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Why People Watch TV Shows, Movies on TikTok

Photo by Olivier Bergeron via Unsplash

Why People Watch TV Shows, Movies on TikTok

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new trend on TikTok has exploded on the platform as users watch full-length movies and TV shows in bite-sized chunks.

The most popular moments in a show or movie will make their way into the algorithm and start showing up on users’ For You page. Oftentimes, this will suck them into the story, and they will go back and watch from the beginning.

“When it comes to movies, I struggle to watch new ones, which I think is probably linked to anxiety, plus it takes me quite a while to get into a new film,” Habiba, a 27-year-old, told Dazed. “So when I have the option of watching a few clips of a film on the TikTok app, I dive right in.”

While unconventional, watching shows and movies on TikTok comes with some advantages. These clips allow community members to connect and share their thoughts on scenes through the comments section right under the video.

“It’s fun to watch something and see funny comments, or see a take on something you hadn’t thought of before,” Habiba explained.

This method of media consumption also allows viewers to skip through filler scenes and only watch the interesting, action-packed parts of a story. Watching shows and movies on TikTok also comes with the advantage that it is free, as this content is typically locked behind paywalls or subscriptions.

While streaming platforms could get upset that their shows are being stolen, the popularity they gain from this trend offsets the damage. Peacock even enabled the habit, posting the entirety of the pilot to its show KILLING IT to raise interest for the release of season two.

The trend, however, has its downsides as it fails to capture the depth of character and story found in full-length shows and movies.

“[Watching snippets] is not great for depth of understanding,” Bobby Duffy, professor of Public Policy at King’s College London told Dazed. “You lose some sense of connection to deeper thinking that takes more time and reflection.”

“If you’re constantly bombarded with new content, it’s hard to find that space, and you lose the context,” he continued. “It’s similar to music, where the capability to dip into streaming platforms means playlists and individual songs are the focus, rather than full albums.”

Variety, however, reported that this trend is likely to continue, especially for younger audiences.

“The ultimate trend suggested here is that younger audiences are gravitating to social apps such as TikTok to be entertained by video content. And, in fact, the original format or intended screen might rank secondary to preferences viewing on TikTok satisfies where traditional entertainment platforms, so far at least, fall short,” the outlet said.

Movieguide® previously reported:

The CDC reports that children and teens spend anywhere from six to nine hours on screens each day, and new data reveals what apps children scroll through the most. 

Cribbage Challenge found that kids spend 113 minutes on TikTok, followed by 90 minutes on Snapchat, 20 minutes on Pinterest and 18 minutes on Reddit each day. 

On streaming services, children and teens spend 77 minutes on YouTube, 52 minutes on Netflix, 42 minutes on Disney+ and 35 minutes on Amazon Prime every day.

“Children today are spending more time online than ever before due to technology advances and accessibility,” a spokesperson for Cribbage Challenge said. “TikTok and YouTube are by far the most commonly used apps for children in the U.S., followed by Snapchat and Netflix.”

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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