Top Stories in 2021: Twitch and WMG Join Forces

The growth of eSports and gaming has opened up new marketing opportunities throughout the industry. As brands search for new ways to connect with consumers, they’re turning to gaming companies. Since 2019, corporations like BMW, Pizza Hut, and Samsung have announced high-profile partnerships. These partnerships have pushed market revenue to new heights. While many areas of entertainment struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic, gaming has benefited. The market revenue is forecasted to hit $180.1 billion in 2021, up from $162.32 billion in 2020.

The latest deal between Twitch and Warner Music Group may prove to be the most innovative yet. Dubbed the “first of its kind partnership,” the pact is a unique collaboration between a major record label and the gaming world. It’s the latest collaboration of several 2021 table-setting moves for the gaming industry.

The latest deal between Twitch and Warner Music Group may prove to be the most innovative yet. Dubbed the “first of its kind partnership,” the pact is a unique collaboration between a major record label and the gaming world. It’s the latest collaboration of several 2021 table-setting moves for the gaming industry. Earlier this year, Fortnite partnered with luxury fashion house Balenciaga. The agreement between Twitch and Warner Music Group appears to be a more natural tandem. This is the result of music having a long-standing role in video gaming. In addition, the deal will feature exclusive channels for some WMG artists and a space for music-forward programming on Twitch.

What This Means For WMG

WMG is one of the big three record labels with over 90 record labels and publishing houses. Its most prominent subsidiaries are Warner Chappell Music Publishing, Elektra Records, Reprise Records, Warner Records, and Atlantic Records. The partnership with Twitch will see the launch of WMG artist channels. It’s unknown if all signed artists will eventually have their own WMG channel on Twitch. It’s been reported that Warner Records’ Bella Poarch and Atlantic’s Saweetie and Sueco have been highlighted in the label’s press communications. 

WMG

WMG channels are being touted as a constant source of exclusive content and behind-the-scenes footage. Because of this, WGM’s artists will be able to take full advantage of Twitch’s creator-driven model and increase fan engagement. In the press release announcing the deal, Chief Digital Officer of WMG, Oana Ruxandra, said, “It’s clear that Twitch is an indispensable space for all types of creators to connect with their fan communities.” Our partnership creates an on-ramp for artists to come onto the service with strong support from Twitch, opening up an entirely new source of incremental revenue.”

What This Means For Twitch

Twitch is a streaming platform owned by Amazon. In 2020, Twitch had revenue of $2.3 billion and 140 million active monthly users in 2021. The platform will have access to WMG’s extensive musical catalog. Twitch also announced that it would allow rights holders to opt into reports of specific uses of their music — with the goal of better accounting for publishing payouts. This benefit will not be exclusive to WMG artists.

WMG Twitch

Twitch’s Vice President and Head of Music, Tracy Chan, said: “Twitch has always been – and will continue to be – creator first. For fans, artists, and all creators, this is a great step forward. Working together, we can create new paradigms and opportunities for artists and the Twitch community, all grounded in the passion of fans.”

What This Means For The Music Industry

The music industry may be the biggest benefactor of the Twitch and WMG partnership. A deal of this type has the potential to create a new category and career paths in music, similar to the evolution of music supervision in television and film.

WMG

Traditional television has gradually steered away from music content, but Twitch has the viewership to possibly reinvigorate that arena. The platform reported that users watched 5.79 billion hours worth of content in the third quarter of 2021 alone. 

What’s Next for WMG and Twitch? 

In addition to artists channels, WMG and Twitch will launch a series of music-centric programs on the platform:

  • The Drop: A hangout where hosts and an audience talk about the latest news from the world of music with special guests and performances.
  • Freestyle Throwdown: Twitch rappers compete against one another in front of a panel and play video games. Fans in the audience are tasked with selecting their topics and voting for winners.
  • The One: Musical artists break down their inspiration, from other musicians to life-altering songs. Musical guests will answer audience questions and get to know the budding Twitch musicians they have inspired.

If you’d like to explore how the worlds of gaming and music can collide, check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Music Career Guide and Ultimate eSports and Gaming Guide.

Top Stories in 2021: The Supply Chain Crisis

An alarming email leaked on November 23, 2021. In the communication, Nike informed a retailer that it had canceled all of the store’s existing orders through most of 2022 due to supply chain issues. As a result, the store was suddenly without stock for the remaining Holiday 2021 Season, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022. If this situation were a singular occurrence, it likely would have remained in the news cycle for a short period. However, the incident showed a light on a growing crisis lurking on our periphery for more than a year.

How Does The Supply Chain Work?

First thing’s first, what is a supply chain? It is the network between a company and its suppliers to manufacture and distribute a product to the consumer. It’s a multi-step process. Depending on the type of product, some of the steps include — acquiring and molding raw materials into finished products, transporting those products, and distributing them to the final buyer. 

Supply Chain

Companies partner with vendors, warehouses, transportation services, distribution centers, and eCommerce or brick & mortar retailers as part of their production and manufacturing process. Because of this, disruption to one of these cogs can interrupt the supply chain.

Companies partner with vendors, warehouses, transportation services, distribution centers, and eCommerce or brick & mortar retailers as part of their production and manufacturing process.

Supply chain partners can either be stateside or in international territories. It’s become common for companies to outsource much, if not all, their products to global markets to limit expenses. In addition, companies often employ a supply chain manager to ensure the supply chain is running smoothly. Or, in the case of Nike, an entire department is dedicated to supply chain management and logistics.

There are three primary flows of supply chain management: the product flow, the information flow, and the finances flow. 

  • The Product Flow refers to the physical movement of goods from a supplier to a customer and involves customer service. 
  • The Information Flow focuses on availability regarding the status of an order by reporting on the location of orders and updating delivery status. 
  • Finally, the Financial Flow handles credit terms, payment schedules, consignment, and title ownership arrangements.

What Went Wrong?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to what led to the supply chain crisis in fashion. The Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated supply chain issues as workplace shutdowns led to a lack of workers. This in turn caused manufacturing and shipping delays. Nike has reported many problems, from shipping container shortages to a lack of workers. 

Shipping

The sneaker giant has also cautioned they may continue to experience manufacturing problems due to local lockdowns at factories in Vietnam and Indonesia. Nike, along with Under Armour and Adidas, has already reported a shortage of inventory and synthetic materials used to make athletic shoes. When supplies are in shortage, companies drastically inflate prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows shoe prices increased 6.5 percent in September 2021 in comparison to September 2020. Women’s shoes were up 4.9 percent, children’s 11.9 percent, and men’s increased 5.5 percent. 

Cotton shortages are also a growing concern. Dirk Vantyghem, Director General of the European Apparel and Textile Federation (Euratex), discussed the implication of rising prices, “It’s not just a shortage of supplies. There are some serious price increases which are making our European textile producers nervous.” In August of this year, raw cotton prices were 18% above their 2020 average. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows shoe prices increased 6.5 percent in September 2021 in comparison to September 2020. Women’s shoes were up 4.9 percent, children’s 11.9 percent, and men’s increased 5.5 percent. 

What’s Being Done To Navigate The Supply Chain Crisis?

Fashion brand Benetton made waves earlier this year when Chief Executive Massimo Renon announced that the brand would relocate some of its manufacturing from Asia to Southeast Europe and North Africa. The move would ease costs of shipping and expedite delivery. “It’s a strategic decision to have more control on the production process and also on transport costs. Today a shipping container that used to cost $1,200-1,500 can cost $10,000-15,000, with no certainty of a delivery date,” Renon explained.

Supply Chain

Can The Supply Chain Be Fixed?

That’s a difficult question to answer. The bad news? There aren’t any short-term fixes to address the supply chain. The simplest remedy would be to hire more workers in manufacturing and transportation. However, that requires companies willing to spend on labor and workers interested in those job vacancies. 

There aren’t any short-term fixes to address the supply chain. The simplest remedy would be to hire more workers in manufacturing and transportation. However, that requires companies willing to spend on labor and workers interested in those job vacancies. 

The slightly better news is that even though prices are surging across multiple industries — including gas and groceries — consumers are still spending at high rates. As a result, some experts have predicted that the supply chain crisis will extend into 2022 and possibly 2023. If consumers keep spending and demands remain, the supply chain will not get an opportunity to catch up to demand and adequately recorrect itself any time soon.

What To Keep In Mind

So what does all of this mean for footwear entrepreneurs? If you have your own brand, you may have already experienced delays in production. As the crisis wears on, evaluate opportunities to save costs. This may involve marking up the cost of your products to offset any increase in costs of production. Also, invest in quality customer service; communicate about delays as quickly and as often as possible. Furthermore, be transparent about any increased costs for your products and services.

Supply Chain


For more information on the importance of the supply chain in sneaker manufacturing, check out Yellowbrick’s Sneaker Essentials. If you’re interested in a job in sneaker manufacturing, download our Ultimate Sneaker Career Guide or Ultimate Streetwear Guide.

Top 10 TikTok Fashion Trends of 2021

Ever look through your closet and feel like you don’t know what to wear? Or do you want to revamp your wardrobe but don’t know where to start? Look no further than TikTok. Videos with the #fashiontrends2021 hashtag have racked up 835.5 million views to date. The popular app is all the inspiration needed for obsessed fashionistas and casual buyers alike. 

This level of accessibility has made TikTok a marketing goldmine for fashion brands and creates opportunities for content creators or future fashion entrepreneurs. Labels are partnering with influencers to reach a broader audience and turn viral moments into increased sales. Stylists are enhancing their portfolios through short-form videos. And content creators have become style personas and trend forecasters. Before we bid 2021 goodbye, revisit the most popular fashion trends on TikTok this year.

Oversized Blazers 

Create a cost-effective but stylish closet by mixing and matching different pieces of clothing to maximize your wardrobe. For example, the oversized blazer is multipurpose and can be worn to dress up a basic t-shirt and jeans or add some comfort to a more proper fit. 

Check Out This TikTok by rose.friederike

@rose.friederike

Style tip ♥️ #styletip #oversizedblazer #style #fashion #blazer #stylebikeshorts #whattowear #tuktokfashion #fyp

♬ Originalton – ROSE

Tie-Dye

It has been said that fashion trends tend to repeat every few years. For example, Tie-dye first peaked in the 1960s, but the eye-catching print took over casual fashion in 2021. The rise in popularity can be attributed to TikTok stars Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio, who have a knack for tie-dye sweatsuits. It’s also an affordable wardrobe option since it’s DIY-friendly.

