentially interest, engagement, views, likes, and shares. It will also make for content to be easily searchable if the feature indeed allows such access.

The link feature will also serve as a marketing tool for movies and television shows. When a user posts a video, the link will go to IMDb.com where there will be additional options to purchase tickets, merchandise, and the like. This link feature will likely be most useful when a movie is about to hit the theaters, a streaming platform, during awards season, or some other form of distribution or awareness.

TikTok’s feature is similar to Instagram’s shopping and Facebook’s Marketplace. It is also similar to Amazon Prime as a lighter fare of e-commerce. The purpose is to keep consumers on or connected to the platform by finding some level of efficiency to learn and/or shop and buy.

The difference with the TikTok and IMDb partnership and the others mentioned herein, is that the two companies are completely separate corporate entities, but are complimentary to each other in the specific setting of video sharing where the videos have some correlation to entertainment film and television. A question going forward is whether sports related videos might reference to Bleacher Report (Warner Bros. Discovery), Front Office Sports, a dot.com sports reference link (e.g., baseball-reference.com statistics), or some correlated sports website. There is also the music industry, which is likely to be just as popular if not more as IMDb where music and videos often go hand-in-hand. For example, there is often limited information when looking for background on songs beyond a Google or internet search.

TikTok will not want the platform to be a scrolling advertisement, but the links in video posts will hopefully help to educate. At the very least brands and those spending and receiving advertisement dollars are likely to be satisfied with the added exposure and views on content with efficient consumerism a link and click away. Instagram and Facebook could learn from this as they have the functionality of users adding music to video and picture posts. It would be an added bonus for users to not only see the post, but be able to learn more about the song, film, artist, etc. beyond the listing of a source or reference. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms would be wise to add a similar IMDb feature to compete, but also because access to information is the best way educate (or at least offer an option to learn more).

Even though the box office grew substantially from 2021 to 2022 (up 66.7% domestically), there is room for growth as people continue to (hopefully) come back to normal in terms of exploring entertainment and outside-the-home activities. In that regard, functionality continues to be an essential strategy for entertainment, media, and sports companies and social media platforms as they search for subscribers, users, and content. For example, Delta Airlines will begin offering Paramount+ to flyers with SkyMiles accounts for free. Businesses are paying for advertisements, placement, and access where it leads to customers. It is a link and click functionality strategy that works best when an existing consumer base is made more easily accessible. The TikTok and IMDb partnership serves the aforementioned function.


About Jeremy M. Evans:

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.   

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.