What in the World—Week of November 22

TikTok wants to become a TV star
After becoming a social media phenomenon, TikTok is now looking to translate that success to TV. The platform partnered with Amazon Fire TV to launch its TV app in North America earlier this month, and is now expanding its presence through partnerships with Google TV and other Android OS devices, as well as select LG and Samsung Smart TVs. According to TechCrunch, this will put TikTok in more direct competition with YouTube for consumers’ TV time. More than 100 million Americans currently watch YouTube and YouTube TV on big screens, with the amount of people watching long-form content on the platform has increased exponentially over the past 12 months.

With a push from Adele, Spotify disables auto-shuffle feature
From setting new streaming records, to causing vinyl shortages with the pressing of her latest album, Adele has become one of the most powerful artists of this (or any) generation. Her clout was made even more apparent this week, when streaming audio giant Spotify stopped auto-shuffle from being the default function when people listen to (all) albums on the platform. “This was the only request I had in our ever changing industry,” said the singer in a tweet. “We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended.”

Lush announces social media boycott
Lush Cosmetics says it is deactivating its social media accounts in an effort to address consumers’ mental health challenges. The company said in a release that it will deactivate its Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat accounts in the 48 countries in which it operates, effective Nov. 26. They will remain inactive until the platforms “take action to provide a safer environment for users.” Lush said it has tried to move away from social media in the past, “but FOMO is vast, and the brand’s compulsion to use the various platforms means it finds itself back on the channels, despite the best intentions.”

Crypto.com secures naming rights to LA’s arena
Move over Smoothie King Center and KFC Yum! Center, there’s a new contender for worst arena name. With the cryptocurrency movement showing no sign of abating, another crypto brand has secured naming rights to a major sports and entertainment facility, and that brand is Crypto.com—which has signed a 20-year rights deal with what used to be Staples Center in Los Angeles (almost certain to be dubbed The Crypt in the very near future). The new logo and branding assets will be unveiled in the Los Angeles Lakers’ Christmas Day game, with external signage replaced by June of next year. In March, cryptocurrency exchange FTX paid a reported $135 million to secure the naming rights to the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat, formerly American Airlines Arena.

Cameo users can now choo-choo-choose Thomas
Cameo has partnered with Mattel to bring a virtual version of its beloved Thomas the Tank Engine character to the platform—which provides people with personalized greetings from celebrities. While some of the personalized greetings from actors such as The Office star Melora Hardin (aka Jan Levinson) cost more than $600, Thomas is available for just $25. According to Morning Brew, voice actors from the Thomas TV show worked with Mattel to create a “language bank” that can be pulled from to create the personalized greetings.

David Brown