Check Out This TikTok by emmarubinsonofficial

@emmarubinsonofficial

ice dyeing! #tiedye #hacks #howto #fashiontips

♬ Gone – Charli XCX & Christine And The Queens

Cutouts

Over the summer, cutouts took over TikTok. From turtle necks to leather pants, the risqué fashion choice is a fun way to play around with your look. Designers like Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung noted cutouts featured during runway shows this past fall. 

Check Out This TikTok by alinelowry

@alinelowry

Elegant vibes in Miami #elegantstyle #miamilifestyle #revolveme #highwaistpants #casualchic #cutoutfashion

♬ Listen To Me Now – nghigiango

White Air Force 1s

The Air Force 1 has a lot of imitators and knock-offs, but Nike’s classic silhouette stands above the rest. Although the sneaker has been in production since 1982, they’re a favorite among Gen-Zers and TikTok fashion influencers due to their versatility. So whether you’re rocking tie-dye joggers or a floral print dress, you can top off your look with a pair of Air Force 1s.

Check Out This TikTok by vvictornguyen

@vvictornguyen

Reply to @_iemjie what do you guys want next‼️follow me on insta for some fit pics‼️✨#fyp #fashion

♬ She Make It Clap – Soulja Boy

Puffer Coats

The puffer coat has been around for a while, but it experienced a renaissance in 2021. TikTok embraced the cold-weather coat for its flexibility. As a result, you can pair a neutrally toned puffer with just about anything in your closet and be comfortable. Perhaps that’s why Kanye West decided to make the item the focal point of his Yeezy Gap collection.

Check Out This TikTok by sonnyyyxo

@sonnyyyxo

styling a puffer jacket<3 #fashioninspo #outfitinspo #howto #tiktokfashion #fyp

♬ Classic – MKTO

Pleated Skirts and Tennis Skirts

Y2K fashion was a significant trend on TikTok this year. Styles from the 1990s and early 2000s re-emerged this year, albeit with a more contemporary spin. Pleated skirts and tennis skirts were part of a preppy look first popularized by Clueless in 1995 and later made iconic by Britney Spears. But in 2021, a leather jacket or a hoodie can be worn for an edgier vibe.

Check Out This TikTok by aestheticfashion19

@aestheticfashion19

how to style a tennis skirt!🤍 @ambria19 #tennisskirt #styling #ootd #fashiontok #style #fashion #viral #xyzbca #winterfashion #fyp #foryou #snowstorm

♬ stayin alive x poouussyy talk – Lilli

Cottagecore

It feels like the cottagecore aesthetic came out of nowhere towards the end of 2020. Instead, the trend popped up on feeds on every social media platform seemingly overnight. Cottagecore, influenced by rural and farm lifestyles, has continued to influence fashion in 2021. The style is marked by knit cardigans, lace gowns, and peasant dresses. 

Check Out This TikTok by labelswithlattes

@labelswithlattes

Obsessed with this aesthetic🍄 #cottagecore #cottagecorestyle #getthelook #letmestyleyou #tiktokfashion #fashioninspo #styleideas #winterfits

♬ Buttercup – Jullian & Sophie Wood

Bucket Hats

The bucket hat was another sign of the influence of Y2K fashion in 2021. Bucket hats were staples of hip-hop fashion during the 1990s. Since then, they have fallen in and out of favor with fashion lovers. This year, they’ve cycled back with the #PradaBucketChallenge garnering more than 1.6 billion views on TikTok.

Check Out This TikTok by saviragunawan

@saviragunawan

Look 1/2/3 ? 🖤🔥 What NEXT? 💖 Bucket hat from @tokopedia , link no 38 #fyp #TokopediaHaul #howtostyle #tiktokindonesia #fypシ #style #ideas

♬ Simple Dimple – ||all american tick tokers||

Oversized Hoodies and Sweatshirts

The oversized look has long been a favorite for Gen Zers, and this year was no exception. Hoodies and sweatshirts are especially loved for their functionality and comfort. You can wear graphic patterns or block neutral tones and style an oversized sweatshirt in dozens of ways. The simplicity of hoodies and sweatshirts makes them necessary for any fashion rotation.

Check Out This TikTok by zalando

@zalando

this until the sun decides to come out again 🥲 @kieu4nh_ #oversizedhoodie

♬ original sound – Zalando

Shaped Purses

Unique purses were must-have accessories in 2021. TikTokers livened up their outfits with whimsical purses and clutches. The fun accessories frequently trended on the app, from DIY basketball purses to Kate Spade’s popular heart-shaped crossbody bag.

Check Out This TikTok by shawnicolee

@shawnicolee

Wanted a basketball purse!!! So I made it! #diy #sewersoftiktok #diyproject #nomoreparties #tranformatiochallenge

♬ No More Parties – Coi Leray

For more information on careers in fashion, check out our Fashion Careers hub to explore opportunities in the industry.

Top 10 Beauty Trends on TikTok in 2021

TikTok has established itself as the go-to source for all kinds of tips, hacks, and DIY tricks. One of the most popular TikTok categories is beauty. The app has become a creative outlet for experts and amateurs. From beauty reviews to makeup application trends, TikTokers have created a thriving and accepting community. 

Some content creators have been able to turn their popularity into successful personal brands. Just this year, Hyram Yarbro and Addison Rae launched their own lines. Moreover, other influencers have leveraged their followings to establish partnerships with brands and beauty entrepreneurs. 

