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🎥 Like YouTube? Thank Janet Jackson

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April 29, 2021

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Tech earnings season has been absolutely out of control. Everyone needs to chill out!

The big idea

YouTube is an unstoppable beast, thanks to a wardrobe malfunction and a 9-year-old toy critic

This is gonna hurt your ears: YouTube was founded closer to the 1980s than today.

While you chew on that, we’ll shift gears to something more uplifting: the company’s earnings report.

YouTube’s doing the financial equivalent of ‘going viral’

Per Google parent company Alphabet, YouTube’s Q1 results include some eye-popping digits:

  • Q1 ad revenue is $6B, up from $4B YoY
  • YouTube could see $29-$30B in 2021 revenue (Netflix is expecting $29.7B)

A recent Pew Research Center report pegged YouTube as the most popular and fastest growing social media platform, reaching 81% of US adults in 2021 — up from 73% in 2019.

YouTube is making Netflix’s life more difficult

Media analyst Rich Greenfield noted that YouTube users now watch 1B hours of video per day, while Netflix viewers watch a measly 400m.

Plus — close your ears, Reed Hastings — while YouTube’s growth is accelerating, Netflix’s is expected to slow from 24% in Q1 to 19% in Q2.

And YouTube almost never happened…

YouTube’s founders originally planned — then pivoted away from — a video dating site called “Tune In Hook Up.” Today’s YouTube was partially ideated after a co-founder had trouble finding footage of Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.

The 1st YouTube video — posted April 23, 2005 — is an 18-second clip of co-founder Jawed Karim talking about elephant trunks at the San Diego Zoo.

Fast forward to today, and there’s a 9-year-old YouTube creator making $30m for toy reviews and generating $200m+ in annual retail sales.

Yes, you read that correctly. A 9-year-old.

SNIPPETS

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  • Good day for Zuck and Cook: The giants took a break from brawling to report Q1 earnings. Apple’s revenue jumped 54% to $89.6B, and Facebook’s ad business popped 46%.
  • Verizon out: The telecom firm is looking to unload AOL and Yahoo (yes, these are still around) for $4-$5B, about 1/2 of what they paid.
  • Shopify is poppin’: Q1 revenue jumped 110% YoY to $988m as the ecommerce boom continues.
Transportation Tech

Hot lidar startup Luminar teams up with Airbus to make helicopters safer

Luminar Technologies may be the hottest company that’s not named Tesla or Stripe.

The (freshly public) lidar company announced a partnership with Airbus — the largest airplane manufacturer in the world — to help make its aircraft safer.

Specifically, helicopters…

Turns out, helicopter accidents happen quite frequently — with many caused by pilot error or striking obstacles during low-altitude flight (RIP, Mamba).

Luminar and Airbus plan to use lidar systems to improve the overall safety of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The tech works by bouncing millions of laser bursts off surrounding surfaces, then using software to model what the systems “see.”

The partnership is Luminar’s 1st with an aviation company and its 1st with a non-car company.

Because when you’ve got a hot hand, play it…

Helmed by 26-year-old billionaire Austin Russell, Luminar’s Airbus partnership adds fuel to the company’s recent hot streak.

Last May, it inked a partnership with Volvo to supply lidar sensors for its cars — adding to deals it already had with Audi and Toyota.

And in December, Luminar went public in a reverse merger as “LAZR” under a blank-check company.

So let’s recap Luminar’s scoreboard: SPAC ✅, automobiles ✅, planes ✅. Now taking bets on an incoming train announcement.

Create Instagram ads that break the internet, not the bank

Ah, the ‘gram.

Where pictures of the @world_record_egg literally garnered 55m+ views and your ad received… 12.

With 130m users engaging with ads every month (per Hootsuite), you might want to check out this free downloadable guide on crafting ads that actually work.

Design revenue-generating Instagram ads with this free template from HubSpot

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Check it out and give your ads a boost — your brand will thank you.

See the guide →
Crypto News

Choice gives you the… choice… to put Bitcoin in your retirement account

You probably already knew this from friends repeatedly telling you how much they made on Bitcoin, but the total number of global crypto holders passed 100m people earlier this year.

These assets are sitting in Coinbase, Cash App, PayPal, and other digital wallets.

One place they aren’t right now:

Retirement accounts

Kingdom Trust Company — a crypto startup creating custody solutions for digital assets — is working to change that with its platform Choice, a service that provides a retirement account that can hold stocks, gold, ETFs, and…digital assets.

Launched in May 2020, the startup now has:

  • 125k+ retirement accounts
  • $18B+ of assets under custody across 20k assets

Bitcoin became eligible for retirement accounts in 2014

That year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took a huge cut of your paycheck determined that Bitcoin was property, not currency. Since then, a holder of the crypto currency triggers a tax event anytime they trade or sell.

The new classification also made Bitcoin eligible for all of the tax deferment benefits an individual gets from trading within IRA (and Roth IRA) accounts… which Choice enables.

What’s next?

Kingdom Trust CEO Ryan Radloff tells The Hustle that the average US 401k balance has $105k+ and 0% allocated to digital assets.

Radloff believes that as digital assets become more accessible, the retirement allocation could rival that of gold.

In the meantime, Radloff is “hyper-focused” on educating Bitcoiners and other digital asset users that it’s possible to invest in a “tax-efficient way.”

(Read our full Q&A with Ryan Radloff here)

Stat of the day

(Tom Stoddart Archive / Getty Images)

Credit Suisse is in pain. The fallout from the Archegos Capital Management fund implosion — which saw investor Bill Hwang lose $8B in 10 days — will cost the Swiss investment bank up to $5.5B.

Per TheWall Street Journal, this ranks among the worst self-inflicted bank wounds ever:

  • 1995: A trader named Nick Leeson executed a number of unauthorized trades that led to $1.3B in losses and took down one of the UK’s oldest merchant banks.
  • 2007: A rogue trader cost Morgan Stanley $9B and nearly brought down the entire operation in the lead-up to the financial crisis.
  • 2012: JPMorgan Chase allegedly suffered $6B in losses from a trader dubbed the “London Whale” for his gigantic bets that went sideways.

Not the best company to keep.

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