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In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover an interesting angle on Google’s struggles to get down with the kids. It’s accepted that the masses of young people have left older social networks for TikTok, but this is now even affecting Google’s core business – location discovery. Netflix has chosen Microsoft as its ad partner, but there is also a juicy rumor about the tie-up. Elsewhere, you can forget about Wordle and start playing Heardle, as Spotify adds the first gaming product to its platform. Our Stat of the Week looks at some impressive numbers on Amazon Prime Day. And What’s dAppening reports on Bill Murray’s collaboration with Coinbase: can the comedy legend give Coinbase NFT its stripes, or will it be another groundhog day of struggling sales?

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Takes 🎬

🗺️📱Google – Fears for Core Products as Kids Look to Instagram and TikTok

It isn’t exactly surprising to learn that kids and teens are now spending more time on TikTok than on YouTube, as it’s been that way since 2020. Nor is it surprising to see that the gap is widening, with daily minutes continuing to rise. But it’s not just about entertainment. Alphabet’s core products Google Search and Maps may be under threat. Google’s Senior Vice President, Prabhakar Raghavan, recently sounded the alarm that those products might be losing ground to social media apps like TikTok and Instagram too. According to one study by Google, 40% of young people eschew Google and search for lunch venues through TikTok and Instagram. In a sense, it’s a much more shocking statistic than YouTube’s travails, as it represents a threat to Google’s raison d’être – as a tool for discovery. While Raghavan didn’t sound overly worried when discussing the findings in a TechCrunch interview, he did make clear that it was a challenge that Google must meet. Fundamentally, he claimed, the stalwarts of Big Tech had to reassess their preconceptions of what young people’s expectations are. Those of us who grew up in the pre-web era might still marvel at how Google Maps manages to put the world’s largest atlas in our pocket, and thus find it strange to learn kids are using TikTok videos to get around. But, as Raghavan points out, many of those kids may have never seen a physical paper map before. Time for Google – and the rest of us – to forget what we think we know. #TikTokSearch Read more here.

📺💸 Netflix – Microsoft Becomes the Chosen One as Advertising Technology Partner

For all the talk of Netflix’s struggles in 2022, it has perhaps been overlooked that the launch of an ad-supported tier is a huge opportunity. It remains the world’s most popular streaming platform, and advertisers are going to flock to get their products on your screen. After all, just this week Netflix announced Stranger Things Season 4 viewership surpassed 1.5 billion hours (second only to Squid Game). Microsoft has been chosen as the partner to make it all happen, with Netflix citing the software giant’s proven track record in sales and ad technology. But there is perhaps a bigger story within the story here: Since the announcement of the partnership, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive to suggest that Microsoft might end up buying Netflix. It would cost north of $170 billion – more than double the cost of the Activision deal – but some analysts believe it a logical step for Microsoft to grow its ecosystem into TV in the same manner as rivals like Apple, Amazon, and Google. Keep an eye on this one. #NetflixAdBill Read more here.

🎵🎮 Spotify – Heardle Is the First Gaming Product to Arrive on Streaming Platform

Product diversification is all the rage in tech right now, and we have reported on both TikTok and Netflix adding more gaming products to their platforms in recent months. Spotify is now getting in on the game literally after announcing it has acquired the rights to the trivia game Heardle. Yes, Heardle is but one of many games that are structural clones of Wordle, which was sold to the New York Times for $1 million. This other viral app fits neatly into Spotify’s platform. Heardle is a song-guessing game where users get six tries at naming a song by listening to the opening seconds. Spotify reports that the game, which is still on a standalone website, already has millions of players. Heardle will soon be integrated into Spotify’s app in the US, UK, and Canada with plans to expand to other countries and languages in the near future. With our current film project (web3+NFTs) here at 3Advance, our eyes are on another Wordle-copycat, the movie-themed Framed. Who will snap it up? #AsHeardleOnSpotify Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – 100,000 Sales    

📱📈 Amazon Prime Day 2022 Saw 100K Sales Per Minute

According to some, Amazon Prime Day was a bit uninspiring this year. But the cold hard facts say differently: Sales were over $12 billion, an 8.1% YoY increase from 2021 – good news for new(ish) CEO Andy Jassy in his first Prime Day since taking the reins from Jeff Bezos. But what caught our eye most of all was the huge volume of products being ordered and shipped – over 100,000 items per minute. It’s not just the sales, but the spike in traffic too. Amazon uses the same Serverless stack as 3Advance – Lambas, DynamoDb, EventBridge, AppSync, and API Gateway – and it’s able to cope with massive and sudden increases in demand. This is what excites us most about the tech we’ve committed to – it’s true cloud computing, with next to zero cost for no users, AWS services scale infinitely with little concern about spikes like this. So while most reporting will focus on Amazon’s sales, we think the fact it was able to deliver on a record Prime Day without breaking a sweat is all the more impressive. #OptimalPrime Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

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

🖼️🪙 Coinbase – Can Bill Murray Collaboration Turn the Tide for Coinbase NFT?

In NFT circles, Coinbase is something of a laughing stock. For all its might in the crypto industry, it was a little late (so they say) to the NFT game, launching Coinbase NFT at a time when the market began to plummet. The platform made just under $3 million in NFT sales from launch day on April 20 to mid-July of this year – compare that to the $6 billion commanded by OpenSea. But there are signs that Coinbase might be astutely playing the long game, and who better to turn a joke into a success story than Bill Murray. The iconic comedy actor has partnered with Coinbase on Bill Murray 1000 NFT, a collection that charts Murray’s long and storied career. There are many who believe that content will – at least eventually – be king for NFTs, much in the same way as streaming platforms, so getting Murray’s intellectual property might be a smart move for Coinbase. Of course, the NFT market is tumultuous at the moment. While we see continued growth in NFT adoption – GameStop recently added an NFT marketplace, as has Reddit – there are also warning signs, with OpenSea laying off 20% of its staff. But big winners should emerge from the bear market, and Coinbase NFT might be one of them. #Bill1000 Read more here.   

Meanwhile at 3Advance..

Last week in Washington DC, the first in-person Happy Hour for Adventure Fund took place. This is an investment fund Darren and Paul joined through our sister company 3Adventures. Since its inception in 2021, Adventure Fund has invested in some incredible startups – from MicroAquire to Beehiiv (yes, this newsletter platform!) and many others, including an aerospace company called SpaceX. 😉 Led by Marty Ringlein and Will Hubbard, the group has provided us the opportunity to learn from some of the smartest people we know, from Washington DC to San Francisco. Last week, Paul met up with other local LPs – creators and builders that have already left their mark on the DCTech scene.  

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.