TikTok is changing the way we buy beauty. Whether implementing your marketing strategy or wanting to stand out as a beauty entrepreneur, there’s no denying that TikTok should be part of your marketing mix.  As 2021 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest beauty trends of the year and how beauty TIkTokers translated them through content. 

A Sweat-Proof Make-Up Routine

What’s worse than spending time applying make-up only to sweat it off? TikTok jarida.bby shared a routine that helps your make-up stay in place no matter how much you sweat.

She suggests moisturizing first, then applying translucent powder and setting spray before adding your primer. So far, the video has amassed 657,500 likes.

@jarida.bby

 

 

I SWEAR BY THIS #xyzcba #xyzbca #fypchallenge #makeuptutorial #makeup #nyc #fup #fy #smirk #makeuphacks #lifehack

♬ original sound – Jarida🖤

TikTok: jarida.bby

Must-Have Product: NYX Plump Finish Setting Spray

10-Second Contour

If you want to speed up your morning make-up routine without sacrificing quality, check out Kylie Larsen’s 10-second contour video:

  1. First, apply contour to your forehead, above the lips, and under the cheekbones and chin.
  2. Then, put on your foundation as you usually would and blend.

It may look weird as she goes through the routine, but the results are undeniable.

@kyliekillzzzz

late to the trend, but you can’t go wrong with a good contour #contour

♬ original sound – 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕧🥀🖤

TikTok: kyliekillzzzz

Must-Have Product: L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer 

Faux Freckles 

Beauty and make-up are perfect for experimenting with different looks. Fake freckles are one of the most popular tutorials on TikTok, with tons of videos dedicated to the trend. There are a few different ways to get the faux freckle look. Quite a few users suggest self-tanning mousse or eyeliner. However, make-up artist and prominent TikToker, daniellemarcan, introduced a hack using brow make-up. Do your face with the brow make-up, leave it on for two hours, then blend it in.

@daniellemarcan

I do this twice a week #beautyhacks #makeup #fyp

♬ Needs – Verzache

TikTok: daniellemarcan  

Must-Have Product: Maybelline Tattoo Brow

 

Neapolitan Ice Cream Base

Don’t panic! This technique doesn’t involve any frozen desserts. The trend got its name after users pointed out its resemblance to the popular ice cream. TikToker, rikkisandhuu, has been credited with popularizing the colorful technique. First, apply a layer of concealer, cream blush, and contour from cheek to cheek. Then, strategically apply a bit of contour and concealer to the forehead and chin. Finally, finish it out with setting spray.

@rikkisandhuu

by far one of the BEST contouring and highlighting techniques I have everrrr used!! 💗💗 #beautyhacks #makeuptips #contouring101 #foryou

♬ original sound – ꧁𝐒𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐨𝐬꧂

TikTok: rikkisandhuu

Must-Have Product: Sheglam Color Bloom Liquid Blush Risky Business

 

CeraVe

No company has been impacted by social media as much as CeraVe. The skincare brand has been in existence since 2005 but has found a new life as a frequent feature in tutorials and reviews on TikTok. With Gen-Xers placing greater importance on skin health and self-care, many CeraVe products are suggested to treat various issues ranging from acne to eczema. However, Kerala’s salicylic acid cleanser gets the most love for its all-around use.

@jasbeautydiary

Just a little guide for future CeraVe shoppers! 🙂 #skincare #skin #skincareroutine #skincareadvice #clearskin

♬ original sound – skincare/makeup/beauty

Tiktok: jasbeautydiary  

Must-Have Product: CeraVe Renewing S.A. Cleanser 

Slugging

Slugging doesn’t sound like a beauty routine, but it’s gone viral as the latest trend in skincare. Originally a Korean beauty trend, slugging has become all the rage on TikTok. Dryness is a common concern, and slugging keeps your skin hydrated, especially in colder climates when dry skin typically worsens. The 4-step routine has you dampen your face, apply a serum and a light moisturizer before covering your entire face with a petroleum jelly-based product such as Vaseline or Aquaphor.

@charlotteparler

😇 #skincare #tiktokbeauty #tiktokskincare #winterskincare

♬ original sound – Charlotte Palermino

TikTok: charlotteparler

Must-Have Product: Vaseline Healing Jelly Original 

The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a skincare brand specializing in clinical solutions for aging. In Summer 2021, the brand exploded on TikTok after beauty influencer Sarah Palmyra reviewed The Ordinary Argireline solution. Dubbed “botox in a bottle,” the solution helps eliminate facial lines and creases. Palmyra’s video of the solution has gotten over 42,200 likes, and the brand’s official TikTok now has more than 308,000 followers.

@sarahpalmyra

Reply to @beccamedlin #botox #antiaging #beautyreview #theordinary #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

TikTok: sarahpalmyra

Must-Have Product: The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution

 Glasses Concealer Hack

Concealer is a popular topic among beauty enthusiasts. Unfortunately, there isn’t a consensus on the best application method, and it’s a regular subject for TikTokers. The glasses concealer hack is the latest tip to go viral. Instead of applying it in dots, use the concealer to draw a pair of glasses on your face. Then blend it out with a damp make-up sponge. Supposedly, applying the concealer in this manner creates a better base for eyeshadow. 

