BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #29: SPOTIFY’S $3.5 BILLION INVESTMENT & TIKTOK-LIKE FEATURE, LUSH QUITS SOCIAL AND SNAP’S AR

We’ve pulled together the latest news from the social space in our weekly Industry Round Up. Explore the top headlines below and get up to speed with the latest news!

CONTENTS

Spotify’s $3.5 Billion Investment

Lush’s Anti-Social Media Policy

Tarantino Sued Over Pulp Fiction NFTs 

Philip DeFranco Becomes CCO of Fourthwall

Pokimane & The American Video Game League

Twitter’s New Shoppable Video Tools

Reddit’s Video Tools Development 

Spotify Testing A TikTok-Like Feature

Instagram Officially Extends Instagram Stories to 60-seconds 

Snapchat’s AR Shopping Showcase 

TikTok’s Initiatives For Giving Tuesday 

Spotify’s $3.5 Billion Investment

The CFO of Spotify has stated that the streaming platform will be investing $3.5 billion into expansion plans, focusing on podcasts and audiobooks. According to the latest financial figures, Spotify stated that $370 million in advertising revenue in the recent quarter was driven largely by podcasts – a 75% year-on-year growth from 2020 to 2021. 

A huge focus for Spotify has been podcast recommendations, driving discoverability of different shows – suggesting content that listeners didn’t know they wanted. Alongside this, the platform has been investing in podcast companies such as Gimlet and Anchor, as well as securing content deals with the likes of the Obamas and Joe Rogan. 

Lush’s Anti-Social Media Policy 

Industry Round Up - Lush’s Anti-Social Media Policy 

Lush will be shutting down their Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat accounts, applying to all brand, retail and people accounts in 48 countries. 

Lush tried quitting social media in 2019, with the UK accounts closing on Instagram and Facebook – but swiftly returning during the pandemic. Lush has also stated they will continue operating across Twitter and YouTube channels. Lush is a brand known for social activism – and this move seeks to show Lush’s stance on the toxic nature of social media.

Tarantino Sued Over Pulp Fiction NFTs

The film director Quentin Tarantino has been sued by Miramax – the studio behind Pulp Fiction- after the director planned to sell NFTs based on Pulp Fiction. 

This case highlights issues of ownership within the film industry. Tarantino was planning to sell NFTs of his first handwritten drafts of the screenplay, which prompted Miramax to send a cease and desist. The studio stands firm that Tarantino does not own the rights to Pulp Fiction scripts, but obviously the director disagrees. 

This could be one of many legal issues on the rights to sell NFTs – especially as the practice is becoming extremely popular.

Philip DeFranco Becomes CCO of Fourthwall

Industry Round Up - Philip DeFranco Becomes CCO of Fourthwall

Fourthwall is a startup that raised $17 million in VC funding. The platform aids creators in building self-branded websites that they own. Creators can design and sell merch, offer memberships for access, whilst also replicating similar features from the likes of Patreon, Cameo and Spring. 

Now the company has appointed Philip DeFranco the Chief Creator Officer, in a bid to expand. Fourthwall is currently being used by hundreds of creators but is looking to open the service up to everyone. However for now the platform is focusing on creators with at least 100,000 YouTube subs. 

The platform is currently free to join, but charges credit card processing fees and a small cut on every transaction. In addition, the platform takes 3% on digital product sales and 5% on membership purchases. 

Pokimane & The American Video Game League 

Pokimane, the popular creator with over 8.4 million followers on Twitch and over 6.7 million across YouTube, has partnered with the American Video Game League (AVGL) to give multiple $10,000 college scholarships to young gamers. Both parties will contribute $50,000 each to add to the scholarship pot. 

The programme will be open to high school students in the U.S and Canada, with students having to film a short video highlighting goals and aspirations as a gamer. 

Interestingly, this is the third scholarship programme Pokimane has founded, with the creator making a huge impact in the streaming space, diversifying into avenues beyond just content creation, with a talent management firm and being the co-owner of an apparel brand.

