🕹️ YouTube 4 gamers

Friday, September 8, 2023 by Snacks
Life in the fast game (Ina Fassbender/Getty Images)

Life in the fast game (Ina Fassbender/Getty Images)

Life in the fast game (Ina Fassbender/Getty Images)

Life in the fast game (Ina Fassbender/Getty Images)

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Hey Snackers,

We know crude-oil prices have gone up, but have you heard about olive oil? As the price of EVOO soars, thieves stole $500K worth from a mill in Spain, just the latest in a string of slick heists.

The techy Nasdaq led yesterday’s losses, with Apple sliding nearly 3% after reports suggested China banned iPhones for government employees. Meanwhile, US weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since February, fueling interest-rate anxieties.


1. YouTube tests games, deepening its Netflix rivalry and eating up even more screen time

Subscribe and level up… In its most significant gaming play since discontinuing cloud service Stadia earlier this year, Google is testing games on YouTube. A new “Playables” section is rolling out to select users, rounding out an already robust rabbit hole of entertainment that includes videos, rentable movies, live streams, and social posts like Shorts.

  • Built in: YouTube’s already a home for gaming content, competing with Amazon’s Twitch. Google’s been trying to tap into the audience for years, even spinning out gaming content into its own (short-lived) app in 2015.

  • Rocky road: The games-next-to-video blueprint hasn’t exactly been a hit. Last year TikTok parent ByteDance downsized its gaming operation, and Snap shut down its in-app games (picture: Bitmoji Tennis).

  • Ridin’ the bumper: Playables heightens competition with Netflix, which has doubled down on its gaming division with plans to launch 40 titles this year.

A jack-of-all-trades… YouTube is expanding beyond its video roots to gain a foothold elsewhere. One example: live sports. This football season marks YouTube TV’s first as the home of NFL Sunday Ticket — a package that streamers like Apple and Amazon also wanted. As cable declines, YouTube is also gobbling up TV market share: YouTube TV, which offers live TV for $73/month, became the fifth-largest TV provider with 6.6M subs. It's expected to add 2M+ more this season, even though Sunday Ticket costs extra. With 2B monthly users watching Shorts, YouTube is also a direct social competitor with TikTok and Instagram Reels.


The best offense is a good defense… YouTube dominates video content with 2.7B active/monthly users — but it’s not pressing pause. By repeatedly going where its rivals go, Gen Z’s most used app is trying to defend against user losses to protect its ad biz, which last quarter raked in $7.7B.

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2. The construction industry struggles to recruit women as the infrastructure bill creates thousands of projects

Now (still) hiring… The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill landed the construction industry in a unique bind: there’s plenty of work, but not enough workers. The $550B law has funded 37K projects and is expected to create millions of jobs, but the male-dominated industry is having trouble filling roles. Now the US gov’t is working with trade orgs to make construction jobs more appealing to women. Picture: childcare, onsite lactation rooms, and trying to stamp out harassment. It’s a heavy lift:

  • Under construction: As of 2021, only 4% of construction workers were women (up from 3% in 2010).

  • Men at work: In the US, women make up half of all workers, but fewer than 20% of infrastructure jobs (think: building, transportation, energy). 

Stuck in a rut… While the construction industry’s struggled to hire women, the overall US gender employment gap has shrunk to a record low. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nearly 58% of adult US women participate in the workforce, compared to 68% of men. The labor-force participation rate for 25- to 54-year-old women hit 77.6% last month — a record high. One possible factor: the rise of remote work has enabled mothers with young kids to keep earning. FYI: the gender pay gap — the difference between what men and women are paid for the same work — has remained essentially stuck for 20 years, with women earning 82 cents for every dollar men make.


All hands on deck requires all hands… As the makeup of the US workforce continues to shift, strategies to recruit, train, and maintain employees must evolve too. Construction’s latest hiring effort suggests it’s now realized this. The Labor Department predicts that over the decade ending in 2031, women’s labor-force participation will increase by more than 6%.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • RTNo: 45% of Grindr’s staff resigned after alleging that the dating app’s return-to-office mandate is meant to punish them for trying to unionize. Like Grindr, Amazon and AT&T have adopted similar “come in or quit” policies. 

  • Trip: California could become the third US state to decriminalize the use of some psychedelic drugs after its assembly passed a bill (next up: the senate). It’d be a boon for psychedelic-assisted therapy companies. 

  • EVacy: Tesla plans to install 20K EV chargers at 2K Hiltons in North America as it continues spreading its plugs worldwide. Hilton said that people search for charging-station availability before booking. 

  • Covered: As AI trademark suits rise, Microsoft said it’ll pay customers’ legal fees if they’re sued for copyright infringement from using its AI products, as long as they use "the guardrails and content filters" built into its tech. 

  • Alarm: Carmakers got the worst score on Mozilla Foundation’s privacy survey, with many saying they may sell personal data. Six said they collected “genetic information,” while Nissan said it collected info on “sexual activity” (uh?).

Snack Fact of the Day

US bankruptcies have spiked 54% in the past year


  • Earnings expected from Kroger and Rent the Runway

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Snap, and Tesla

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