Each week the PSFK research team studies for the latent signs of cultural change and marketing, brand and CX innovation – and we pour these patterns into our weekly newsletters on Thursdays. This week we share clusters of ideas around engaging consumers in the sharing economy, signals for DTC's rebirth from the direct to music movement, why digital twin avatars are taking center stage, stats, stats, stats and a special offer from our friends over at Motion.
Brand Engagement Through Shared Ownership
Two decades into the 21st century, the majority of most consumer generations still struggle to make large financial commitments. Fractional economic systems not only democratize ownership and serve as investment tools for a wide audience, but exciting new research also shows they can have a far-reaching impact as a technology-backed framework for community engagement and audience activation, mapping out what modern ownership really means by allowing consumers to become brand stakeholders and partners who actively participate in co-creation and decision-making.
eBay Vault is the future of ownership, trust, and collectible investing
eBay Vault will be a secure storage facility and digital marketplace for valuable collectibles where users can invest fractionally and transfer ownership from seller to buyer in a matter of seconds. Read More
BusyKid lets Gen Alpha buy fractional shares in their favorite companies
Chore-setting app BusyKid aims to make financial literacy accessible for young children and teens by giving them real-world experience managing the money they earn from chores. The app offers fractional shares from thousands of companies, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, Meta, and Google. PSFK
Starbucks launches innovative program for next generation of loyalty
The coffee chain is designing a digital community of global brand fans by leveraging web3 technologies to create a business-adjacent model of shared-loyalty and beneficial ownership. Read More
Read More: A PSFK Guide to Fractional Ownership
Discover 6 strategies for delivering against the emergent fractional ownership concept, including best-in-class examples of co-ownership-driven access to products, experiences, and more. Details
The creative strategist is the connection between an organization’s left and right brains. The left brain—analytical and methodical—is focused on data, KPIs, and ad performance. The right brain—creative and artistic—is focused on the innovations in writing and editing to produce an ad.
In the report, tailor made for our creative professional audience, learn how to:
Our Digital Twins Begin To Replace The Real Us
In this past year's annual PSFK Future of Retail report, we posited that moving beyond the physical-digital divide to a truly and authentically connected mirror world would require the widespread adoption of personal avatars serving as “lifelike” digital twins. Well, given the news below, it seems like we should've moved our timeline up a few years from 2042!
ABBA’s life-size digital “ABBAtars” are playing 7 months of IRL gigs
Digital versions of the band ABBA, created through cutting-edge motion capture technology and depicting the group as they appeared in 1977, have just kicked off their seven-month long “Voyage” tour in a purpose-built London concert hall. A 10-piece band will be accompanying the virtual avatars and performing in real-time alongside the de-aged virtual band members. ABBA
TikTokers can now create videos with their own animated avatars
TikTok is launching a new Avatars feature to help users create their own digital twins, which mimic the way they move and follow their gestures, for use on the social platform. Users can create their own customizable avatar to film videos with, and are even able to give their avatar a speaking “voice” mirrored on their own. TikTok
Marvel inks deal that could bring Stan Lee back to life as a CGI avatar
Marvel has signed a 20-year deal to license the likeness of Stan Lee in future films and TV productions and experiences worldwide, such as Disney theme parks. The agreement ensures that, through digital technology and archival footage, Stan Lee and his legacy will live on. Hollywood Reporter
Re-animated murder victim asks for help finding his killers
A video from the Dutch Police in Rotterdam uses a deepfake reconstruction of a 2003 teen murder victim to ask the perpetrator and any witnesses to come forward. The hope is that the video will help those involved break their years of silence by “touching their hearts.” The victim’s family supports the effort. NOS
New: Proprietary Insights from PSFK Quant Surveys:
Direct-to-Music signals how DTC will rise from the ashes
While the intentions of musicians creating their art have likely remained the same throughout the history of the form, the production methods, distribution, packaging, and more have gone through a tidal wave of technological advances, particularly recently, giving artists new ways to engage with fan communities; and fans more options in how they interact with the songs they enjoy.
Discord has become an intimate place for musicians to build community
Music is one of its fastest-growing areas on Discord, and more and more artists, both major and independent, are using the platform to preview new songs, solicit feedback, host competitions, gamify fandom, and even turn to their fan communities for free labor. Discord
Even already-famous artists are being pressured to go viral on TikTok
Halsey, Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, and Florence Welch have each recently complained publicly about increased pressure from their respective label management to make big, splashy moments on TikTok’s social platform as part of marketing efforts around new works and releases. Fast Company
Digital music collectors fight against the clinicality of streaming-only
The rise of cloud-based streaming was a near extinction-level event for consumers’ carefully curated, hard-drive-stored libraries of digital music. With streaming, the end user has limited control over how the music is presented and organized, short of making their own playlists, resulting in a flattening effect. Pitchfork covers how digital music libraries hit the sweet spot between the accessibility of streaming and the personal touch of a physical collection. Pitchfork
What’s driving Harry Styles’ U.S. sales? Vinyl
The music industry is transitioning toward a mix of streaming, physical sales, and digital ownership and vinyl records offer superfans a way to support their favorite artists beyond paltry per-stream revenues. The ~$38 vinyl record for Harry’s House, the latest release from Harry Styles, accounts for 58% of the album’s physical U.S. sales. QZ
Also In The News & Opinions This Week