The ALSMA Executive Insights Series

Matthew Brennan

Episode Two

Matthew Brennan, co-founder, China Channel (China)

October 12-14, 2020
In Episode Two of the ALSMA Executive Insight Series, we chat with Matthew Brennan, co-founder of China Channel and author of the new book, “The Attention Factory” — an in-depth look at TikTok and its parent company Byte Dance.
Our conversation with Matthew covers TikTok’s origins, the secrets to its success, how it makes money, and its controversies. In particular, we discussed concerns over the platform’s privacy. Matthew says concerns about TikTok’s privacy are legitimate. But they are no different than the concerns consumers should have about Facebook or Instagram.
“I think it’s totally legitimate if you are concerned about privacy to not use those platforms,” Matthew said. “It is a trade off, right? You’re getting a free service, which means you are the product.”
TikTok, for all its success thus far, has just scratched the surface of its revenue opportunities, Matthew contends.
“Today, it has got very light monetization, it’s really in the early stages,” Matthew said. “It’s further ahead in Asia than it is in Europe and North America. But even in Asia, it’s still fairly early.”

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