News in apps delivered weekly to your inbox on 🌮 Tuesday.




In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover a whole bunch of trends from streaming and social media. First up, it’s the news that Disney+ demolishes expectations by adding 14.4 million new subscribers. What does this mean for struggling rival Netflix? Elsewhere, we have some surprising news that YouTube, not TikTok, is the video platform of choice for teens. In the world of audio streaming, Spotify is experimenting with ticket sales for live events. Our stat of the week reports on the huge amounts of cash flowing into crypto projects. And What’s dAppening looks at Ethereum’s final test before the long-awaited “Merge” takes place next month.

What’s Appening is brought to you by 3Advance, the product development team that eats, sleeps and breathes apps. Not diggin’ the apps? You can opt-out below. Forwarding to a friend? Please do 🙏. They can subscribe here or y’all can watch our video episodes on YouTube 📺.

Takes 🎬

📺📈 Streaming – Disney Takes the Lead, Walmart (Re)Joins the Battle

The Walt Disney Company was one of the last big guns to report Q2 2022 revenues this summer, but it blew the doors off by confounding experts’ projections and startling Wall Street. The main takeaway was the massive 14.4 million new subscribers added to Disney+, putting the Magic Kingdom’s combined streaming service products (Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+) as the new global leader in total subscriber numbers ahead of Netflix. So what has Disney+ got up its sleeve? It’s content, my friend. Content, content, content. It turns out that people are willing to pay for the escapism of Marvel, Star Wars, or Winnie the Pooh, even when belts are tightening due to inflation and recession fears. It’s for that reason Disney+ took just 16 months to hit 100 million subscribers; it was over a decade for Netflix to do the same. As for Netflix’s current figures, its Q2 net loss of 1 million subscribers was a little better than expected, but it’s still in a funk. The cheaper ad-supported tier (Disney will launch its own ad-supported subscription this year) might help a little, but the much-vaunted Netflix gaming revolution seems to have fallen flat. A recent study shows that 99% of Netflix subscribers have not yet tried its games. Ouch. Elsewhere in streaming, we see that Walmart has decided to take another shot at competing with Amazon Prime. The retail giant did (half-heartedly) try to get into the streaming biz before with Vudu, but it seemed to lose interest in the project. Now, however, it wants to reinvigorate Walmart Plus with movies and streaming. As with Amazon Prime, it’s about getting you into the Walmart ecosystem. Walmart has moved quickly to sign deals with the likes of Paramount to provide content for its platform, and it also seems to be open to creating its own content. Walmart Originals, anyone? #DisneyStreamsAhead Read more here.

📹🧟‍♀️YouTube – The Kids Aren’t Just As Keen on TikTok as First Thought

Wow. Speaking of surprises, we also learned this week that YouTube – not TikTok – is the most popular social media platform for teens. The study comes from the Pew Research Center, and it showed that 95% of teens aged 13-17 used YouTube. For TikTok, that percentage was 67% (second overall of all social media platforms). When it came to the category of using social media “almost constantly”, YouTube was at 19%, with TikTok at 15%. As an aside, we’d love to know what Pew defines as “almost constantly”, and it’d be intriguing to see how long exactly teens spend in-app. Nonetheless, the study is both interesting and surprising for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that Gen Z isn’t full of the attention-lacking zombies that the media – and many businesses – assume it is. Secondly, it indicates that TikTok and the pull of the short-form video aren’t quite as dominant as we all thought. The popularity of longer “video essays” – ranging from deep dives into video game lore to critiques of capitalism – on YouTube shows a sustained appetite for long-form video content. While many of us may have gotten it wrong about TikTok’s sole dominance among the kids, we were certainly correct about Facebook. The same Pew study shows that just 32% of teens have ever used Facebook. In 2015, that number was 71%. Twitter and Tumblr also saw declines in popularity among teens, whereas Snapchat and Instagram saw gains. #TeenageKicks Read more here.

