🎵 Music, TikTok’s next frontier - The Hustle
The Hustle

🎵 Music, TikTok’s next frontier

Plus: Lollipop arbitrage, the NBA’s startup incubator, an unusual tango, and more.

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An Italian villa that may have inspired Disney’s The Little Mermaid is on the market. The property has nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a wealth of sea-facing views, but the price is only available upon application.

In today’s email:

  • Music: TikTok’s next big thing.
  • Chart: How lollipop arbitrage works.
  • The NBA: A startup incubator?
  • Around the web: TikTok animal facts, mentor tips, an unusual tango, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Juliet and Jacob discuss how the stars aligned perfectly for TikTok to take on Spotify. Plus: Tinder’s Metaverse plans, a $90m Batgirl dud, and more.

The big idea

TikTok’s grand plans to take over our ears

Wanna ruin someone’s day? Send ‘em “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bitch,” one of the more viral TikTok-era songs of late.

A top comment on the track is a request to “unrelease it.” It’s also now a trend to ironically watch TV on your phone at concerts when it’s performed.

But look at the numbers and the song’s a hit, and yet another reason why TikTok’s laser-focused on music as its next frontier.

For the last couple years…

… the trend for many has been to hear a song on TikTok, then listen to it on Spotify. TikTok is, in fact, that much better at discovery: 63% of users discover new music on TikTok before any other platform.

As a result, TikTok finds itself in a position where it should probably just start hosting music itself.

And it’s already starting

Abroad, in India, Brazil, and Indonesia, TikTok operates an app called Resso, which is like a more social Spotify.

Stateside, Insider recently spotted a trademark filing for a “TikTok Music” app. Yesterday, TechCrunch reported similar filings in the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, and Costa Rica.

Interestingly, a trend we’ve seen among social apps, eloquently dubbed “TikTokification,” is clearly happening in the audio space as well:

  • Just this week, Audacy bought Moonbeam, a TikTok-style podcast app whose CEO we interviewed last year.
  • Last week, Snap announced a fund for musicians who distribute sounds on Snapchat.
  • And Spotify, the big tuna who’s long-struggled with discovery, is testing TikTok-style features.

With all these wannabes, TikTok must have “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bitch” stuck in its head.


After the bell: Lucid Group shares dropped ~12% after the EV maker cut its production forecast from 12k-14k cars in 2022 to 6k-7k.

Coming down: US gas prices have dropped for 50 consecutive days, nearing an average of $4/gallon. The falling prices have been attributed to lessened demand due to slowing growth across the global economy.

Breakups: Tinder announced it will curtail its metaverse dating ambitions and ditch plans to offer an in-app currency called Tinder Coins. CEO Renate Nyborg also announced she will leave the position after less than a year in the role.

Meta is reportedly testing a new livestreaming platform, called Super, where influencers can interact with followers and earn money.

Uh, what? Warner Bros. decided to dump and never release a nearly complete $90m Batgirl film, citing a strategic shift for the DC Universe and HBO Max.

Fighting back: Eleven golfers who were suspended for joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit are filing an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour. The suit aims to loosen the PGA Tour’s rules to give players more flexibility around where they play.

Oh, neat: This Trends article covers four nifty NFT startup ideas across vending machines, student-athletes, subscriptions, and insurance.


Singdhi Sokpo

The Dum Dum discount dilemma

Dum Dums, the unofficial lollipop of pediatricians everywhere, are in a bit of a pickle.

Spangler Candy Co., the 115-year-old family business that owns the brand, recently noticed Amazon listings for its lollipops at a lower price than theirs, per Bloomberg.

Spangler’s investigation…

… revealed an Amazon arbitrage scheme that’s growing in popularity.

  • Sellers list a 400-pack of Dum Dums on Amazon for $25, $1 less than Spangler’s price.
  • When a customer makes an order, the seller orders a 500-pack from Sam’s Club for $15.
  • Sellers then drop-ship the pops to the customer directly from Sam’s Club, profiting ~$6 after fees.

The predicament exposes the lax regulation of Amazon’s marketplace, and with Google searches for “Amazon dropshipping” up 50% YoY, it’s not just lollipops.

Even with Sam’s Club’s discount, if you’re looking for the best deal on Dum Dums, it’s hard to beat the doctor’s office.


The best podcast ever? We got that

Of all the pods you could plug into, this one is different.

Trust us now and thank us later.

It’s made just for you.

Actually, by you.


You will soon.


Why’d the NBA launch a startup incubator?

From wearables to VR, there’s a wide range of new tech that can help athletes step up their game.

But unless they’re plugged in, players may not know about it.

Enter NBA Launchpad — a startup incubator investing in next-gen tech for the basketball community.

What kind of tech?

Not the three-point-shot-sinking Japanese robot kind. Instead, Launchpad looks at startups in four areas: injury prevention, youth player performance, mental health, and referee training (yes, please).

Here’s how it works:

  • Startups apply in one of those categories.
  • The NBA holds a “selection day” (think “Shark Tank,” but NBA).
  • Finalists run a six-month pilot with the NBA’s resources at their disposal.

This year’s finalists include an adaptive ankle brace, a VR training platform, and a breathwork app.

The NBA’s goal…

… is to eventually offer these products to players and refs to improve performance and quality of play.

Some teams — ahem, the Knicks — may need them more than others.


🎵 On this day: In 2017, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” became the most-watched YouTube video of all time at 3B+ views, overtaking Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again.” Today, it’s… “Baby Shark Dance.”

🐊 That’s interesting: Mamadou Ndiaye, famous on TikTok for “ruining” animals, explains the origin of his obsession with weird animal facts.

💃 Wow: Two dancers tango to a song absolutely no one was expecting.

🧠 How to: Be a mentor to others without burning yourself out in the process.

🐠 Aww: And now, a magnificent fish.


Gulp. (Source: imgflip.com)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Wolf of Cream Soda Dum Dums” Dent.

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