15.

25/05/2020

Ben Waterman

News

Spotify sign Joe Rogan: The US star’s eponymous podcast will be available exclusively on Spotify from September in a deal estimated to be worth $75-100m/year for 3 years. With every middle-class Russell Group graduate in the country using lockdown to start podcasting, we didn’t need any further proof that the medium holds extraordinary weight with millennials and Gen Z. So did Rogan get ripped off? I mean no one’s denying that $100m is plenty, especially with a team of just 5. However, he controls what is indubitably the largest podcast audience in the world: in fact, Spotify’s market cap jumped by a staggering $3bn on the morning of the announcement. Andrew Wilkinson thinks he did - 3 reasons why it’s a bad move. Link

Another WFH Domino: US e-commerce giant Shopify joins Twitter in permanent work from home shift, giving employees the chance to continue pandemic habits indefinitely. So the second domino has fallen? Well, not so fast. In classic Zuckerberg fashion, the Facebook CEO offered the caveat in his announcement that salaries will be pro-rata’d to living costs at your choice of home location. Which looks like it could spell the end of ridiculously over-inflated Silicon Valley salaries. Plus, now everyone’s worried they’ll be replaced by remote 3rd world counterparts. Me, I think the ideal scenario is somewhere in between. 2-3 days a week in the office is perfect, especially for high growth companies where the War Room is constantly abuzz. Link

More Media: It’s been a big week in the media industry, as TikTok announce former Head of Streaming (yes, it’s a title, who knew?) as CEO. It will come as no small comfort to the “square-jawed, all American” who was passed up for the CEO role at Disney. Momentum is with him as the platform surpassed 100m downloads for the 3rd straight month in May. It will be interesting to see how he navigates the treacherous waters between the US and China given the recent privacy concerns facing the nascent video service. Link


Short Read

From one Roulette wheel to another: Are frustrated sports-betters shifting attention to the stock market? With no live sports to watch, Bundesliga excepted, gamblers are flocking instead to the stock market, creating a new class of customer for online brokerages and adding fuel to the market rally. Three of the top online brokerages have seen a total of more than 800,000 new signups in March and April, which comes at a crucial moment - brash newcomers like Robinhood have recently cut trading fees to zero in an attempt to undercut the market.


Long Listen

A Pizza the Action: By far my favourite piece this week. Ranjan Roy takes a look into the food delivery business that just seems to constantly lose money. In fact, much more than a look. With delivery services like Doordash subsidising delivery meal costs in an effort to acquire customers, he encourages a close friend to order his own $24 pizzas for $16 on DoorDash, and serve them to customers immediately for an extra $8 profit. Sounds pretty savage until you find out that he doesn’t even usually offer delivery because it compromises the product, which DoorDash are conveniently ignoring. An enjoyable read, whether for the pizza arbitrage or damning indictment of an industry yet to see a penny of profit. Link


Interesting Things

30 Architects’ Private Houses: If lockdown has grown your resentment towards your own home, look away now. Link

What % of Social Media Content is ads?

Although it must be noted, this is official ads only - organic ads in comments, or “astroturfing” as it’s known is now a thing. Yep, this is advertising 2.0. Source: u/onhech

Feeling Misunderstood: Fascinating research emerged this week from the LSE discussing how people misunderstand Covid-19 data. Linear graphs make the public more fearful because the majority simply don’t understand logarithmic charts. Certainly food for thought vis-a-vis our current approach, although it’s probably the least of our PR concerns given government officials’ inability to obey even their own simple rules. Link

The Untold Story of what lights Michael Jordan’s fire: I’m sure by now you’ve seen the documentary but ESPN take a deeper dive here into the NBA star’s personal life and how it shaped his on-court performance. Link