What goes together on TikTok? Universal’s music and e-commerce!


Let’s do the music update first. TikTok and Universal Music Group have expanded their relationship. This simply means more music ready to use on TikTok for everyone and “equitable compensation for recording artists”.

And now, the news about e-commerce. This is likely more interesting for you and all marketers looking at TikTok as an ad platform in the US.

According to The Financial Times, there are three new features coming to the app in the US:

  • A tool that lets TikTok’s most popular users share links to products and automatically receive a rev-share on the sales.
  • Showcase catalogs for brands.
  • Livestream shopping, similar to TV shopping channels where a user can buy showcased items.

Livestream shopping is already huge in many Southeast Asian countries, according to Facebook’s reports.


Would you pay to tweet?


What about tipping accounts that provide you with excellent tweets? Maybe you’d pay for Tweetdeck, or some more profile customization options?

Those are some choices Twitter is likely going to explore in 2021. Except the pay-to-tweet thing, that’s not on the list… At least not yet.

We’re likely to hear more about this tomorrow, because Twitter has its earnings call later today.

The Crew’s thoughts: We like Twitter as a platform. It’s where we are the most active (give us a follow if you haven’t already). It’s also a place where we can create excellent connections even without having tons of followers.

Organic reach still works better on Twitter than on many other platforms, but ads are less than stellar. So, for Twitter, subscription-based features make sense.

And if they work, the blue birdie might open the door for the likes of Facebook to also pursue subscription-based features.


Super Bowl, Super Ads


A lot of things were different about the Super Bowl in the COVID era, but two things weren’t: Tom Brady winning, and some impressive commercials.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ads, and the recurring themes of the night:

The Crew’s favorite: Reddit’s 5-second commercial. This one was great because:

Some honorable mentions:

+ “Certain is Better” from Rocket Mortgage. This was creative, funny, and at the time of this writing, is sitting at #15 on YouTube trending.
+ “All-Star Cast” from Michelob Ultra. Featuring a cast of celebrity lookalikes (and a great Christopher Walken impression as the narration) this one landed.
That weird Oatly adThis one enraged dairy lobbyists in Sweden when it first aired in 2014. And, it generated lots of attention this go-around. It’s very, very awkward.

The biggest takeaway from this year’s commercials: The best ads generated lots of media attention. In fact, for our list up above, we chose some of the ads with the most positive online attention. If people are talking about your brand a full 24 hours after your ad aired, that’s a win.


INSTAGRAM: You will soon be able to block multiple users from one screen in the Instagram app.

SEO: Google published new manual actions for Google News and Discover. It won’t shock you but it will help you avoid unwanted penalties.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Clubhouse already has clones. Mark Cuban’s “Fireside” is a live podcast app with a recording feature. Aka, “Clubhouse with a recording feature”.

FACEBOOK: Some transparency for your personal Facebook account under the “Account Status” feature. You can see Pages and Groups you manage but also see your account restriction history.


A man of the year, look closely and his name will appear. Look for fireworks to begin your hunt, and end around autumn’s final cold front. What’s his name?

You can find the solution here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Elon was serious about Bitcoin… $1.5B serious


Like there was a need to make Tesla a more polarizing company.

The news is that Tesla bought $1.5B (that’s a B) worth of BTC, according to their 10-K for the year that ended December 31, 2020 (page 23).

The news certainly created ripples (not XRP) in the crypto-world.

It’s not even the whole story. Tesla also mentioned that they may accept crypto for their products.

We don’t have to tell you about the price of BTC after the news, do we? OK, we will! It’s over $45k.

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