[Editor’s note: We have expanded our previous ranking to include a broader range of news content producers (e.g., broadcasters, infotainment, niche content creators), reflecting the complex and blurred nature of the current publishing space on social media. If we missed somebody in our ranking, or you would like to suggest other changes, please message newsroom@thefix.media]

TikTok, the fastest platform to reach a billion monthly users, has not left the publishing community unaffected. A growing number of outlets are using the platform to build relationships with younger audiences. 

Daily Mail leads the ranking, overtaking Ac2ality

The past 3 months saw changes in the ranking. The Fix’s previous assessment, published in July this year, found digital news startup Ac2ality in the lead. The latest version found the Spanish outlet dethroned, its place taken by Britain’s ultra-heavyweight tabloid – the Daily Mail

More from The Fix: How Spain’s Ac2ality became Europe’s biggest TikTok news player

While Ac2ality retained its leading position in terms of user engagement – with the highest ratio of likes to views among the surveyed outlets. The account’s likes grew by over 20% to 163.4 million, faster than the 7% overall growth in followers (to 2.9 million). Meanwhile, the Daily Mail delivered some 24% of growth in followers to 3.1 million.

Perhaps more interesting is why the Daily Mail has made such a commitment to TikTok (especially since a lot of its content is focused on entertainment and not promoting the outlet’s print or digital output). 

The answer may lie in reader demographics. As with many older British brands, the Daily Mail readers are “up there” – a 2014 study found their average age to be 58, second only to The Telegraph’s 62. It’s unlikely to have gotten significantly younger over the past 7 years.

This is a problem for a growing subset of legacy media. Studies, including the Reuters Digital News Report, show that people tend to start paying for news in their 40s and 50s. But even that precarious model only works if you have relationships with younger audiences. Otherwise, you may find no one to convert as older readers move on – to put it bluntly.

Daily Mail on TikTok
Screenshot of Daily Mail‘s account on TikTok. Source: TikTok

More from The Fix: Europe’s top 20 publishers on TikTok

Mid-sized TikTok accounts show fastest growth

The average growth for Europe’s top 30 publishers between July 7 and October 24 was just over 21%. That still puts TikTok comfortably ahead of most social media, although momentum is coming down from the red-hot growth seen last year. 

Interestingly, it is the mid-sized accounts that are the main engines of the current growth. The top 5 accounts in the ranking grew by just over 20%. But those with positions from 6 to 20 rose by almost 27%. (Note: a few of the accounts do not have growth numbers, as they were added since this ranking).

Meanwhile, smaller accounts, mostly with 100 thousand or fewer followers, showed the worst performance. The average for positions 21 to 30 was just above 17%. 

There is also a clear geographical domination of large Northern-Western European publishers. Germany is a clear leader, with 9 accounts among the top 30. Including the UK, France and The Netherlands brings the total to 20. Meanwhile, Southern and Eastern Europe are far behind (although Spain makes up for it with the continent’s two biggest accounts).

Part of the reason for the relatively poor performance of Eastern European media is the hostile environment in which they operate. Both Belarusian media in the ranking have come under significant state pressure, with Tut.by (the country’s formerly top digital platform), being forced to close (the account is now private).

Tut.by‘s page on TikTok. Source: TikTok

More from The Fix: 5 ideas to help media managers succeed in the next decade

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash