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💃🏾 Latin music is booming

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In-game purchases might be getting out of hand. In “Diablo Immortal,” a massively multiplayer online game released earlier this month, a player can max out their character for a cool $110k.

In today’s email:

  • Latin music is blowing up.
  • Meta is deprioritizing elections.
  • By the numbers: The CIA’s gym, anonymous donors, and more.
  • Around the web: A broadcast mystery, a poetry-themed arcade game, free UX and UI tools, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? As Prime Day nears, listen to today’s quick podcast to hear Jacob explore the wild scale of Amazon Prime, and whether more choices — like 50k options for glass cups — make for a good customer experience. Plus, the news you need to start your week.

The big idea

Latin music is taking over the world

Until losing its title to the utterly unstoppable “Baby Shark,” the music video for “Despacito” was the most-viewed video on YouTube.

The Luis Fonsi track (featuring Daddy Yankee and the Biebs) is the biggest example of a Latin track going mainstream, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A new batch of superstars are taking Latin music global and have the genre projected to make $1B in the US this year, per Music Business Worldwide.

Latin music…

pulled in $886m in the US in 2021, up 35% YoY. The vast majority of that revenue came from streaming, largely thanks to a couple big names:

  • Bad Bunny: The Puerto Rican rapper was the most-streamed artist on Spotify in 2021 for the second year in a row
  • J Balvin: The Colombian singer known as the “Prince of Reggaeton” was the seventh most-streamed artist in 2021

Up-and-comers Rauw Alejandro (12th) and Myke Towers (18th) cracked the top 20 as well, signaling a bright future for the genre.


played a pivotal role in pushing Latin music forward. Analysts cite a “post-‘Despacito’” effect on the Billboard Hot 100, which has resulted in:

  • More collaborations, with many mainstream acts now seeking features from Latin artists
  • Artists embracing their Latin roots, like Selena Gomez and Camila Cabello, who both released recent projects with Spanish-language tracks

These factors helped three Latin music genres — Latin, Trap Latino, and Reggaeton — crack Spotify’s global top 20 in 2021.

So, what’s next?

The genre’s success has resulted in some big shifts on the festival circuit. The number of Latin music acts at Coachella doubled between 2020 and 2022, and a wave of new Latin-specific festivals has emerged to meet demand.

Despite all its growth, Latin music only accounted for 5.91% of US music industry market share in 2021, meaning there’s still plenty of room to grow.

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Hybrid hater: Yelp is shutting down its offices in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. to double down on remote work. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman called hybrid offices “the worst of both worlds.”

Slack to Zoom: “Take that!” Slack added video functionality to its impromptu “Huddles” feature, allowing users to video chat, share screens, and share notes as if they were stopping by someone’s desk.

Crypto bailout: Goldman Sachs is looking to raise $2B to acquire crypto assets from Celsius, a crypto lending platform on the brink of bankruptcy.

Zendesk, a customer experience software maker, agreed to be acquired by an investor group for $10.2B, and will go private once the deal is finalized.

Banking tip: As your startup grows, a small-business bank account can help separate personal and business expenses, and make it easier to organize your finances and taxes. Learn how to find an account that fits your needs on the Hustle blog.

3M is facing a lawsuit from 100k+ US military vets who claim its foam earplugs are defective, leading to hearing damage. #ecommerce-retail

Cool: A reporter with The Guardian took a test drive of the Lightyear 0, a sleek solar-powered sedan. #clean-energy

Tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks Apple’s highly anticipated AR/VR headset is coming in January 2023. Kuo calls it the “most complicated product Apple has ever designed.” #emerging-tech

Yikes: Of the top 100 crypto coins, 72 have fallen 90% or more from their all-time highs. Bitcoin is down ~70%, while LEO is faring the best with a ~39% drop. #fintech-crypto

Google told its US employees they can “apply for relocation without justification.” This comes in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which now leaves abortion rights up to individual states. #big-tech

number of Meta employees focused on elections

Selina Lee

Have Meta’s election priorities shifted?

In the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that election security was Facebook’s top priority.

But recently, four employees told The New York Times that Zuck’s big focus is now the metaverse — something that may feel obvious given how often he talks about it, the whole name change situation, and Meta’s hiring numbers.

During the 2020 US elections…

… Meta had 300+ people whose jobs focused on elections and stopping the spread of misinformation across its platforms.

Though Meta argues that hundreds of people across 40+ teams still work on election integrity, the NYT found only ~60 people remain dedicated to them.

  • Also: Zuck no longer meets directly with the elections team, nor the civil rights groups he previously sought advice from.

Meanwhile, the internet is still flush with misinformation

And much of it spreads across Meta’s platforms. For example, a film asserting that Donald Trump won the 2020 election saw 430k+ interactions on Facebook and Instagram.

Meanwhile, other critics have accused the global company of paying the most attention to its home country’s elections.

  • Ex-Facebook employee Sahar Massachi, now the executive director of the Integrity Institute, told the NYT, “However bad it is here, think about how much worse it is everywhere else.”

Perhaps Zuck will become interested again when the metaverse elects a CryptoPunk as its president.

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By the numbers
weight lifting

Credit: Unsplash / John Arano

Digits: The CIA’s gym, anonymous donors, and more

1) The CIA headquarters got a new gym that may have cost an estimated $15m-$25m. The “Langley Field House” was built on a parking lot, and an internal naming contest saw proposals like “Where The Parking Used to Be” and “Super Secret Spy Gym.”

2) Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctioned his Nobel Peace Prize to an anonymous buyer for a record $103.5m to raise money for Ukrainian refugees. Anonymous auctions always remind us of this “Curb Your Enthusiasm” scene.

3) As the price of Bitcoin has nose-dived, so has its energy usage. Between June 8 and June 25, Bitcoin’s annualized energy consumption dropped from 204.5 to 132.87 terawatt-hours. That new value reportedly equates to the annual power consumption of Argentina.

4) Disney, Apple, and Amazon all submitted bids — expected to be upwards of $2B — for the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, which lets viewers watch live games from outside their region. The NFL was hoping for $3B bids, but that’s reportedly unlikely.

5) A ~2-foot-long hyperrealistic X-wing Fighter model used in fight scenes throughout Star Wars: A New Hope auctioned off for $2.3m last week, after being expected to sell for $500k-$1m. Here’s a clip about it.

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🚗 On this day: In 1985, Route 66 — the “Mother Road” between Chicago and Santa Monica — was decertified. Today, 85% remains intact for travelers.

👻 That’s interesting: Here’s a spooky mystery. A shortwave radio station has been broadcasting since the 1980s, but no one knows who runs it or why.

🖥️ Useful: Check out this database of free tools for UX and UI designers.

👾 Cure boredom:Emily Blaster” is a free game based on Emily Dickinson’s poems. It’s an IRL version of a game that appears in Gabrielle Zevin’s forthcoming novel, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.

🐕 Aww: And now, downward-facing dog. Literally.

remote work meme


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Jennifer “The Queen of Reggaeton” Wang.

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