Trend Alert: NTWRK

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

The shopping app described as “QVC for the YouTube generation” just won a new round of funding from investors including rap superstar Drake, and YMS19 NYC speakers Live Nation. NTWRK gives us a glimpse into the future of ecommerce, bringing together several of Gen Z’s favourite digital trends.

NTWRK uses “shoppable shows” to sell products: imagine a live stream version of a TV shopping channel, with episodes often hosted by celebrities. Musicians, sports stars and influencers pop up on NTWRK to sell exclusive, limited edition merch, which is only available for a few days. A countdown on the NTWRK homepage shows how long is left to purchase the latest featured products, usually streetwear and collectibles from brands like Nike, Supreme and BAPE. The app also has a community aspect, with live chat during episodes, similar to the HQ Trivia concept.

The streetwear trend demonstrates that Gen Z are willing to spend big on brands they love. For boys in particular, streetwear is the new luxury, a status symbol for the social media age. It is deeply intertwined with the music industry, which shares its ‘drop culture’ - fans eagerly await the next release, which could drop at any time. Other parallels include the prevalence of collaborations, and the increasingly fast rise of new brands/artists. Publishers such as Hypebeast and Highsnobiety also strengthen the connection between the two scenes.

NTWRK is a smart way to capitalise on the streetwear trend, and compound what has already become a major revenue stream for artists. With the support of Live Nation and earlier investors Warner Bros., we can expect to see even more big names from the music world choose NTWRK as the exclusive platform for their new merch, and other ecommerce brands try to emulate the app’s ability to generate intense demand and impulse buys.

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