Netflix, ESPN Racked Up Most New TikTok Followers In 2020

Netflix added 10.6 million TikTok followers, to reach 12.4 million total, in the 12 months ending this February, and ESPN added 10 million, to reach 13.8 million.

Those were the two largest gains amid generally eye-opening TikTok growth stats presented in Conviva’s second annual TikTok benchmarks and strategy guide.

TikTok is now closing in on a billion monthly average users, with no signs of slowing down.

The 900 TikTok accounts for which data were collected over the period had combined followers of 612.7 million and gained a “staggering” 604,000 new followers, on average, according to the report.

“Categories” analyzed included brands, device manufacturers, TV and entertainment, La Liga, news and media, streaming, and eight major sports leagues.  



The other top 10 accounts in terms of follower growth were Overtime, Barstool Sports, WWE, Netflix Español, House of Highlights, entertainment brand/production studio Flighthouse, Guinness World Records, and Late Late Show (see numbers added infographic above).

Here are the top 20 accounts by numbers of total followers, with their follower adds, number of videos, likes and likes per video:

The top 20 “brand” accounts, with Guinness World Records in the lead by far, averaged 502,527 followers, and 416,233 follower adds, over the 12 months.

Gaming was strongly represented in the top 10 brand accounts (Roblox, Fortnite and Xbox). 

Looking at categories overall, sports media lead both in total followers and follower growth.  

Streaming services as a whole — boosted in no small part by the pandemic-driven streaming boom — acquired the vast majority of their total followers within the last year. They also saw the second-highest category tally for new followers during that time, despite being fourth in total followers.

Pro leagues, which were early adopters of TikTok, averaged the second-highest total of followers, but — not surprising given pandemic-forced shutdowns of many sports — saw the lowest growth proportion of total followers of any category.

The sports leagues/teams analyzed included La Liga, MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, Premier League and Series A. 

Of these, Premier League teams had the highest average number of followers (917,000), followed by La Liga (814,000) and the NFL (565,000). 

The most followed U.S. sports team was the Golden State Warriors (2.6 million), trailed closely by the Kansas City Chiefs (1.7 million). Those were the only American teams to break into the top 10 in the sports category. 

FC Barcelona was the most followed sports team (7.6 million), followed by Real Madrid (4.6 million).

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