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🎵 TikTok’s sweetheart deal

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A lucky California ticket claimed the record $2.04B Powerball jackpot. The winner must decide between a $997.6m lump sum — of which the IRS gets 24% — or 30 payments of $68m over 29 years.

In today’s email:

  • Sales: How the job has changed.
  • Chart: Public bathroom problems.
  • TikTok vs. music labels: They want more money.
  • Around the web: Rating apples, business lies, license plate drama, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack and Rob break down how millennials are changing sales, a massive crypto merger, AMC’s new Zoom Rooms, and much more.

The big idea

How millennials are changing sales

Glengarry Glen Ross was released in 1992. The movie, based on a play of the same name, painted a drab picture of the pushy, bag-carrying sales rep, and popularized a new mantra for sales floors everywhere:

“Always be closing.”

With purchasing departments now dominated by millennials in a digital world that differs widely from the one depicted in the film, the nature of sales has changed, per The Wall Street Journal.

Changed how?

Two broad trends have led to a shift in the day-to-day workflow of the modern sales rep:

  • Buyers are finding products on their own, which is one reason sales reps are making fewer cold calls and embracing more intimate communication channels like text and direct messages on social platforms.
  • Sales cycles are taking longer, and instead of pushing a sale on a single decision-maker, sales reps are spending more time mapping out organizations and building value with various stakeholders.

These shifts mean the modern sales professional looks more like a product consultant, needing strategic thinking more than charisma.

This has caused challenges for recruiters…

… who say younger workers still associate the job with old stereotypes, including high-pressure tactics. Further, while the skills required to succeed in sales have changed, one thing remains the same — sales is stressful:

  • A 2021 survey from Gartner found ~90% of sales professionals suffer from burnout.

There is one downside to the shift in selling — a consultative approach isn’t quite as cinematic as the extroverted huckster.

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Zoom Rooms: AMC is partnering with Zoom to offer its movie theaters as videoconferencing spaces. Food and beverages will be available for an additional cost.


Disney missed profit and revenue targets but added 12.1m Disney+ subscribers, beating analyst expectations.

Crypto consolidation: Industry giant Binance agreed to a nonbinding deal to acquire rival FTX amid a reported liquidity crunch.

Netflix is reportedly interested in the streaming rights of niche sports tournaments. It also dropped an interactive trivia game available in nine languages.

Hmm: Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey built a VR headset that literally kills you if you lose a game. It’s just “office art,” he wrote.

At Zoomtopia 2022, Zoom teased a virtual coworking space, AI support bots, and new Mail and Calendar tools that could help it keep up with Microsoft and Google.

In a world first, two people have been transfused with lab-grown red blood cells made from the stem cells of donors.

Cool stuff: PhotoRoom launched Magic Studio, which lets online merchants use generative AI to personalize their product shots.

Amazon Music users are upset that the latest update will only let them play specific songs if they pay $9/mo. Otherwise, it’s shuffle mode only.

Instagram released in-app post scheduling tools for all pro accounts.

How to market a bestseller: Female Startup Club founder Doone Roisin dropped the pre-launch strategy and post-launch analysis for Your Hype Girl, which reached bestseller status in three continents.

number of residents per public restroom in select cities
Zachary Crockett Tweet this Image

The fight to build more public bathrooms in America

Today’s cities are almost completely devoid of public toilets.

In 1940, the New York City subway system, for instance, had 1,676 public working toilets. Today, there are only two public bathrooms in the entire city of 8.3m+ that are open 24 hours.

There’s even a popular TikTok account devoted to the struggle of finding a place to go.

It’s a big, national issue, with Portland, Oregon, paving the way toward a solution. In 2007, following grassroots pressure, Portland decided to invent, launch, and sell a $90k public bathroom stall solution for cities — the Portland Loo.

But why is it taking such a monumental effort to fix this problem, anyway? And why does the US have so few bathrooms to begin with?

Read the full story →
Free Resource

Why do 62% of companies still use Facebook ads?

For the biggest ROI, deepest reach, and high-tech toolkit.

When it comes to perfecting promos, who knows better than Meta’s own director of ads, Tarcisio Ribeiro. He expounds on three pillars of persuasion in this HubSpot blog post.

Tips for killer Facebook placements:

  • K.I.S.S. (start with boosted posts)
  • Pare your target prospects (get crazy specific)
  • Animate the creative (convert pics into punchy graphics)

Here’s how, using Facebook’s native features.

Nail Facebook ads →
Radio TikTok
TikTok vs. record labels

TikTok vs. record labels

In the beginning, TikTok paid labels a flat fee to license music for use in users’ videos.

Today, TikTok is massive:

  • It earned $4B in revenue in 2021 and is on track to earn $12B in 2022.
  • There are 1B+ users with videos featuring music on the platform.

Now, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group — which, combined, hold 70%+ of market share — want TikTok to fork over more in advertising revenue and royalties, per Bloomberg.


… is a huge music marketer, surfacing new talent — 75% of US TikTok users find new music there — and promoting artists.

Songs can also go viral, like Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage,” used in 24m+ videos. But, due to that flat fee, they don’t generate extra revenue.

  • One exec says TikTok should be paying 2x-10x more, based on similar agreements with other platforms, per Bloomberg.
  • For example, YouTube paid the music industry $6B+ between July 2021 and June 2022.

TikTok argues it shouldn’t have to pay the same as music platforms ‘cause it isn’t one.

Or is it?

TikTok parent company ByteDance has a music streamer, called Resso, in Indonesia, Brazil, and India with plans to expand.

Other clues:

  • It recently registered a trademark for a “TikTok Music” app.
  • Its SoundOn feature allows artists to upload and earn royalties on their music.
  • It’s hiring people to sign and develop new artists.

TikTok and the labels will likely come to an agreement, or at least an extension, before contracts expire in a few months. But TikTok may ultimately end up on top.

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🔌 On this day: In 1965, the Great Northeast Blackout knocked out power in New York and parts of seven nearby states and Canada. Some 800k people were temporarily trapped in NYC’s subways.

🎧 Podcast: “You have to spend money to make money” is the biggest lie in business. Join Phill Agnew on this episode of Nudge to find out why.

🚗 That’s interesting: License plates seem pretty benign, but sometimes, there’s drama.

🍎 Haha: Apple varieties, ranked.

🦉 Aww: And now, if Marilyn Monroe were an owl.

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “The charismatic huckster” Dent.

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