Facebook Is Launching Original Content Television, Plus Youtube By the Numbers

by 9 months ago

Here’s your hand-crafted Brew for June 27th


“By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.” Mark Zuckerberg. So hot right now.

Market Snapshot

  • The Dow finished up, ending its four-day losing streak.
  • The Nasdaq ended lower, weighed down by big tech firms.
  • Gold fell to its six-week low following a huge sell order.
  • Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped 6% and 13%, respectively.

Facebook and Chill

“Mark, there’s nothing good on Netflix tonight.”

“Don’t worry Priscilla, I’ll take care of it.”

Facebook (-0.95%) is launching original content television in hopes of snagging a portion of the (roughly) $75 billion generated by TV ad revenue each year.

How will Facebook do it? By leapfrogging the traditional pay-to-play business model where streamers typically buy recycled content.

Instead it will test out 30-minute original dramas similar to Pretty Little Liars, Scandal and Zuck’s personal favorite: Which Grey Tee?

And the social media giant looks to be playing hardball from the get-go, planning to spend as much as $3 million on production per episode.

But this town might not be big enough

The original content business has been boomin’ as of late. Netflix (-0.33%) spent $5 billion on original content in 2016 with plans to hit $6 billion this year.

And while the strategy has worked for ‘Flix, hundreds of millions of hours (125 million per day in case you were counting) of Netflix and chill has prompted an all-out arms race for original hits:

  • Apple snagged two execs from Sony to get into the game.
  • Snap made a play with Time Warner.
  • Even YouTube is exploring originals with Escape the Night.

But Zuck’s got something up his 100% cotton sleeve


That sounded weird.

Netflix has nearly 100 million subscribers—to which Zuck slowly wags his finger and gives an emphatic, “child’s play.” Facebook boasts TWO BILLION monthly users in its community.

Translation: it might be a bit easier to predict the trends, interests and habits of consumers through a community that provides billions of meaningful insights on a daily basis.

Not a bad starting point if you ask us.

Takata’s Dead End

Japanese airbag maker Takata, which takes the cake for largest automotive recall in history, is selling its assets (mainly factories) to rival Key Safety Systems for $1.6 billion, while seeking court-backed bankruptcy protection.

Looking for a reason? How about 54 million of them.

That’s the number of vehicles still in need of airbag replacements (just in the U.S.)—and it’s costing Takata a pretty penny. We’re talking $10 billion in recall costs…minimum.

And with only 1/5th of the cleanup complete, it looks like the fun’s just getting started.

Keep the Drive Alive

Apple’s “mother of all AI projects” (aka self-driving) looks to be revving up after it leased six rental cars from Hertz (+13.52%), which will be used to test autonomous driving.

Then Alphabet (-1.42%) stole the show.

The perennial thorn in Tim Cook’s side announced a partnership with Avis (+14.15%) that would give it a fully-serviced fleet of 600 autonomous cars.

And while it’s great news for Alphabet, Avis is likely the one going for a celebratory joy ride.

CAR stock (yes, that’s Avis’ ticker…brilliant) has dropped roughly 60% since its peak in 2014 as a result of the rise in ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Now? Alphabet is essentially handing it a lifeline and saying “Hey, you want to get into the fleet management business?” To which Avis immediately responds “Yes, yes we do.”

Pharma Bro or Farmer Joe

Martin Shkreli’s good friend karma is finally catching up to him.

In 2015, the former exec gained notoriety for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000% while at Turing Pharmaceuticals. But before that, Shkreli founded two hedge funds and another pharmaceutical company.

Now, he’s on trial for allegedly defrauding investors via a Ponzi-like scheme.

But in true pharma bro fashion, he showed no nerves going into court yesterday, stating that “there are going to be jurors who will be fans of mine.”

Ohhh Martin…something tells us this won’t be the last time we’ll be hearing from you.

What Else Is Happening…

  • Amtrak named Richard Anderson (former Delta exec) as CEO.
  • U.S. hedge fund Third Point took a $3.5 billion stake in Nestle (+4.32%).
  • YouTube just launched Uptime, an app that allows users to watch and react to videos with their friends.
  • Tim Westergren is stepping down as CEO of Pandora (+2.17%).

Economic Calendar

  • Monday: No events today
  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence
  • Wednesday: General Mills Earnings; Crude Inventories
  • Thursday: McCormick and Company, Nike, Walgreens Earnings; GDP
  • Friday: Michigan Consumer Sentiment; Personal Income

Water Cooler

(Youtube) By the Numbers

Following Friday’s absolutely staggering stat of the day regarding YouTube’s monthly logged-in users, we decided to take a closer look into the video-sharing company.

Time to let the numbers do the talking…

YouTube Stats (2016):

300—The number of video content hours uploaded to YouTube every minute.

3.25 billion—The number of hours of video watched each month.

40 minutes—The average time mobile users watch during a single viewing session.

1 billion—The average number of mobile views per day.

2.87 billion—The number of times people watched Gangnam Style by Psy (the most viewed video on YouTube).

46,000 years—The number of video hours watched annually.


It’s clear that YouTube enjoys absolutely mind-numbing engagement. And even more shocking—it could be growing fast enough to surpass TV viewership in a few years. So what’s the takeaway? Keep putting your cat’s head through a piece of bread and we’ll keep watching.

The Breakroom

Interview Question of the Day

Solve this number puzzle and find out the possible value for a, b, c and d.

image alt text


Who Am I?

  1. I own about $10 million worth of Facebook stock.
  2. I own (and raise) two Nigerian dwarf goats.
  3. I’m worth $1.93 billion.
  4. I founded my company in 1997 and am still the CEO today.

(Who am I?)

Stat of the Day


That’s the estimated number of interns working at Amazon this summer. Transportation to work has gotten so hectic that Seattle is now expanding its bus service.

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