Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Bert-Jan Schilthuis-Ihrig
Pinterest TV. If you’re thinking, what even IS that, you’re not alone.
It’s the latest in a stream of somewhat confusing new features that leaves creators wondering “were users actually asking for this?”
Does that mean that we’re going to sit back and let the feature sit gather dust though? Heck no!
This is your sign to get off the sidelines and apply to Pinterest TV.
Or if you’re like most people and you’re wondering what the heck Pinterest TV even is, don’t worry, I’ve got you.
Let’s look at what exactly is on offer here with this curious new Pinterest feature, why you should care and how to join in the action.
Starting with the elephant in the room…
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What is Pinterest TV?
Pinterest TV is different from all other types of Pinterest content that have come before.
Here’s its rap sheet:
- It’s a live video. Yes, ONLY live. The only part that’s pre-recorded is your Pinterest TV “commercial” teaser video, which can be up to 30 seconds long.
- Pinterest TV videos are called “episodes.” They’re really committing!
- It’s only available in English. Hopefully this will be expanded.
- There’s live shopping. Tag your products and they’ll appear alongside the episode. Yep, you’re encouraged to sell!
- Pinterest requires pre-approval of every. single. one. You must detail your entire episode, pick a date and time and commit to going live before you’re actually given the green light.
Yes, you read that correctly! Pinterest is being very curated with this type of content.
You can’t just click “create” and go live (like on every other platform).
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First, you have to apply to be a Pinterest TV creator.
What are they looking for? In their own words (via the Google Form they use to curate applications), Pinterest wants to see that you have:
- Original ideas. Upfront in the application, they ask you to detail 3 examples of Pinterest TV episodes that you would create.
- Interest in being a repeat Pinterest TV creator. It’s a yes/no checkbox question; they’re not beating around the bush.
- Experience watching Pinterest TV. Eager applicants have to detail their favorite episode of Pinterest TV and what they liked about it.
- Poise and personality on screen. Ouch! You wouldn’t want to fail that test. You must provide a video of you talking to camera before you can be approved.
- A phone number where you can be contacted. They ask for an emergency phone number in case they must contact you. As a creator, this actually excites me because it sounds like someone from the Pinterest team watches every single episode live! What a great chance to make an impression.
The questions on this form have expanded significantly from when I applied in September 2022, and it will probably expand further.
Then, once accepted into the program, Pinterest will give you access to the Creator Studio, from which you pitch your episode ideas.
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Why should creators try Pinterest TV?
Let’s cut to the chase: what do Pinterest creators have to gain by going live on Pinterest?
Especially when going live on Instagram, YouTube or virtually any other platform is a lot less work and unmoderated.
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Creators get premium placement on the mobile app, increased impressions and the opportunity to be an early adopter, and presumably more Pinterest followers.
Early adoption has huge benefits on Pinterest.
New features are pushed hard by Pinterest. Probably because users and creators hate Pinterest changes so much #justthefacts
Creators who were early adopters to idea pins on Pinterest saw (and continue to see) enormous brand reach.
Carousel pins, video pins and every other past new feature was given amazing preference in the algorithm.
Pinterest TV will likely be no different.
If you’re focused on Pinterest marketing in 2023, then Pinterest TV is a no-brainer way to expand your reach.
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How do you get on Pinterest TV?
I recommend reading the information page to increase your odds of being accepted because it’s unclear how picky they’re being with applicants.
Pro tip: copy and paste your Pinterest form answers down somewhere. If you’re accepted, you’ll probably want to pitch your episode ideas that you created for the Google Form, but you can’t regain access to your response. Save it as a note to self on your computer and you’ll be able to pitch your actual episode very quickly.
Sorry to all creators who communicate with their audience in any other language. Pinterest TV is only streaming in English right now, and based on the global roll-out of idea pins (which is still incomplete after 3 years) I don’t expect the multilingual roll-out to be swift.
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How do you know if you have Pinterest TV access?
Pinterest says on their PTV onboarding presentation that you’ll be notified once you’re given access to the Creator Studio, but that was not true in my case.
Screenshot from the Pinterest TV onboarding presentation, which is full of a lot of really helpful information.
Want to see if you have access?
Log into your Pinterest account, click “create” and see if you have “go live” as an option:
This is the easiest way to see if you have creator access, and despite eagerly checking my inbox every day hoping for an email from Pinterest, this is exactly how I found out that I had access.
But, before getting too excited: just because you have ACCESS doesn’t mean that you’re ready to go live.
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Pitching A Pinterest TV Episode
You’ve applied, you’ve been approved, huzzah! Right?
Wrong. You’re not cleared to go live even AFTER gaining access to the Creator Studio.
You’ll have an empty Pinterest TV queue staring back at you, awaiting your brilliant idea.
Once you’ve arrived at this stage, it’s time to pitch your first episode.
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What You Need
Pitching an episode isn’t that much work, but do you need quite a few details.
Here’s the list.
- Episode title, 40 characters max
- Category, choose from a very short list of options
- Date and time of the live episode
- Related pins, which can be your own or from any creator
- An episode cove
- Optional episode commercial/teaser
You can view my first Pinterest TV episode commercial here:
Products and links:
- Links for products that you’ll be offering for live shopping (must already have pins on Pinterest)
- Any promo codes that you’ll be giving to viewers
- Guests (co-hosts)
Then, you sit and wait for Pinterest to approve or reject your proposed Pinterest TV episode!
You can view your pending episode under “pending,” and you’ll be able to track where it’s at in the process inside the Creator Studio.
You can also view your application details inside the Creator Studio and can even check into the control room (where you’ll go for the livestream) before it’s formally approved to get acquainted.
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So, will Pinterest TV make your cut for marketing priorities in 2023?! My first Pinterest TV episode is currently pending review, and I’ll tell all after my first experience going live.
Personally, I like the opportunity to be placed front and center on the Pinterest mobile app. And I’ll avoid missing the boat on early adoption at all costs. Count me in!
I hope I’ll see you in there. If you’re shaking your head to the sound of Pinterest TV, what do you dislike? I’d love to hear in the comments.