- Event company Superfly next week will livestream a benefit concert on social video app TikTok and other social media platforms to help minority-owned businesses. The "Small Business Live" concert will be held from 4-10 p.m. on June 20, and feature performances by 2 Chainz, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges and T-Pain, among other acts, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- TikTok, AT&T Business, GoDaddy, Vistaprint and Square are sponsoring the event, whose official media partner is online publisher Bustle Digital Group. The concert also will livestream on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, LiveXLive and Bustle's digital publications.
- The proceeds from "Small Business Live" will be donated to the nonprofit Accion Opportunity Fund. Mobile users will be able to donate money by text message using a special code that will be set up before the event. Ninety percent of Accion's loans have gone to small businesses started by people of color, and it also supports immigrant-owned and women-owned businesses, according to the announcement.
Superfly's benefit concert for minority-owned small businesses comes as many of those companies face severe financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple studies and anecdotal reports indicate minority-owned businesses have suffered disproportionately during pandemic lockdowns, and that emergency financing is difficult to find. As many as 90% of businesses owned by people of color were unlikely to receive forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration's controversial Paycheck Protection Program, per an estimate from the Center for Responsible Lending cited by CBS News. Until the economic recovery picks up speed, many minority-owned businesses are likely to need emergency financing that Superfly seeks to provide with its fundraising effort.
The event is notable for livestreaming on TikTok, the social video app that got its start with user-generated music and dance videos. The company has sought to diversify its programming to appeal to a broader audience, including more live video and instructional content. The app in the past two years has become a global sensation, racking up 2 billion downloads since it launched in mid-2018. TikTok set records with 315 million downloads during Q1, according to Sensor Tower estimates, as millions of homebound people turned to their smartphones for entertainment and social connections during pandemic lockdowns. That broad reach, along with distribution on other social media channels, could help to ensure Superfly's "Small Business Live" sees significant viewership.
By sponsoring a cause-driven campaign, TikTok, AT&T Business, Bustle, GoDaddy, Vistaprint and Square can demonstrate that their brands stand for helping communities that have suffered during the pandemic. Brands including Budweiser, Fiat Chrysler, Pepsi and Verizon also have livestreamed relief concerts since the health crisis began. The efforts are more likely to connect with consumers who want to see brands help others, a sentiment that has led Cottonelle, Honda, Michelob Ultra, Pebbles cereal and Snapchat to tout their efforts to provide relief to people during the health crisis.