Each week via our ‘Weekly Rundown’ segment, we highlight stories we thought were interesting, notable across business and technology. In episode 037 of the show, we showcase stories on the role of the Chief Hybrid Officer, getting back to the office, Youtube Tipping. Spotify, Shopify, and Google all grow like crazy and beat earning, Twitter pilots more accessible e-commerce, and Barstool Sports gets a bowl game.
Story-1:: Chief Hybrid Officer
Overview: Will Decentralized Teams Need A Chief Hybrid Officer?
Why It Matters: Similar to the role the chief digital officer played ~5-7 years ago, is there a need for a CHO may be, but will this role be a longer-term role, probably not. Even more likely this is not a single person, but rather a team of individuals that are coming together to work through their needs. You will likely need a COHR, COO, CIO, and possible risk. Risk namely because organizations may require some additional data capture of employees or third parties that needs to be managed and secured. This model is of course different depending on your organizational needs and will change over time. But for now, not really sure this is a new role we will be seeing on many job boards. If you want to learn more about how to address a distributed workforce. Check out our previous show (Linked Here) where we talked about Work Vivo, a leader in addressing the distributed workforce.
Story-2:: Office or Busts, Well Maybe
Overview: Companies are starting to summon workers back, though many employees prefer more flexible office schedules
Why It Matters: Often think about sports when it comes to discussing business, there are just so many common themes. So the fact that people are pushing back against the office is a sort of a strange concept. Does it make sense for people to be in the office 5-days a week 52 weeks a year? NO. That model is broken, that model doesn’t allow for thinking or doing that model feels dated. But to not have any in-person collaboration seems fairly hard to comprehend. Think about it this way, when you prepare for a big sporting event, you come together to train, prep and get organized. Sure there are times when you do your own workouts, watch tape in on your own, thinking through how you might tweak things. But you still come together from time to time to prepare and unite. The same thing is in business. Bringing people together with the purpose to prepare, execute, or review seems to make a whole lot of sense. Now not everyone can do this all the time, there are special occasions and cases, etc., etc. But let’s get back to getting back together; sometimes…..
Story-3:: Tip me if you like my Video
Overview: YouTube announced its latest feature, Super Thanks, on Tuesday.
Why It Matters: As more platforms enter the media space and expand their capabilities, Twitch, IG TV, Facebook, Snap, Tik Tok, you could argue Twitter and even Linkedin. The majority of them are starting to allow different ways to monotone their content. This can be a tip, this can be a subscription, this could be points etc. While the whole tip concept seems a bit strange, the idea that there is a way to pay creators is always a good thing.
Link: Youtube | TechCrunch
Story-4:: Spotify Podcast Revenue Jumps through the Roof
Overview: Among Spotify users who already listen to podcasts, podcast listening increased 30% year over year, with total hours consumed up 95%. Meanwhile, podcast ad revenue increased by 627%, which outperformed expectations.
Why It Matters: Podcasts are the new radio is dead. And at Spotify, it appears they are thinking about Podcasts as both a new channel to attract listeners to their service. They also appear to be using it to beta test live audio/spoken word as a way to entice musical acts to go live with concerts and other live exclusive events.
“Live is a meaningful thing for many of our creators, and it’s something that we’re excited about”
Think about a live event, where the artist performs, then has an exclusive Q+A after the show. It would essentially be the model that sports teams run with post-game interviews with the athletes. As someone who switched back to Spotify from Apple Music, the podcast experience on Spotify is way better. The only thing where Apple may have a leg up is auto-download to my Apple Watch for subscriptions, but need to check on that to make sure. Outside of that, Spotify continues to gain more of my listening market share thanks to the robustness of the platform and its simple design, and the often talked about algorithm.
Link: Tech Crunch
Story-5:: Shopify beats earning
Overview: In the second quarter of 2021, Shopify reported revenues of $1.12 billion, up 57% on a year-over-year basis. The company’s subscription products grew 70% to $334.2 million, while its volume-driven merchant services drove their own top line up 52% to $785.2 million.
Why It Matters: It is no major surprise that Shopify beat earnings, the pandemic continues to drive people to e-commerce and away from traditional brick and mortar stores. As someone who has spent time with most of the major e-commerce platforms, what will be interesting is when we start to hear about the ‘app ecosystem’ companies going public in a big way and or crushing earning. Cause while Shopify is a beast of a platform, it is the wrapper apps and services that take it to the next level and help provide the experience to the users. Don’t have a good outlook on the key plugins/apps/services that are likely going to go public or who maybe are public. But that is something to be on the lookout as Shopify continues to grow, who else will get the pull through as a result.
Story-6:: Twitter makes buys STUFF even easier
Overview: Twitter on Wednesday launched a pilot project in the US to test the potential for e-commerce on its platform. Called “Shop Module,” the initiative will create a dedicated space at the top of a company's profile for firms and brands to showcase their products
Why It Matters: Twitter is the platform for monitoring, where you find out about any brand or news and now maybe you will use it to cop limited-edition sneakers and new gear. It gives you access to make the purchase at your fingertips. So one would wonder how long will Twitter be able to be the only game in town to do what will feel native. One would assume that the Shopify of the world will figure out a similar approach to this over time. Either way, it will be interesting to see how buyers spend on Twitter vs. Instagram over time.
Story-7:: Google Breaks $60B in Revenue, Pledges Focus on Shopping
Overview: Over the three months ending in June, the tech company raked in $61.88 billion, which is 62 percent growth over the $38.30 billion in the same quarter a year ago. The results beat Wall Street estimates set out which expected $56.16 billion.
“This year, we’re removing integration barriers with Shopify, WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square. Merchants can now on-board and show their products across Google for free. And our shopping graph is using AI to connect these products to the people who want them.”
Why It Matters: Google highlights that shopping is a natural nexus point for the cloud business and its deep development in artificial intelligence, as well as for YouTube, in particular are continuing to drive growth. The fact that they are opening up the some of the barriers with the major e-commerce platforms is very telling, but if you know Google, they will only do this if it benefits their ecosystem and associated wallet share. With the AI they have coupled with the information across search, YouTube, Gmail. It will be interesting to see how they continue to put more ads and more ways to buy stuff in their various products, especially YouTube.
Link: Yahoo Finance
Story-8:: Barstool Sports To Sponsor College Football Bowl Game
Overview: Barstool Sports is making moves in the college football world. The digital media company is the newest sponsor of the Arizona Bowl.
Why It Matters: The college football bowl game will now be called The Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. The game will be broadcast exclusively on Barstool Sports’ website and social media channels, as opposed to CBS where the Arizona Bowl was originally broadcast. If you are Barstool, you have to be excited about this and also freaking out. Excited because this is so much press for your company and the brand. Freaking out because your CMS is going to be stressed to its limits. This story has me super fired up for the team over at Barstool Sports. Happy for everyone involved and looking forward to the press, the merch, and most of all the social media that will follow along.
Link: The Spun.com