BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #25: WWE & NFTS, LINK STICKERS FOR ALL AND VALKYRAE’S SKINCARE LINE BACKLASH

In this week’s edition of the Industry Round Up, we cover what exactly WWE is doing with an NFT marketplace, Cameo’s first acquisition, whilst also looking into Apple’s impact on the mobile ad market. We also jump into the latest influencer news, covering a streamer who has launched a talent management firm and a gamer-focused skincare line gone wrong. Finally, we detail the latest platform updates including link stickers for all!

WWE To Launch NFT Marketplace 

The WWE is launching an NFT marketplace with Fox’s Blockchain Creative Labs, enabling fans of wrestling to purchase, trade, sell and store tokens from iconic wrestling moments. 

In order for fans to utilise the new NFT Marketplace, they must create a secure WWE digital wallet through Eluvio. Fans will then be able to collect NFTs from past and present iconic moments. Interestingly, Blockchain Creative Labs also has NFT projects with The Masked Singer.

Apple & The Mobile Ad Market 

Back in April, Apple introduced a privacy feature that gave more control to users over the tracking by apps. Snapchat has been a recent social platform that has highlighted the true impact of this privacy feature – revealing that Apple Inc’s data collection rules have been impacting advertising spending. 

The result was Snap’s stocks dropping by 27%, equating to around $32 billion of market value – also dragging other social platform stocks down including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

However, one player is benefiting which of course is Apple, which has undercut rivals with the privacy update, tripling its market share and becoming a major player in advertising.

Cameo’s First Acquisition 

Cameo is a platform that allows users to request shoutouts from celebrities and public figures – which subsequently exploded over lockdown. In the platforms latest move, it has acquired the merch platform Represent, which produces merch for the likes of Kendall Jenner, Ed Sheeran and more! 

The acquisition aims to enable fans to connect with celebrities through merch purchases and expand talent on the platform. Represent will continue to operate independently, but Cameo plans to integrate merch capabilities in the coming year.

Google Lowers Cut Of Recurring Subscription Revenues 

Google has announced it will lower the cut of recurring subscription revenues from 30% to 15%, following a proposed bill targeting the fees on the Play Store marketplace that charges app developers. 

Apple and Google have both come under fire for app marketplace fees, with both companies taking a significant cut off all app transactions. As we know, any app trying to find a workaround is ultimately banned from the app marketplaces – seen with Fortnite on the App Store.  Therefore, the monopolised nature of the app marketplaces has become a huge issue, especially since digital subscriptions have become the fastest growing model for developers.

Valkyrae’s Gamer-focused Skincare Controversy 

Content creator Valkyrae is a popular gamer and the most-watched female streamer of 2021, who also became a co-owner of the popular esports organisation 100 Thieves. However, the creator was faced with backlash after launching a skincare brand targeted at gamers named Rflct. 

The skincare product was marketed as a solution to protect against and repair blue light damage, caused by exposure to digital screens. However, the issue is that there is no significant scientific evidence to suggest that blue light through screens causes harm to your skin. A number of creators have spoken out against the skincare line, as well as some in the scientific community.

FaZe Clan Going Public 

Gaming organisation FaZe Clan is going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). FaZe will merge with financial services provider B. Riley, whilst raising an additional $291 million in transaction proceeds, reaching a $1 billion valuation. FaZe plans to use the additional funds for new acquisitions and multi-platform growth. 

In Q1 2022, B. Riley (BRPM) will change to FaZe Holdings Inc. and be listed on NASDAQ, with current FaZe stockholders owning 68% of the company. FaZe has gone from strength to strength, becoming a disrupter and top esport franchise, having ten competitive esports teams and winning countless championships.

Popular Streamer Launches Talent Management Firm 

Twitch streamer Pokimane has co-founded her own talent management and brand consulting firm. The aim of this new firm is to fix issues from a creator’s perspective of what is seen as broken with talent and brand partnerships in the gaming and esports space. 

The firm will be named RTS, and will have an advisory board of digital and esports executives, including the co-founder of Twitch. RTS also promises to support and represent the business needs of a creator, helping to cultivate long-term staying power, whilst networking with video game brands and publishers to make a sustainable impact across the industry.

Spotify’s New Shopify Integration 

The E-Commerce giant Shopify has announced an integration with Spotify that will facilitate merch sales for artists on the platform. 

Artists can connect Shopify stores to Spotify profiles to sell merch, also enabling artists and teams to manage inventory and control items that are spotlighted on their profiles. The integration is available for all artists globally, but Shopify merch is only visible to listeners in Canada, U.S., UK, Australia and New Zealand. 

Furthermore, Spotify is also rolling out video podcasting to everyone through Anchor – only earlier having the option available to select podcasters such as Joe Rogan.

Instagram Rolls Out Link Stickers To All Users

Instagram has announced the link sticker feature is now available to all users, regardless of following size. The feature has now replaced the swipe up that was traditionally only available to users and business profiles above 10k followers.

The expansion allows all users to add links to Instagram Stories, accessible by selecting the sticker tool from the top navigation bar, after capturing or uploading content to your Instagram Story. Accounts that share misinformation and hate speech will be blocked from using Link Stickers, to minimise the risk of misinformation and bad links being shared.

Instagram’s Superbeat & Dynamic Sound

Instagram has launched two new effects called Superbeat and Dynamic Lyrics, which aims to enhance the use of music within the Reels format. Superbeat applies special effects to the users content to match the beat of the chosen music, and Dynamic Lyrics will display 3D lyrics that follow the ‘flow’ to the rhythm of the song.

The music-focused features have been launched in a bid to encourage more exciting Reel content creation, resulting in users spending more time viewing Reels. The feature will also help creators edit and utilise sound on their Reels, to create overall more engaging and exciting content.

Twitter Boosts Spaces Discovery 

Twitter is looking to boost usership of Spaces – its audio-only feature that aims to rival Clubhouse. The way in which the platform is looking to boost discovery of Spaces is through highlighting the best conversations in real-time within the Explore/Trending tab. A Spaces card will appear for iOS users in the tab to ensure the discovery of conversations taking off on the platform. 

At present, there is no easy solution to find in-progress Spaces, unless following a creator who is utilising Spaces. Therefore, the platform is also working on a Spaces tab, showcasing popular Spaces, while also adding Spaces topics, to help match specific broadcasts with the individual user. 

To note the discovery of relevant audio rooms has been a challenge for Clubhouse, so it will be no easy feat for Twitter, as the same challenges also face video live-streaming formats across other social platforms.

All Posts
Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency