🛍️ YouTube’s ecomm bet

The Hustle

This is truly chilling news. The global chip shortage has gotten so bad, General Motors said it will start conserving chips for more critical components by removing the heated seat option from certain models.

Today’s rundown:

  • YouTube meets QVC: The platform takes on shoppable videos.
  • Serious sandwiches: Firehouse Subs just sold for $1B.
  • The future of tea: Our convo with an industry expert.
  • Around the web: The truth about Betty Crocker, how to convince your boss to keep a WFH policy, and more internet finds.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea
YouTube logo

YouTube is going all-in on livestream ecommerce

China’s ecommerce game is on another level.

In October, a Chinese internet celebrity known as “The Lipstick King” sold $1.7B (yes, billion) of beauty products during a 12-hour livestream (yes, 12 hours).

The broader industry — known as social commerce in China — notched $352B last year, per Bloomberg.

That’s ~10x the comparable American market

Now, YouTube wants to change that. As part of its push into ecommerce, the Google Alphabet-owned video platform launched Holiday Stream and Shop.

The weeklong event started on Monday and features internet celebs (MrBeast, Patrick Starrr) selling merch directly from YouTube.

The company plans to roll out the concept — called shoppable videos — to more users in coming weeks (conveniently, in time for the holidays).

YouTube’s existing business…

… is huge, with revenue in the latest quarter ($7.2B) nearly on par with Netflix ($7.4B).

The ecommerce play is a hedge against Alphabet’s Big Tech frenemies:

  • Apple: The iPhone maker’s new privacy policy restrictions impacted YouTube ad sales.
  • Amazon: It’s estimated that 63% of US customer product searches start on Amazon (not Google). Alphabet has teamed up with Square and Shopify in an “anti-Amazon alliance.”

Do American shoppers want livestream?

While QVC and The Home Shopping Network still make billions a year, tech companies haven’t cracked the code.

But with the prize so big, the field is crowded with Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok all launching livestream products.

Right now, YouTube’s shoppable videos will only sell beauty and tech products. We’re waiting for the day we can crown someone “The Sauce King” after they sell $2B of mustard on YouTube in 12 hours.

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SNIPPETS

Perfect pair: Foot Locker announced plans to merge its Eastbay and Champs Sports brands to tackle the youth sports market under a new banner: Champs Sports x Eastbay. #ecommerce-retail

Delivery delays: Tesla announced deliveries of its S and X models have pushed out to 2023. #clean-energy

Metaverse for pain: AppliedVR, a health care tech startup that offers VR for chronic pain management, raised $36m in Series B funding. #emerging-tech

For the people: ConstitutionDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, raised $3m in 24 hours to purchase one of the original copies of the US Constitution. #fintech-crypto

Apple’s tax: Confidential documents revealed Apple is making US taxpayers cover some of the costs of its digital ID. #big-tech

Tasty
largest fast food conglomerates

Visual: Singdhi Sokpo

A sandwich chain started by firefighter brothers just sold for $1B

Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International said Monday it acquired Firehouse Subs for $1B.

The sandwich giant operates ~1.2k franchises in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and anticipates doing $1.1B in sales this year.

Firehouse was founded by firefighter brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen in 1994, and has granted $62.5m to public safety organizations since 2005.

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Tea Time
David Segal

Q&A: David Segal on the future of tea

As the David behind DavidsTea, David Segal has been a force in the tea business since 2008. We caught up with him about the future of tea, and his latest venture, Firebelly Tea, a brand that he founded with Shopify president Harley Finkelstein.

Why isn’t there a market leader in tea?

It’s remarkable how small the market for tea still is today, and I think it’s because people still think it has to be either coffee or tea rather than coffee and tea.

How did Firebelly Tea come together?

After leaving DavidsTea, I moved back to Ottawa and became good friends with Harley Finkelstein. He was having a hard time sleeping because of his afternoon coffee, so I told him to switch to green tea, and started curating a collection of green teas for him. That rekindled my love for curating tea collections and sharing them with others.

What makes Firebelly different?

Our 1st focus is on making incredible teas with high-quality ingredients. Unlike the majority of tea companies, we don’t use any artificial flavoring whatsoever. Our 2nd focus is on design — we wanted to create a product that you feel great about displaying, drinking with friends, and can work into your daily rituals. Design is a huge focus from the tea boxes to our accessories.

What’s your favorite tea?

That’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid, but if I had to pick one, I would say Japanese Senchas.

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

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TRENDS

How to build a $100k/month agency…

How do you go from $10k to $100k a month while maintaining good cash flow?

That’s what Bô-Soleil asked agency owners in the Trends community, and hundreds of our members responded:

  • Rachel said go upmarket with higher paying clients ($15k/month min retainer for 6 months)
  • Mike solved his own cash flow problem by increasing fees by 20% and then offered a 20% discount if clients prepay (they all do)
  • Max niched his clients and offering to a single service. They doubled their revenue in 60 days and have grown 50% top and bottom line YoY

Can you talk with your network about stuff like this?

That’s the magic of our community.

There are thousands of other business-builders there to help you every step of the way.

Level up your network and try one week of Trends for just $1.

See you on the inside.

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AROUND THE WEB

😬 On this day: In 1938, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in a lab. Five years later, Hofmann revisited the drug and accidentally absorbed some, leading to a very strange day.

🧑‍💻 How to: If you fell in love with a WFH lifestyle over the pandemic, Fortune has a few tips for convincing your boss or company to stick with it.

📋 Useful: If you just can’t be pressed to read the terms of service, this site quickly breaks them down for you.

🧁 Wait, what: Betty Crocker has never been a real person. The most recent image of the famous home chef was a painting of a composite of 75 women, made in 1996.

📸 That’s cool: Check out the finalists for the Architectural Photography Awards. The winners will be announced next month.

🐈 Aww: And now, a woman rates the various items her cat, Coconut, retrieves for her.

Meme of the day
QVC meme

Source: Meme Generator

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-Rob

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Data shows where markets are headed.

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