Summer is here and we’re spending like crazy on return to work clothes 👔. It’s not only because we’re eager to get out of our loungewear, but partly because of our pandemic-related weight changes 😋. Speaking of summertime, our favorite digital platform, YouTube is looking to reach younger viewers during the controversial 2021 Summer Olympics with its Olympic-themed programs that will be hitting us in July! I think all of this engaging content might have contributed to “our” pandemic-related weight changes 😉
Amazon’s Push into Healthcare and Other Updates
With Amazon Prime Day 2021 wrapping up, let’s zoom in on some interesting updates and innovations from the tech goliath:
- Health – One of Bezos’ strategies is flipping business costs into profitable endeavors, such as Amazon Web Services. The company is making big moves into healthcare by opening three healthcare centers in Detroit, launching Amazon Pharmacy for Prime members, and expanding its telehealth services nationwide to other employers. And it even received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 diagnostic test.
- Video – Amazon claims it now reaches over 120 million users a month via its ad-supported video content on platforms such as Twitch and IMDB TV. Twitch is expanding beyond its gamer roots by developing brand partnerships with Lexus and Capital One as it begins to focus on finicky Gen Z audiences.
- Advertising – Amazon is emerging as a competitor in the digital advertising industry, which is dominated by Google and Facebook. Its ad business grew by 52% during the pandemic, making up nearly 10% of the market. While most of the revenue comes from e-commerce promotion, it’s also eliminating third-party
Spotify Has Entered the (Audio) Chat, Along with Other Apps
Spotify is attempting to own as much of the audio streaming space as possible with the development of its own audio chatroom: Spotify Greenroom. This new app is outfitted with the following features to ensure early adoption:
- It’s available to users worldwide.
- It has the ability to turn live audio conversations into podcasts by requesting access to download the audio file from the hosts live discussion.
- It launched a Creator Fund in parallel to ensure future content.
- Listeners can further engage in conversations through “applauding” speakers by awarding them virtual gems and through a live text chat feature in live audio rooms.
- It has improved platform moderation. Spotify will record all audio chats so it can further investigate any reports of abuse or harassment.
And Speaking of Audio Apps: Clubhouse was everywhere for a while, but other than making the app available to Android users last month, it hasn’t provided many new updates since it skyrocketed in popularity earlier this year.
Several social platforms have jumped on the opportunity to develop their own audio offering (in record time) after seeing Clubhouse’s popularity. In addition to Twitter Spaces, Facebook just launched its version. But which of these copycats will last?
Despite being able to swiftly develop new offerings, some features aren’t always a cohesive fit for a platform based on how people typically use it. Compared to other social platforms’ live audio features, Spotify’s advantage is that having an audio chatroom seems like more of a natural fit, as people already use the platform to listen to their favorite music and podcasts. For users, having all their entertainment in the same place will be a huge convenience if Spotify decides to merge the two platforms. Will Spotify’s audio feature win out?
Case Study: J&J Promotes Vaccine Efficacy with LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn usership is on the rise (topping 740M+ users), and the platform is experiencing “record engagement,” according to Microsoft, but that’s not why Johnson & Johnson said it chose LinkedIn as a distribution channel for its Road to a Vaccine video series. The series, which aims to promote the efficacy of its vaccine by featuring health experts, sought a professional audience on a trusted platform. “It’s important for us to be able to hone in and target global advocacy, and target politicians and doctors and nurses,” said Lauren Ruotolo, director of creative partnerships at J&J. The company used sponsored content and message ads to help amplify the regular live stream broadcasts, ultimately producing 1M+ views and 983K+ minutes watched, with 97% of live-stream sentiment coded as neutral or positive.
Mounting Legislative Changes for Social Giants
With recently introduced legislation entering the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, more eyes are looking at social and tech giants and their monopolistic reign over the industry. The new bills include:
- Prohibiting platforms from giving preference to their own products
- Restricting business mergers in the tech sector unless the acquirer can demonstrate that the acquired company was not in competition with any product or service the platform already offers
- Improved user data portability, with platforms under legal obligation to allow users to transfer their data elsewhere if they choose, including to a competing business
- Increased funding to the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in order to help enforce antitrust cases, including cases currently underway against Facebook and Google.
Section 230 also remains on the agenda for Congress and the Biden administration, with continued examination of the implications of sharing data with China and other foreign governments.
Any new legislation has a long road ahead before any bills are voted on, but if any one of them passes, there will be major implications for how social and tech giants can operate.
While challenges to social platforms are by no means new, countless examples over the last few years have demonstrated the real-world influence these digital platforms have on society, renewing calls to evaluate the operational boundaries of how they integrate into people’s lives.
In Other News…
The year of mobile may have been back in 2013, and now mobile marketing is often at the core of any major marketing campaign. The Drum took a dive into which brands and platforms are truly standing out in our multi-device world.
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