@serenalakkiss

Glasses concealer trend🙃 What do we think of this one?! #concealerhack

♬ original sound – tarte cosmetics

TikTok: serenalakkiss

Must-Have Product: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

 

Reverse Cat-Eye

It’s hard to revamp a classic. The cat-eye look has been a staple for make-up artists for decades. But beauty artist, PaintbySpencer, decided to flip the look — literally. The traditional cat-eye requires applying eyeliner to your upper lash line. You also place eyeliner on your lower lash line with the reverse cat-eye. It’s a simple trick with dramatic results.

@paintedbyspencer

Love a good REVERSE cat eye 🕺🏻 #fypシ #foryou #FerragamoLetsDance #makeup

♬ original sound – Tik Toker

TikTok: paintedbyspencer

Must-Have Product: Fenty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner

 

Pastel Eyeliner

Make-up is all about self-expression. Traditionally, eyeliner has been restricted to more muted and dull colors. But, as beauty TikTokers experiment with statement looks and brighter colors, pastel eyeliner has emerged as a favorite product. It’s a great way to add a small pop of color to your face.

@michell_aviles

Pastels 💜 #Eyeliner #makeup #graphiceyeliner

♬ original sound – LLusion

TikTok: michelle_aviles

Must-Have Product: Colour Pop Colour Me Pretty Collection

To explore the beauty industry and learn about career opportunities, download Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Beauty Career Guide.

Top 10 Music Trends of TikTok in 2021

As TikTok grows in popularity, so has its impact on the music industry. The social media platform has become an essential avenue of music discovery and music trends for new artists and a channel for established musicians to interact with their fans. 

There are no other social networks that give creators and influencers the ability to impact streaming numbers and chart success as much as TikTok does. It’s been proven throughout the years that a viral dance or challenge can launch or revitalize a career. So as the year winds down, let’s walk down memory lane with the biggest music trends on TikTok in 2021.

The Backyardigans 

The Backyardigans may have gone off the air in 2014. Still, the once-popular kids’ show experienced a revival of sorts during the summer of 2021. From fun family dance routines to NSFW reenactments, songs from the Nickelodeon show were frequent flyers on the For You page. Their songs “Castaways” and “Into The Thick Of It” were favorites for TikTokers as the #backyardigans hashtag generated 1.8 billion views.

Check Out This TikTok by cost_n_mayor

@cost_n_mayor

Y’all really onto something with this song though…. 🥵 #fyp #foryou #dance #costnmayor #castaways #backyardigans

♬ Castaways – The Backyardigans

Yung Baby Tate

The singer, rapper, and producer from Georgia is a prime example of utilizing the social media platform to establish your brand. Yung Baby Tate posts a mix of dance videos, original music, and commentary, making her account a must-follow for memeable content. Her song, “I Am,” went viral in 2021, and she leveraged her 16.1 million TikTok likes into a starring role on VH1’s Love And Hip-Hop Atlanta.

Check Out This TikTok by imbabytate

@imbabytate

Taught my mom & @PRIME✨ the @dariusduhhh dance last night at like 5am 😂

♬ Rodeo. MY DC – DariusHickman

Hyperpop 

What is hyperpop? Like most genres born of the internet, its exact definition is hard to pin down. It’s a blend of electronic dance music and pop, sprinkled with neon then filtered through a psychedelic kaleidoscope. “Sugarcrash!” by ElyOtto is perhaps the best representation of the genre and featured in 6.7 million TikToks.

Check Out This TikTok by benjikrol

@benjikrol

@anokhinalz

♬ SugarCrash! – ElyOtto

“Meet Me At Our Spot” by WILLOW + Tyler Cole and The Anxiety 

It seems that TikTokers was bitten by the nostalgia bug this year. Creators reflected on summers gone by with slideshows set against WILLOW and Tyler Cole’s guitar-driven track. TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio even joined in on the trend. The love from TikTok helped the song crack the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Meet Me At Our Spot” had a 13-week run on the chart, peaking at number 21.

Check Out This TikTok by morganpresleyxo

@morganpresleyxo

I am back from being banned wooo

♬ Meet Me At Our Spot – THE ANXIETY & WILLOW & Tyler Cole

Saucy Santana

Saucy Santana started as a makeup artist for the hip hop group City Girl. And it didn’t take long for fans to be charmed. Their TikTok has gained 2.1M followers and 30.5 million likes quickly.

Check Out This TikTok by saucysantana

@saucysantana

Inspired by the Original Material Gworl @madonna 💕

♬ original sound – Saucy Santana

The #SeaShanty Community 

Sea Shanties are traditional folk chants sung by European sailors and sea merchants. “The Wellerman” by Nathan Evans was an unexpected hit on TikTok this year. It became an anthem for the #seashanty music trend. The song peaked in the top 20 on Spotify’s Viral 50 chart.

Check Out This TikTok by jonnystewartbass

@jonnystewartbass

#duet with @the.bobbybass SHANTY TIME once again! Adding a lower middle harmony 🙂 @nthnevnss @_luke.the.voice_ @apsloan01 #shantytok #wellerman

♬ Wellerman – Sea Shanty – Nathan Evans

Coi Leray

Coi Leray is one of TikTok’s most influential creators. The rapper is constantly trending thanks to her quirky dance routines and free-spirited personality. Her 8.9 million followers and 135.7 million likes have translated to Billboard chart success. She was named Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Rookie of the Month in April 2021.