Twitter’s New Shoppable Video Tools

Industry Round Up - Twitter’s New Shoppable Video Tools

Twitter is the next platform moving in on social commerce, with new shoppable video tools being tested with Walmart. The live shopping event on Twitter will take place on November the 28th, being hosted on a Live Event Page, with shoppers able to purchase through an in-app browser with no interruption from the steam. The Event Page also encourages online discussions, with users able to submit Tweets about the event. 

Interestingly, Twitter isn’t taking a cut of Live Shopping sales as per Techcrunch. And brands are not paying to test the experience. Walmart has also secured Jason Derulo to host the event, showcasing a range of different products in various categories. 

Twitter follows Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok in testing Live Commerce in the Western market – with more of these formats surely following into 2022.

Reddit’s Video Tools Development

Reddit is looking to push forward with video on the platform. In the platform’s first move, it is shutting down Dubsmash – a video platform that Reddit acquired in December of last year. The aim here is to merge the functionalities of Dubsmash into Reddit to further video engagement on the platform. 

Dubsmash enables users to create video clips with music clips, with editing abilities such as adding effects and filters. Now Reddit will take these elements and consolidate them into the Reddit camera. 

According to Reddit, video content has seen a 70% increase in overall hours watched, and more than a 30% increase in daily active video viewers. The platform more specifically has also seen a 50% increase quarter by quarter in short-form video viewership (through its TikTok-Esque video feed). 

Reddit is also adding AR Lenses, Stickers, drawing tools and voiceover capabilities to Reddit video clips.

Spotify Testing A TikTok-Like Feature 

Industry Round Up. - Spotify Testing A TikTok-Like Feature 

Spotify is the latest platform to replicate features popular on TikTok to maximise engagement. The feature will be named ‘Discover’, allowing users to scroll through clips with the ability to ‘like’ or ‘skip’. There will also be a button to learn more about tracks, with the overall feature appearing as the fourth tab on the navigation bar. 

The feature will help facilitate music discovery, with the clips, not standard music videos, but created by Spotify’s tool called Canvas, which enables artists to make short looping visuals that are a new form of digital album artwork.

Instagram Officially Extends Instagram Stories to 60-seconds

Instagram has extended the length of Stories from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. Before the release of this feature, the platform split up videos that exceeded the duration limit. The new feature is being rolled out gradually, some users have already reported seeing a message informing them of the change.

As stated by Instagram:

“The ability to create longer Stories is something the community has been asking us for some time now. We’re excited to be testing 60-second Stories so people can create and view this content with less disruption.”

Snapchat’s AR Shopping Showcase 

Industry Round Up - Snapchat’s AR Shopping Showcase 

Snapchat is set to showcase AR tools, coinciding with Black Friday. The platform is partnering with a host of brands including Prime Video, Walmart, Hollister and Under Armour –  to name a few. 

Each brand will have a dedicated virtual store within the Holiday Market, where users will be able to explore products and holiday deals in an AR space. The dedicated space will be accessible through the Lens Carousel, allowing users to try on elements among other interactive features. 

The aim of the showcase is to raise awareness of the platform’s ever-evolving eCommerce tools – that should appeal to other businesses and younger consumers who prefer more immersive marketing formats. 

TikTok’s Initiatives For Giving Tuesday 

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that reimagines a world built upon shared humanity and radical generosity. As part of this movement, TikTok has announced live-stream fundraisers, as well as $7 million in direct donations to various organisations. 

As explained by TikTok:

“On Giving Tuesday (November 30th), known as the world’s biggest day of generosity, we’re delighted to join hands with our global TikTok community and introduce #GivingSzn, a celebration of generosity and goodwill featuring LIVE programming from creators and non-profit organizations, including fundraisers and community-rallying moments around the world.”

A number of creators will be taking part in the initial event, with more to follow throughout December. This speaks to TikTok’s ongoing contributions to charitable causes, including donations throughout the pandemic to support frontline workers.

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency