People Buy Products. Not Protocols.

Pokemon Go isn’t dead
August 12, 2022

Welcome to Friday. It’s 86 and sunny, and Markets closed up for the fourth week in a row, so that’s gotta count for something. Scroll to the end for some Millennial Cringe.

Pictured: a 2016 Snorlax mob in Central Park. Via Youtube.

POP3 or SMTP are the underpinnings that made email work but people buy Exchange and Gmail. I think when we talk about tokens, we're talking about a protocol and wallets like and the chain. But at the end of the day, people don't buy protocols, they buy products.  

Future Commerce #266 feat. Seyi Taylor

You’d be mistaken if you thought that Pokemon Go’s popularity died in 2016.  To date, the popular app has racked up over $6B in in-app commerce. That’s a lot of coin. This year alone, it’s on pace to rack up another billion or so in digital transactions.

Go’s popularity waxes and wanes with the release of new content, the newest of which is Scarlet and Violet, due to release on November 18th of this year. The last major franchise release in 2018 saw an 87% increase in monthly active users on the app. Brace yourselves. The pokemobs are coming once again.

Pictured: Q1 2022 mobile app revenue. Source: SensorTower.

It’s not just Millennial nostalgia that drives commerce for Niantic, the Nintendo-owned company that makes Pokemon Go. It’s also the rise of Gen Alpha, who now own phones, are buying goods, and are getting mobile in a hurry.

Video games are instrumental in teaching generational online shopping habits. Diablo II and III had inventory screens with rudimentary “checkout”. Animal Crossing has a shopping cart for buying character outfits. For many of Gen Alpha, this November will be when they get a taste of Commerce. They will be trained (pun intended) to buy digital goods and collectibles with their phones. The Commerce experiences that are formative to them today will set the tone for how they expect all Commerce to behave in the future. 

Pokemon Go is the consumer equivalent of buying a product over a protocol. Kids aren’t buying AR. They’re buying Pikachu. The augmented reality overlay of a digital world on top of the real world gave rise to a whole new type of interaction and art. What was novel in 2016 is commonplace now; and for crypto to gain mass acceptance it will need its own consumer adoption moment where the protocol (crypto) makes the leap to a product.

Save the date: November 18th is when new Commerce expectations will be formed and we’ll restart anew. This time with Gen Alpha. 

We cover all of this and more, and how crypto can benefit from productization on this week’s podcast with the venerable twitter-famous Seyi Taylor. Listen now on all major platforms or right over here.

-Phillip

Your Move, Netflix. Disney+ subscriptions have surpassed Netflix’s numbers. And with the rise in subscription demands comes a hike in prices for services coming in December. Some reports also indicate that price to enter Disney Parks may increase as well.

Buy Now, Pay Less(er). Walmart is partnering with BNPL company, Affirm, and is offering a free short-term Walmart+ membership to users who spend of $300 with Affirm.

Fashion for the People. Vogue is celebrating 130 years of business with a street fair and live fashion show during this year’s New York Fashion Week. Tickets will be available to the public Monday and the event will also be live streamed.

Arrivederci, Roma. In some really un-shocking news, the birthplace of pizza never did fall in love with an American fast-food version of the Italian invention. Dominos is leaving Italy after 7 years of operating in the country. Traditional pizza won out with consumers there, and Dominos seems to have accumulated some debt in the country as well. And speaking of American fast-food restaurants abroad, McDonald’s is planning to make its return to Ukraine after a hiatus for the last 6 months.

Sweet Seasoning. SNICKERS will now be consumable in a new form: powdered seasoning. SNICKERS™ Shakers Seasoning Blend hits shelves this month and apparently, that’s useful.

So Yesterday. Millennials seem to be aging out of the social media platforms they started and grew up on. As platforms like TikTok increasingly focus on Gen Z, Millennials are telling on themselves with stagnant and even cringey content, as well as adaptation habits that come across as unnatural such as the “Millennial pause” in video posts.

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