Check Out This TikTok by coileray

@coileray

@Justin Bieber 😂🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥💫💫💫💫💫💫💙🪁🪁🪁🪁🪁

♬ TWINNEM – Coi Leray

Lil Nas X’s Marketing Machine

Lil Nas X is one of music’s biggest stars, and it all started on TikTok. His debut song “Old Town Road” was a viral hit on the app in 2019. Since then, Lil Nas X has continued to flex his marketing chops on the social media platform with creative collaborations with other artists and fans.

Check Out This TikTok by lilnasx

@lilnasx

FULL MAURY EPISODE ON YOUTUBE NOW!

♬ original sound – lil nas x

Olivia Rodrigo “Driver’s License”

This year, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Olivia Rodrigo’s debut song, “Driver’s License.” The smash-hit that earned the teenager six Grammy nominations first took TikTok by storm in January 2021. The song was an immediate success and established Rodrigo as a household name. To date, the #driverslicense hashtag has 6.1 billion views on TikTok.

Check Out This TikTok by jyeetsuschrist

@jyeetsuschrist

❄🐕💨#driverslicense #dogpoop #children #snow #dog #dogpoop #slide

♬ drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo

Taylor Swift Takeover

Taylor Swift is one of the most visible musicians, but she has mostly avoided social media. That all changed in the summer of 2021, when Swift joined TikTok amidst an ambitious project that features rerecording and releasing all of her albums so that can own her masters. The #swifttok community was born and her fans have welcomed her with open arms, racking up 4.7 billion views.

Check Out This TikTok by taylorswift

@taylorswift

Lots going on at the moment: Red (my version) vinyl is up for presale on my site and oh I’m on tiktok now let the games begin 😺 #SwiftTok

♬ original sound – Taylor Swift

Honorable Mention:

KPop Continues to Thrive

It’s hard to talk about TikTok without acknowledging the force that is KPop. The popular genre has dominated mainstream music over the last five years. Groups like BTS and Blackpink have broken cultural boundaries to achieve worldwide success. What makes Kpop so special is its dedicated and social media savvy fan base. Their presence is most felt on TikTok where the #kpop hashtag has 188.3 billion views.

Check Out This TikTok by bts_official_bighit

@bts_official_bighit

Superstar high-pitch glow 🐱📣🐰🐿️❗❕❗ Show your ##SmoothLikeButter moments😎 ##BTS ##방탄소년단 ##BTS_Butter

♬ Butter – 방탄소년단 (BTS)

For more information on the music trends in the industry and careers in the business, check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Music Career Guide.

Top Stories in 2021: The NFT Takeover

If you have any presence on social media, you’ve likely come across a post about NFTs. The blockchain trend was all the rage in 2021, from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet selling for $2.9 million to a Beeple NFT being auctioned off for a record-setting $69 million. Although tokens date back to 2014, when Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash created Quantum, NFTs have experienced rapid mainstream growth in a short period. In 2020, traders and collectors spent $100 million on NFTs. That figure climbed to $22 billion in 2021. NFTs are here to stay, although some people still don’t fully understand what they are. So before we turn the page on 2021, let’s look at why NFTs is this year’s biggest story for creatives.

NFTs Open A New Marketplace for All Creatives & Industries

NFTs can open up entirely new markets for creators regarding fan connection, ownership, and earning potential. The Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses and entrepreneurs in the creative arts to embrace digital arenas in ways they hadn’t before. For example, the art world pivoted to virtual exhibitions in 2020 as museums shut down. NFTs were a natural next progression. Auction houses like Christie’s legitimizing NFTs provide a new avenue for established and new artists. Emerging artists can mint their own NFTs and take them to the marketplace, bypassing the need for agents and art dealers.

Emerging artists can mint their own NFTs and take them to the marketplace, bypassing the need for agents and art dealers.

In the music industry, independent musicians see NFTs as a way to make money from their music outside of the confines and skewed revenue of streaming. Some artists, like Daniel Allen, have started selling digital copies of his music as NFTs, and they are selling for thousands of dollars. Other artists are taking note. Catalog, a new online NFT platform dedicated to music, has facilitated sales of 140 artists and $1,552,792 to date.

Biggest NFT Sales in 2021

NFTs sold for exorbitant prices throughout the year. However, these five tokens were the single most significant sales of the year:

  1. $69.3 million, March 2021, Christie’s. Everydays—The First 5000 Days by Beeple.
  2. $28.9 million, November 2021, Christie’s. Human One by Beeple. 
  3. $11.75 million for February 2021, Sotheby’s. Cryptopunk #7523 by Larva Labs.
  4. $7.67 million for March 2021, OpenSea. Cryptopunk #3100 by Larva Labs.
  5. $7.57 million for March 2021, Unknown. Cryptopunk #7804 by Larva Labs.
What Are NFTs?NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens. An NFT is minted from digital objects to represent digital assets like art, photos, GIFs, videos, audio, or physical assets such as real estate. The tokens prove ownership of these assets through a blockchain or another digital ledger. They’ve surged in popularity as an easier way for artists and collectors to exchange works of art and other memorabilia. 
Can Anything Be An NFT?NFTs can be made from nearly anything unique that holds some value and is stored digitally. So they’re not different from any collector’s item, like a vintage Baseball card or a painting by a world-renowned artist. But instead of buying the physical object, you’re purchasing a file and proof that you own the original copy.
Are NFTs Cryptocurrency?No. The primary difference between NFTs and cryptocurrency is fungibility. NFTs are non-fungible. In other words, they are unique and can not be replaced with something different. On the other hand, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and dogecoin are fungible and can be exchanged without loss of value. Therefore, you can purchase an NFT using cryptocurrency.
How Do They Work?NFTs are bought and sold via online platforms like OpenSea or Nifty Gateway. A user establishes a digital wallet on peer-to-peer marketplaces for crypto goods such as collectibles, in-game items, and other digital goods supported by a blockchain. Items are purchased by buyers outright, or they are auctioned off.
Quick 101 on understanding NFTs

