When it comes to growing a brand on TikTok, no one comes close to Flighthouse. The entertainment brand has amassed over 26 million engaged fans, 17 billion impressions, 150 million monthly views, and over 2 billion likes on TikTok. Flighthouse is the second most followed brand on TikTok – only behind @TikTok itself… talk about impressive.
Flighthouse started on TikTok when it was still called Musical.ly. It’s safe to say their timing & execution both provided the perfect recipe for capturing the Gen Z market.
You may not even realize it, but Flighthouse has been a driving force for many recently viral songs. In early 2020, they launched a new music-focused, short-form show on Tik Tok called ”Certified Superfan,” as part of its partnership with Republic Records. The show features young Republic artists interacting with their biggest admirers. Flighthouse has worked with superstar artists such as Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande, but also helps lesser-known artists boost their profiles. Their campaign with Niki Minaj averaged more than 100,000 reposts a week, turning her track “Indigo” into a Top-5 trending song on TikTok.
Why was Flighthouse so successful?
Aside from having generally entertaining content, Flighthouse found an interactive production studio model that just works. Instead of trying to repost viral content, they create original branded content. Combining fun games and challenges with popular creators and artists allows for everyone to win. The creators and brand both gain exposure and there’s always the opportunity to monetize the interaction by using specific songs, products, or really anything else you can think of.
“One of the things that really makes our content successful is interactivity. When we can create a series where our audiences can play along, that’s a huge factor.”
Meet the baby-faced mogul behind the brand.
Flighthouse CEO is none other than 21 year old Jacob Pace. Surprisingly he isn’t the youngest person at the new age production company, but he’s definitely the most connected. Pace moved to Los Angeles from Texas at only 16 and has been networking within the music industry like a madman ever since.
While other digital marketing firms are still struggling to figure out how to use TikTok as a promotional tool, Pace already found the secret formula to making content and artists blow up. “Working on the creative with them is much different than paying for a post,” says Zach Friedman, the manager of Surfaces, a pop group from Texas that has taken off on TikTok. “Anyone can get Joe X influencer to do a post, but really developing a piece of content that people are going to want to share is an art.”
“TikTok in a way is like a new SoundCloud to the music industry. On SoundCloud you had a lot of these artists, like the whole SoundCloud rap wave, like Pump and whoever. And even Billie Eilish got big on SoundCloud. So now it’s breeding a lot of these artists like SoundCloud, where you have Lil Nas X and Y2K and Arizona. That’s part of where our business model fits in, working with the music industry to figure out the best way to engage with TikTok so [its members] can promote their records.
“We have an agency side of the business that we call Flighthouse Media. We’ve been working with labels for about a year, a year and half. We have a lot of labels that come to us and [we] figure out the best way that we can promote [their] music on TikTok. We have an in-house creative team, and we know all the influencers. So a label will come to us and say, ‘Hey, we have this song that’s coming out; we want to figure out how to make it big on TikTok.’ We’ll give them a quote. They agree to that quote. Our team comes up with an idea. We send it out to 20 to 100 influencers, and we pay them to post.”
I think it’s really amazing how far Flighthouse has come in such a short amount of time. There’s a lot you can learn just by studying what made them into the successful brand and agency they are today. In my eyes, they’ve pioneered the idea of growing a brand on TikTok. After proving how lucrative of an opportunity it was, now other brands have recently made the decision to grow their own presence on TikTok. Definitely keep an eye on Flighthouse, as I’m sure they have more big things ahead.