About this episode:
Kelsey Krapf 0:16
Welcome to The official podcast of the next cmo hosted by Plannuh. My name is Kelsey Krapf and I'm the senior marketing manager.
Peter Mahoney 0:24
And I'm Peter and I'm the founder and CEO of Plannuh.
Kelsey Krapf 0:28
For this week we have Jacob Pace the CEO of flight house as our guest light how house is the leading digital entertainment brand for the next generation and as a multi platform media brand. We thought we would discuss the rapidly growing platform of Tick Tock by house currently has 1 billion views each month and that's billion with a B welcome Jacob. How's your day going? so far?
Jacob Pace 0:51
It's going good. How about you guys? Doing Wow,
Peter Mahoney 0:55
it's awesome. I'm so excited to talk to you guys about this today Jacob because As we were saying earlier, my my youngest daughter is 18, almost 19. And she is exactly in the tick tock generation. And it was super excited seeing a lot of your work out there. By the way, it was super excited. So, so I'm super pumped. So yeah, thanks for joining us.
Jacob Pace 1:19
I love to hear that. That's amazing. Thank you. Yes,
Kelsey Krapf 1:21
I flew with all the tech talks going around to just with, you know, hospitals and nurses. It's great to see the liveliness and people keeping their spirits high. But you know, Jacob, tell us a little bit about firehouse I know you're the CEO there. What exactly do you guys do?
Jacob Pace 1:36
Yeah, totally. So there's kind of a few different ways that we sort of work, you know, internally and kind of with other brands, but so, you know, kind of the forward facing side of what a lot of people see, you know, including including Peters daughter is a lot of our content on our tik tok page. So, we're almost at 25 million followers. We're at 24.5 right now. So, you know, we're close to getting there. But yeah, we essentially put out just a lot of, you know, short form kind of micro content anywhere between the ranges of, you know, 20 to 30 to 40 seconds on our Tick Tock per episode. And then we take those versions tournament to, you know, full length three to five minute versions and roll them out kind of on our YouTube channel. And as I was saying earlier, I mean, I think we, we kind of have a DNA within game shows and kind of, you know, a lot of music sort of being baked into our brand, because that's sort of how we got big on, you know, musically before it was tik tok was, we were uploading a lot of edits, and remixes, and the community really liked them. And so we were able to get a big following like that. And then, you know, everyone always asked, How do you guys make money? And the answer is we have actually kind of a white label agency that we call flight house media. And so with that agency we work with probably, um, you know, we probably run out of no North You know, 30 campaigns a month right now, for record labels to promote songs. And, yeah, I mean, look like I think because of that attention, we've started to have brands knock on our door, you know, big multi billion dollar name brands, you know, that you can find in the store. And so they, you know, they've started to kind of contact us and figure out how to tap into the magic. So, you know, I think it's really cool to have kind of both sides of, of a media company in that sense. But yeah, that's pretty much what we are what we do. And, you know, I think the goal for this year is to just get continue to get more multi platform, you know, with our content and just kind of diversify the business and use the leverage to continue to grow.
Peter Mahoney 3:39
But that's, that's great, Jacob. And one of the things that I found really interesting was, of course, you guys are located in Hollywood. And you've got you described it as having a music DNA. And I think that's, it's really cool. You can see the musicality of what you do in tech talk in general. enroll, and I can see see how that would really apply to just the content and the approach that you take in general. So it's, it's super exciting. So one thing that I'd love you to do is because I know you've guys have really carved out a specialty in tik tok, as well as other media channels, but tell our audience a little bit about sort of the history of Tick Tock right, and sort of what it all is and sort of place it in the field of social media and for the people who are listening today who may be a little bit less familiar, besides the fact that maybe their kids are listening to it.