The Move Towards The Metaverse

A metaverse is a virtual and augmented reality that enables users to interact with computer-generated environments, creating a digital world. In theory, metaverses can provide an open and fair economy backed by blockchain and cryptocurrency. For example, in gaming, the play-to-earn gaming economy can empower players of blockchain games through tokens. 

In the future, businesses can also take advantage of the metaverse fueled by the growth of NFTs. Adidas Originals recently rolled out their own Into The Metaverse, which features an NFT release in collaboration with PUNKS Comic and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Holders also will have exclusive access to four physical purchases over the next year at no additional cost. It’s just a scratch at how these tokens can impact fashion and streetwear as the meta world becomes more real.

The Future of NFTs

There’s a great opportunity for female artists in NFTs, although female artists haven’t found as much financial success as their male counterparts. According to a report by ArtTact, sales by women artists were only 16% over the last 21 months on Nifty Gateway. Those numbers get even rougher when you step outside of North America. South America and Asia claim 2.4% respectively, and just 1.2 percent of the platform’s artists are from Africa. However, as more women continue to get educated about NFTs, there’s been a demand to learn how to navigate the new market, creating an uptick of close-knit communities to empower women.

As more women continue to get educated about NFTs, there’s been a demand to learn how to navigate the new market, creating an uptick of close-knit communities to empower women.

Like cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies, the tokens raised concerns about their effects on climate change. For example, to verify NFTs to after-sale, an intricate network of computers using advanced cryptography examines whether transactions are valid. So when a creator releases a limited line of NFTs, his carbon emissions go through the roof. The ensuing debate has led many to wonder about the long-term viability. If NFTs can become a stable, multi-billion market that provides autonomy for artists, is it worth the unseen costs?

For more information on cryptocurrencies, gaming, emerging technologies careers in the industry, check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate eSports and Gaming Career Guide.

Top Stories in 2021: The Era of Streaming

Covid-19 was like a wrecking ball in the entertainment world in 2020. But, the lone exception was streaming. Services saw a surge in subscriber numbers — Netflix reported an increase of 16 million subscribers in the first quarter alone. Even as theaters tentatively reopened and restrictions were lifted, consumers continued to flock to streaming in 2021. New services popped up, and existing platforms expanded their offerings with exclusive shows and movies. Since it’s almost a wrap on 2021, let’s look back on some of the year’s biggest streaming stories. 

More Platforms 

Netflix Streaming

Everyone wants to get in on the fun when there’s money involved. With Netflix and Hulu regularly reporting hundreds of millions of subscribers, other entertainment companies sought to stake their claim to the market. In January of 2021, Discovery Inc. launched its streaming service, discovery+. The platform consists of existing programming and original content from the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, A&E, Lifetime, and the History Channel. The platform has grown in earnest, reporting 18 million paying subscribers in August 2021 — far behind competitors like Netflix and Disney+.

ViacomCBS finally realized its CBS All Access platform was outdated in the broadcast network world and rebranded it to Paramount+. The new and improved streaming service offers expanded content from Comedy Central, TVLand, and VH1. The move has paid off as ViacomCBS 42 million global streaming subscribers.

Big Budget Hits The Small Screen 

Streaming

Netflix is the king of streaming, but Disney+ has the potential to redefine what the platform can be. Its subsidiaries include Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm. In 2021, the streamer tapped its Marvel Cinematic Universe properties to create a series of television shows. As a result, WandaVision, Loki, The Falcon, and the Winter Soldier were released to critical and fan acclaim. Each episode of all three shows reportedly had a production cost of $25 million per episode.

With Disney+ spending blockbuster money and Netflix regularly shelling out millions for high-profile talents like Dan Levy and major hits like Squid Game, smaller streamers tried to keep pace. Apple TV+ managed to a diamond in the rough with Ted Lasso. Mid-tier streamers Amazon Prime and Hulu had quieter years in buzzworthy television, but their subscriber numbers grew.

The Film Industry Pushes Back

Movie Theater

2021 was marked by an attempted return to normalcy that has continued to stagger. Hollywood was in limbo as productions struggled with Covid-19 testing and effects of positive results. The most damaging impact of the pandemic was the closing of movie theaters across the world. Even though theaters have reopened gradually, moviegoers have remained skeptical, and the box office still hasn’t rebounded completely.

Some film studios tried to pivot amidst the unknown. WarnerBros infamously agreed to a deal with HBOMax to exclusively release their entire slate of films on the streaming service in late 2020 and 2021. Disney+ tried to follow suit with a paid Premier Access option. This strategy may have appeased wary fans, but it notoriously backfired when Scarlett Johansson sued Disney over the release of Black Widow. Furthermore, Emma Stone considered taking legal action against Cruella. Johansson reached a settlement, and Stone ultimately declined, but the controversy may pause future partnerships between studios and streaming services.

Looking Ahead

Live Streaming

What’s to come for streaming in 2022? Recently, there has been a trend with television writers and showrunners leaving cable networks for big-budget deals with streamers, which will likely continue. However, the most exciting space to watch will be live streaming. Some services like Hulu currently offer a more expensive live option. Still, as brands have shown this year, we’re only one merging away from a completely different entertainment category.

If you’d like to learn more about streaming and exploring a career in the industry, check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Film Career Guide.

Top 10 Yellowbrick Student Projects in 2021

With 17 verticals and counting, many students walk through Yellowbrick’s virtual doors every year. As part of their coursework, students complete activities and assignments across music, film, sneaker and streetwear design, fashion design, beauty, and more. Before we end this year, we picked the ten outstanding student projects that caught our attention in 2021.

 

“The Year of the Hustle” Tour Marketing Strategy by David Manuel 

Also known as MC Smoove Dav, David shared the marketing strategy for his tour supporting his debut album. The project is on the student activities for enrollees of The Clive Davis Institute at NYU x Billboard Music Industry Essentials program. The strategy is an excellent blend of old school and modern tech by combining traditional radio and targeted advertising through an online streaming service.

Follow David on IG @smoovedav3

 

Il Gufo Visual Brand Identity by Lucia Bonetti

Lucia Bonetti, student project

Lucia has the most liked Visual Brand Identity assignment in our FIT x Beauty Inc. Beauty Business Essentials course. The project asks students to select a logo, color palette, and images related to their inspiration behind the brand. For Lucia’s assignment, she introduced us to Il Gufo, an Italian handcrafted children’s brand.

 

7 Decades Visual Brand Identity by Hailee Harris

Hailee Harris, student projects

Hallee is another enrollee in our Fashion Business Essentials course. For her Visual Brand Identity activity, she designed 7 Decades with a vintage aesthetic and a hit on social media.

Follow Hailee on IG @hailee.harris 

 

Made by Mia Business Summary Mia Fong

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Streetwear Essentials (@yellowbrick.streetwear)

A well-thought-out and put-together business plan is the backbone of any company. For our Parsons x Complex Streetwear Essentials online course, students’ capstone projects feature a comprehensive business plan and design sketches to form a brand presentation.

Follow Mia on IG @madebymiashop

 

Moulin Rouge Stage Design by Kate Chipongian

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Yellowbrick.Arts (@yellowbrick.arts)

Setting The Stage is the third module in our NYU Tisch x Backstage Performing Arts Industry Essentials course. This module teaches students about the stage’s properties, terminology, and personnel. In the assignment for this module, students design a stage based on an existing production or their own plays. Kate’s take on Moulin Rouge was impressive.

Follow Kate on IG @kaatechi.

 

The Missing Lunch, a Short Film by Jose Gil

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Yellowbrick.Film (@yellowbrick.film)

In our NYU x Rolling Stone x IndieWire Film + TV Industry Essentials course, students script, storyboard, produce and design an electronic press kit for a short film. Jose’s project, The Missing Lunch, asks the tricky question: what happens when you lose something you love?

Follow Jose on IG @dimension_305.

 

Top Nine Sneaker Portfolio by Steve Soles

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Yellowbrick Sneaker Essentials (@yellowbrick.sneakers)

The Building a Sneaker Portfolio project in module one of the FIT x Complex Sneaker Essentials course is a favorite of our #sneakerschool students. As part of the activity, students create a portfolio featuring their top nine sneakers. Steve took his project up a notch by drawing his favorite sneakers. These ranged from underrated gems like the Under Armour Curry 4 More Dimes to sought-after Nike SB Dunk Ben & Jerry’s Chunk Dunky.

Follow Steve on IG @stevessoles.

 

“Be Here From Anywhere,” Marketing Activation by Cory Tomlinson

Cory Tomlinson, student project

One of the featured student projects for our NYU x Teamwork Fundamentals of Sports course work is Create a Marketing Activation. The assignment challenges students to consider the intricacies of brand partnerships, from physical layout to what types of technology are incorporated. Cory designed “Be Here From Anywhere,” a partnership between Barclay’s Arena and Microsoft Teams for his assignment. The campaign focused on fan interaction, especially fans unable to attend games in person due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Follow Cory on IG @corymtomlinson.

 

Olivia Rodriguez’s Sour Tour Marketing Strategy by Carmela Andreozzi

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Yellowbrick Music (@yellowbrick.music)

Carmela finished up her #MusicU studies earlier this year. She wowed us with one final assignment. Students have to create a social media marketing strategy for an artist in this project. Carmela built a campaign around the opening night of Olivia Rodriguez’s Sour Tour at Boston’s House of Blues. As part of her carefully considered strategy, Carmela targets a mix of social media influencers and local publications.

Follow Carmela on IG @actuallycarmela.

 

Multifunctional Next-Generation Sudoku Desk by Diana Pan 

Diana Pan submitted a video of plans for her multifunctional next-generation sudoku desk for the fourth module of the New School x Wallpaper* Production Design Essentials course. The desk takes inspiration and its name from the popular Japanese puzzle, Sudoku. 

Follow Diana on Youtube.

 

If you’re interested in enrolling in one of our online courses, head over to Yellowbrick and explore our programs.