Need to Know
29 : 10 : 20

Stormzy’s avatar performs in-game, Sinéad Burke champions accessible fashion with Juniper Unlimited, and live-streaming skyrockets in China.

Stormzy drops new music in Ubisoft’s latest game

Stormzy – Rainfall (feat.Tiana Major9) by Ubisoft for Watch Dogs: Legion

Global – British grime rapper Stormzy is introducing his latest single Rainfall inside Ubisoft’s video game, Watch Dogs: Legion.

Against a backdrop of dystopian versions of London hotspots, the motion-captured music video features an avatar of Stormzy. The rapper will also appear as part of a mission in the game, named after a lyric in the song – Fall on my Enemies – where players help him to broadcast the song throughout central London.

Stormzy is the latest in a series of artists turning to video games to promote music – in the spring, Travis Scott promoted his Astronomical tour on Fortnite to 12.3m players worldwide. For brands, performers and artists, video games have large and devout audiences, making them an appropriate alternative to touring during the pandemic.

Discover more on video games becoming a tool to reach the masses in our Gaming series.

eBay lures sneakerheads with authentication service

Sneaker verification by eBay, US Sneaker verification by eBay, US
Sneaker verification by eBay, US Sneaker verification by eBay, US

California – With the platform selling a sneaker every 1.5 seconds, eBay is turning its attention to sneaker authentication to bolster its Authenticity Guarantee service.

Now, new and pre-owned collectible sneakers selling for more than £77 ($100, €85) will be subject to a full check and verification process. To have their shoes verified, sellers ship the items directly to eBay’s independent state-of-the-art authentication facility led by Sneaker Con, where the box, shoes and accessories are ‘rigorously assessed’. Once approved, the sneakers are express shipped to the buyer. The same process is also offered for returns, to ensure sellers receive their sneakers in the same condition.

‘Authentication has become an expectation for today’s consumers in categories of high passion and high value, and this programme makes eBay the most attractive platform for enthusiasts in these categories,’ says Jordan Sweetnam, senior vice-president and general manager of eBay North America.

In Countering Counterfeits, we examine how technology is helping shoppers to feel more confident buying at a time when high-spec counterfeits and grey market selling are rife.

Juniper Unlimited offers disability-inclusive fashion

Adaptable clothing design by Juniper Unlimited. US Adaptable clothing design by Juniper Unlimited. US

US – Activist Sinéad Burke's adaptive clothing marketplace Juniper Unlimited offers fashion created for people with disabilities.

In a bid to inspire a wider conversation about adaptive clothing, the platform was launched with eight brands that sell products ranging from underwear with side fasteners for wheelchair users to clothes that incorporate magnets in place of buttons for easier use.

Seeking to future-proof and expand its roster of brands, Juniper Unlimited is also working with universities to develop new labels and innovations over the next six months, and will also act as an incubator for new and existing brands.

‘The fashion industry has always been the teacher, but this is one avenue where the fashion industry doesn’t have all the answers, so it’s an opportunity for collaboration and consultation with people with disabilities,’ explains Sinéad Burke, editor-at-large at Juniper Unlimited.

Beyond fashion, our Adaptive Beauty microtrend explores how technology and packaging solutions are supporting disabled consumers.

Stat: Live-streaming is redefining Chinese e-commerce

Virtual Super Land at Fred Segal, Los Angeles Virtual Super Land at Fred Segal, Los Angeles

The adoption of live-streaming by brands, retailers and consumers is continuing to accelerate e-commerce in China, according to data from Dao Insights.

The total scale of China’s live-streaming e-commerce industry is expected to reach a value of £121.6bn ($157.5bn, €134.3bn) in 2020, representing a 210% increase from 2019.

Additional data from China’s Ministry of Commerce reveals that the number of live-streams focusing on e-commerce exceeded 10m in the first half of the year, possibly driven by Covid-19 lockdowns. In the same period, there were over 50bn unique views of live-streams and 20m products were released via live-streaming channels.

China is now the largest e-commerce market in the world and is at the forefront of retail innovation. For more insights, read our China E-commerce Market.

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