🎟️🛒 Spotify – Streaming Platform Testing the Water with Concert Ticket Sales

We have always admired Spotify’s unwillingness to rest on its laurels. It might be the global leader in music streaming and podcasts, but it constantly looks for ways to stay there, recently adding audiobooks, games, NFTs, and even redesigning its app. And now, Spotify is hoping to see tickets for concerts and other live events. Might this be reactive rather than proactive, given TikTok announced a partnership with Ticketmaster last week? Perhaps. But this seems like a natural step for Spotify. Similar to its NFT testing, which allowed artists to promote digital collectibles, the sense here is that Spotify wants to find ways to foster better relations with artists, giving them access to a marketplace beyond streaming. As such, this isn’t about challenging Ticketmaster and others, at least not yet. As with a lot of Spotify’s roll-outs recently, this remains firmly in the testing phase. But this one makes a lotta sense. #SpotiTicket Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – $30.3 billion and counting

Hey, you know there’s been a lot of coverage of the “Crypto Winter” and the value wiped from the crypto markets. Well, if you are judging the web3 industry by the price of Bitcoin and other tokens, you might be looking in the wrong place. Recent data shows that $30.3 billion has been invested in crypto startup projects in the first half of 2022 – more than the entirety of 2021. There is a mantra in web3 that basically says, “keep building”. And that’s what’s happening here: Billions of dollars are pouring in to fund next-gen gaming platforms, NFTs with multiple use cases, decentralized finance programs, solutions for data protection, crypto-based social media apps, and much, much more. Regardless of the price of Bitcoin, us web3 builders continue to be bullish on the power of blockchain to change the Internet – and the world. By the looks of it, VCs and others wanting to finance innovative projects seem to believe that too. #KeepBuilding Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🤝⌛Ethereum – Goerli Test Completed Successfully: Next Stop Is “The Merge”

Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) has overcome its final testing hurdle, paving the way for “The Merge” to occur in mid-September. Following Ropsten and Sepolia, Goerli was the last remaining testnet to undergo the transition to PoS. The full move to PoS for Ethereum will now take place on September 13th/14th. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Ethereum’s move to PoS is the most important event in web3’s recent history. The Merge will not solve all of Ethereum’s ‘problems’, nor is it the final Ethereum upgrade – there’s also the Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge (we aren’t making those names up) – but it will make the Ethereum blockchain cheaper, faster, and greener, hopefully heralding a new era of innovation within the Ethereum ecosystem. After Goerli, Ethereum devs took to Twitter to trumpet the success, and it’s also notable that the Merge will now take place five days ahead of schedule. Let’s hope that’s a good sign because this one is important for everyone in web3. The Merge may or may not affect the price of ETH, but it will open up more doors for the building of dApps, smart contracts, and other crypto projects. #NextStepTheMerge Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

Now while this isn’t about apps, it’s certainly in our wheelhouse of interest: Our internal Slack has been blowing up with news of Andreessen Horowitz (or a16z, for short) making a massive $350M investment in WeWork’s notorious CEO, Adam Neumann. His new venture, Flow (not, not this Flow) is focused on residential real estate – perhaps in the vein of WeLive, an attempt within WeWork at introducing communal living and working. The rightly controversial Neumann ran a shady, toxic operation, that led to much scrutiny, and disgust. Twitter (and the world, really) was aghast with the decision to re-invest so much in this guy. Anyway, here’s some of the questions we’ve been pondering:

Does Adam Neumann deserve funding given his shady history and dubious reputation?Did WeWork change the world, and disrupt commercial real estate like no one else?Does it takes controversial, unscrupulous CEO’s like Neumann to disrupt industries this large and powerful?Although idolized by many, would you want to work for someone like Adam Neumann, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Travis Kalanick?What can be done to solve the housing crisis? The homelessness epidemic? Can capitalism provide solutions to problems it contributed to?Is societal pressure to have a family, then buy a house unhealthy? Is communal living a viable alternative for all walks of life?Oh, and should we really expect a16z to give a $#&! about anything else but making money? Lots and lots of money…

So this is the kind of water cooler (Slack!) convos happening at 3Advance this morning. What’s your take?

📺 Check out the What’s Appening video series!

Don’t forget, this week’s video episode will be released shortly on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s also the mini-recap on TikTok and Instagram. As always, we appreciate y’all following along on any of these social platforms and we’d love to hear your feedback.