Unknown Speaker 4:36
Totally. Yes, so you know, tick tock initially got started. So there's, there's kind of two sides of the story, right, and then eventually it sort of merges into one, I believe, there. So there's this big, you know, most like $75 billion company, you know, based out of China called bite dance, and they were the original ones that sort of came up with Tick Tock and tick tock it already kind of been approved. product. And while this was occurring and having success in different countries like India, and you know, China and and, you know, you know, Korea You know, there was this kind of this app called musically that had been around since I think like 2015 16 ish. And it started to kind of gain a lot of momentum. And, you know, this kind of got started here within the US and essentially what the app was is it you know, a lot of people will refer to it as a lip synching app and so there was a lot of, you know, young kids teenagers that would hop on and lip sync their favorite songs and you know, make these cool transition videos and it blew up and it created a you know, a lot of big celebrities. You know, like Lauren gray and you know, baby Arielle and Jacob Sartorius. And, you know, kids that have millions of followers, still to this day. And, you know, when there was a time when, you know, basically we had kind of gotten started on musically We were uploading because we realized that, you know, music was such a big part of the platform. And and remix culture especially was such a big part of the platform. You know, these kids like you, they would, there was often times where, rather than the official version of a song, what was bigger than the original version was a remix of the song. So it might have been sped up, or it might have been slowed down, or there might have been a bass drop. And these versions were oftentimes more popular than the original versions, because there was just more you could do with the song and it sounded different and it was like kind of fun. And so we were, you know, kind of the main page that was uploading a lot of these remixes and getting a lot of attention and, you know, flight house was kind of all over these kids pages. And when basically bytedance acquired musically, I think for like a billion dollars or something like that. And, you know, they started to kind of roll out tik tok as a brand in the US and you know, I'll be honest, I think when it first happened, that you know, you just never know where, what, what direction these things are gonna go and We had actually kind of been, you know, pivoting towards, towards a bunch of different directions, we were experimenting with original YouTube content. And a lot of this stuff was pretty expensive. I mean, it was like, you know, you know, 10s of thousands of dollars, you know, per series that we were rolling out is very expensive content. And the reason we were doing it was because, you know, we looked at musically, and we were, like, you know, we feel like this sort of has some kind of a cap or, you know, the stats are kind of on the decline. And there's a lot of conversation in the industry where people are like, hey, so that's it, like, musically is kind of dying, right? And so when musically got acquired for the better, obviously, you know, tick tock did a really good job at you know, diversifying the content and onboarding the right people and getting the right creators and I think right now, it's just so undeniably baked into, you know, mainstream culture and I think to describe what Tick Tock is, it's essentially a sort of a short form, you know, mobile video app where you you It's a really easy user experience you log on, you don't even need an account, scroll, you scroll down through these videos and you get served, you know, anything from comedy to DIY to, sometimes our content, and based on what you like, it'll start to feed you more of those kinds of videos. So the algorithm really tries to learn what it is that you like. And yeah, I think at this point, you know, I think they have, I think, like over a billion users globally, or something like that, or over, I think they've surpassed over a billion downloads. I don't know where they're at user wise, but it's really cool to see where it's at. And I just think it's a, you know, really cool time to, to, you know, ride that wave into something bigger.
Kelsey Krapf 8:39
Yeah, Jacob, I was reading a stat and you know, in the last 12 months, the user base has tripled. Wow, I wonder, you know, maybe that's because people are at home or whatnot. But I just thought it was very interesting. And this is obviously a really rapidly growing platform. But I guess my question for you is how does a typical business Or how should a typical business really leverage this?
Unknown Speaker 9:03
Yeah, totally. Um, so look, I think that's where, you know, there's there's a few different ways and I think we're trying to help create kind of the standard for how companies can kind of leverage it. I mean, you know, there's obviously kind of the typical answer of the fact that Tick Tock itself is kind of a platform that, you know, works with these brands to create advertising packages. And, you know, I think you've seen, like, you know, Chipotle has done it a handful of times. And, you know, Kroger, I've seen do it a few times. And so, you know, you generally have these brands where, you know, they pay big money to get on the front page, and, you know, we're talking about, you know, hundreds of millions of users that are, you know, watching your, your hashtag or your dance, but I think the key part and this is such a delicate line, that it's even very difficult for us to do. So. You know, you're you're talking about, you know, people that spend so much time on the app, you know, which you know, Is the my team you know, it's who I'm referring to, you know, including myself and even for us, it's really difficult sometimes to you know, kind of balance the line between you know, branded content but at the same time also providing genuine value to the person on on tik tok because, you know, the reality of it is, it's, it's not just as simple as, you know, uploading a photo like it is on Instagram or, you know, just kind of, you can't really just get away with that you kind of have to be a little bit more creative. And so, we've been doing this for about six months, but there's a handful of pages that we work with. We work with Cutco, and they have this page called the knife life on Tick tock, and I think we've grown it to, I need to check this stat. But I know it was in like the 10s of thousands of followers. And essentially what we do is we just make DIY videos using their knives. And, you know, they're really visually appealing and stunning and they get a lot of traction. And so, yeah, that's, that's kind of been one way that we've been able to sort of onboard a brand
Peter Mahoney 11:00
The example that you brought up is a really good one because it sounds like you're doing what, what most smart people would recommend is being authentic to the brand and being appropriate to the channel. So I think those things are really important. So, if, for instance, you had something, if you have a brand that sort of all buttoned up and stoic, I don't know, if it's the right channel, maybe you could creatively think of a way to do it. I don't know, right? I don't know enough about it. But certainly if you have, if a consumer brand, and you have something like you said, where you've created an experience that is visual and compelling, the trick is I think, not trying to hide that Id it is promotional. The worst thing I think to do is sneakily embed your brand inside some some person's content. And then all of a sudden it just you feel tricked as a consumer.
Unknown Speaker 11:58
Yeah, no for sure. And look, I think it's funny because I'm always kind of, you know, the kind of person where, you know, I, I'll sort of think back to like, you know, tick tock a year ago and I, you know, I like I hear this from so many people and you know, you gotta have, you got to always remind yourself to just kind of stay present and you know, not beat yourself up too much over, you know, for lack of a better term failures or mistakes that you might make in your life. Um, but you know, what I was gonna say is, like, I think about Tick Tock and where it was a year ago, and I'm like, man, like, we should have, you know, like, we're moving as quick as we can, like, we want to scale without compromising the quality that we try to incorporate into a lot of our products. But what I was going to say, though, is like as we grow, I think a really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really important thing for us and something that's going to hopefully, you know, set us apart is creating IP and creating personalities that know exactly how to organically fit brands into the content that we're producing. So obviously there's kind of the marketing expertise where Yes, we can look at a brand like Cutco and say, Hey, you know, we don't think you should try and sell your knives immediately on tik tok. Let's just start by making this dope content. Let's make it visually bright and appealing. And let's make it cool. And let's let's cut, you know, let's cut like styrofoam and show how cool that is on a close up and, you know, make it really visually appealing. But, you know, just the more conversations I have, I guess what I was saying is like, you know, I think I kind of need to remind myself that while it feels like, you know, there's a lot of opportunity we could have had a long time ago. It's also just kind of getting started as far as just this demographic on Tick Tock and, you know, them picking their favorite shows and personalities. And so, you know, we're learning a lot right now, but I'm excited to just, you know, really create this kind of universe of, you know, brands, products and personalities where, you know, they're we're not trying to hide anything. by sponsoring a product or a brand or whatever it might be, you know, but it's just it's just true to who they are.
Peter Mahoney 14:04
Yeah. So how would you help a brand develop their their strategy for for Tick Tock So you mentioned you mentioned this, this knife company. And it sounds like you guys thought through that is there what should a brand think through as they're starting to develop their their their strategy for for Tick Tock or any social media but specifically Tick Tock I think because it's of its unique place in the world right now.
Unknown Speaker 14:33
Totally. I mean, I think I think the biggest thing is, I think there's a balance between sort of hopping on trends and then kind of finding your own voice. Because you don't want to totally hop on trends to the point where it becomes like, you know, cringy, right. Right. But then you also want to be kind of in tune with what's going on. And so yeah, I mean, look, I think, I think the biggest thing that I will Say and this is something that I would actually argue that brands probably have, you know, more power to do versus an agency like us. But I mean, that's why they pay us is to get involved like this is like I always believe at the end of the day, no one's gonna know or care about your brand more than you do, right? Like we're here to kind of support and help and guide and give direction but at the end of the day, no one's going to care about it as much as you do. And so, like as a brand, it's really simple. Like I think people overcomplicate tik tok a little bit. It's really simple. If you're a brand or if you're a business owner, like so many people are quick to say I don't understand tic Tock without even spending time on it. Right? But it's like if you just spend some time, like just spend like, you know, 30 minutes max, but even if you spend like five to 10 minutes on Tick tock, I think you'll kind of pick up what it is and what the sense of humor is.
Peter Mahoney 15:51
It's impossible. I can tell you from personal experience to spend five minutes on Tick tock, you go so far down that rabbit hole. That's what everyone says. Yeah, boy. In the house, in the house board, yeah, right?
Unknown Speaker 16:02
Well, here's what I'm saying. Here's what I'm saying is, is as a brand, if you're, you know, if your burrito shop owner or I don't know, or let's just say you're like, yeah, let's just say you're your restaurant owner. You're like, what do I do with Tick tock, and you scroll through? And you see, um, you know, it's hard to define them right now. But like any number of trends, just think about, like, How could my restaurant be incorporated into this trend? Do I show my people do I show my food? Do I show you know what I mean? Or even as we talked about before this call, you know, there's so many medical workers right now that are having fun on the app, and you know, it's blowing up. So it's like, I think, again, if you spend time on the app, you'll realize what sets your business apart. So it could be the fact that like, nobody, like, nobody has the location, the people or the resources to make a behind the scenes like a behind the scenes video in the kitchen, and With kitchen employees, nobody else can do that other than a restaurant or so I think if you were to, you know, do stuff like that and do like the dance, the weekend dance or whatever it might be the blinding, light challenge. You know, I think it's just it's kind of a way and so, but I look, I think the biggest thing and this is such a big thing when it comes to social media, generally speaking, is there's a few ways that like, you can kind of get away sometimes with you know, let's call it a sales funnel where, you know, you kind of show off your product in a way that expresses immediate interest, right? Like, I've seen people where they're like, you know, hey, here's the before and after, you know, edit stuff, my photos, and then you have people commenting like, these are so dope, like, Where can I buy the presets and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? So like, there's those immediate conversions sometimes. But I think the biggest thing is, even when that person is making that content, from what I've seen, the most successful people don't think about how they're going to convert their customer. They're thinking about how can I make the best content, because if you think about how you can make the best content, the customer will eventually convert. Right. And that's kind of the whole idea behind it.
Peter Mahoney 18:06
I think that's really right on its, you know, the, it's back to this authenticity. I think the probably the most single, valuable piece of advice that you've given us today is don't be cringy, I think is the word right. So that that's sort of the,
Unknown Speaker 18:26
here's the thing, right? And it's easier said than done, but it's also not, because at the end of the day, it's like, you know, what makes you comfortable? And you know, it doesn't make you comfortable, if you're doing stuff that doesn't make you comfortable. Stop doing it. Right. Um, so I think it's just, you know, just, this is a, this is a big thing, and it's a hard thing. Like it's a hard personal thing to get over for a lot of people but it's just like, be somewhat proud of what you put out, you know,
Kelsey Krapf 18:51
Jacob, I want to dive into your generation and the target audience you're going after, it's no surprise that you know, Gen Z is all over techtalk and Want to know where you found success in marketing to these individuals, you know, knowing that there's such a growing population? And also they're going to be taking over the workforce, if not already.
Unknown Speaker 19:11
I mean, you know, I think it kind of goes back to, you know, what Peter and I were kind of talking about earlier, which is, you know, just just kind of speaking to them in in an authentic way. And also, like, you know, I was kind of talking about one of our more popular segments called finished the tick tock lyrics, and, and, and dance charades. And those are two segments where, you know, it really incorporates the the kind of sound of, you know, the generation, which is like, very, very influenced by Tick Tock. And, you know, music is just such a big part of the narrative. But yeah, I mean, I think it's just, you know, I think we've kind of approached that product in a really organic way. So it's easier to kind of speak to that from a content perspective, because I think we've been able to kind of figure out you know, what they're interested in and the cool thing about finished the tick tock lyric Can everybody says this about the segment is you can kind of play along with it. Because as you see the talent finishing the tick tock lyric, you can also think in your head. Oh, wait, what song is that, and then kind of gets the lyric yourself. And so it kind of gives the audience an opportunity to play along as well. And so it's very interactive. So that's been, you know, really, really engaging for us. And then, I mean, I think just, you know, like we were kind of talking about earlier, I think it's definitely important to, you know, be on the platform for brands. And I think, you know, it's definitely important because it kind of keeps your brand Top of Mind and, and I wouldn't, I wouldn't doubt that, you know, statistically, brands that have more of a presence and success on tik tok are probably, you know, compared to their competitors, you know, just from a sales perspective, you know, if it's a food chain or whatever it might be, you're probably, you know, crushing it compared to them, because I deftly You know, without naming names, I see a lot of competitors where it's like the, you know, the A side beside where it's like, you know, one restaurant and it's obvious competitor, and you just notice one restaurant just having way more of a presence on there. And then you, you look at the stock or whatever it might be, and you just kind of make sense, like, why that company's bigger is because they're there keeping on top of it. But to answer the question, simply, I think just just really spending time to understand the platform, like we were talking about earlier, music is such a big part of the platform, especially the songs that we are kind of a part of. So naturally, a game show incorporating their favorite songs would be a hit. And I think there's a lot of stuff. You know, when it comes to the, to the music side of things that I think, you know, they would be really into.
Peter Mahoney 21:47
So one of the things I like about the platform, there's some things I don't like about the platform, but one of the things I like about the platform, is that it's very participative. So it actually gets people To do stuff in real life and film it, and whether it's they're doing the dance and they do things with their friends or things in so it's it's less of a passive consumption consumption thing, obviously, there's a lot of consumption. But because it's really focused on having people, you know, create these really short, easy things, actually doing stuff, which is, which is kind of cool. So it's fun to see. And you see all these people in quarantine time doing things with their families and stuff like that. It can be a little tricky, because there's there's also this sort of, you know, sort of elitist kind of influence or stuff that that can be a little tricky, I think for especially for young kids. But it's interesting. One of the things I'd love to know is who were the who were sort of the big, tick tock personalities that we should all know about that, that maybe people that you've worked with before that are that are influential.
Unknown Speaker 22:57
Yeah, I mean, I think the you know, the most obvious Have you guys heard of Charlie's familia?
Peter Mahoney 23:03
The most obvious to anyone who's cool. You realize who you're talking to
Unknown Speaker 23:07
you she just hit 50 million followers. She's I think she's the biggest account on tik tok right now, but she she's been in our studio a few times, and we've done some really, really cool stuff with her. And she's just anything. Anything she touches is just like, blows up. So there's like, Charlie Emilio Addison Ray, who's like one of her friends. She's also really really big. There's like this kid little hoodie. There's like the hype house, which is like the collective of kind of creators and sick talkers. But yeah, I think Charlie's kind of the poster child of Tick Tock right now. She's huge. About your kids now her
Peter Mahoney 23:46
they probably do it. Yeah, I think so. And I should not admit that I don't know her now. Now. She's gonna have her people get after me. Probably because I'm not supportive enough.
Jacob Pace 23:59
So hey, I I mean, she had a superbowl commercial as well.
Peter Mahoney 24:02
That is insane. That is insane. And she's probably 13 or something right? One of these people.
Jacob Pace 24:08
Yeah, she's she's a she just turned 16 Oh my
Peter Mahoney 24:11
god. It's terrible. I think my sweaters more than 16 years old. That's pretty bad. So hey, I saw you were recently nominated in the Rolling Stones future 25 most innovative social media companies to 2020 So congrats. That is super awesome. So why do you think they picked picked you guys besides the obvious?
Jacob Pace 24:36
Yeah, aside from being charming and good looking? No,
Peter Mahoney 24:39
exactly. I always say I have a face for podcast.
Unknown Speaker 24:45
I know. Right? Um, yeah, I mean, I think you know, we kind of caught it at a really cool time. Where flight house is really is is pretty unique. Because, you know, we're sort of one of a kind there's not really another brand like us on the platform. We're not just another influencer we're an actual content channel. You know, and and the biggest you know, based on based on followers so you know, look I think Rolling Stone kind of a music publication music is such a big part of what Tick Tock is we've broken a lot of records I think we've had like 17 I mean look not that like because of us that became a hot 100 song but we've been a part of 17 campaigns that have hit the hot 100 so you know, that's obviously something that to a music publication like Rolling Stone I think they find impressive and then you know, the Fast Company one same thing. I mean, I think we're just I think the biggest thing without even going into a lot of detail because there's no need as you know, we're a one of a kind content brand on Tick Tock and we're the biggest and we've also kind of cracked the code one of the you know, one of the best to crack the codes for for brands and so I just think because Tick Tock is getting so much attention naturally. You know we're going to be a part of that narrative too because we're building our brand on Tick Tock So yeah, I think we just kind of caught it that a cool time.
Peter Mahoney 26:06
Well that's great and hopefully now now that you've got all these millions of followers on on Tick Tock you can you can have a couple more followers in the in the world of CMOS who who care about this stuff. So no, so the goal Yeah, absolutely. Super excited to get one I think this this topic and in your depth of understanding of perception in this area is is really important and relevant for our audience. So thanks for sharing it. I think it's, it's really great. So no, it's
Kelsey Krapf 26:40
definitely very ignoring social media channel, you know, ends up biting you in the butt later on, because they are so relevant in today's society to just give content so, you know, besides downloading tik tok and following you guys on Tick tock, how else can we learn about your company?
Unknown Speaker 26:58
Yeah, totally. Um, Yeah, I mean, we have an Instagram as well, you can look us up on YouTube. We actually have a website, I think our websites launching Monday for our agency side of the business. So that's got a good amount of content on it with just like case studies, and we're gonna have a blog. But yeah, I think you're gonna see, I think the marketing world is going to see the name a lot more. So we really haven't. We've kind of kept quiet for a long time. But I think now we're, we have enough people and enough case studies to kind of go out in public and sort of talk more about what we have going on. So yeah, our website is going to be flight house. media.com. Um, so yeah, I think marketers can check that out and just kind of see what we're up to.
Peter Mahoney 27:35
Great. Well, I think it should be live by the time that we post because we'll post sometime early next week, so so definitely check it out. So really fantastic to have the discussion with you today.
Jacob Pace 27:50
Yeah, thanks so much, guys.
Kelsey Krapf 27:51
Thanks. That's gonna wrap it up for today's episode. Appreciate your time, Jacob. It was such a pleasure talking to you. Make sure to follow the next one. And plan on Twitter and LinkedIn and if you have any ideas for topics or guests you can email them at email@example.com. Have a great day everyone
Transcribed by https://otter.ai