“Fat finger error” — A possible explanation behind the unexpected “flash crash” 10% drop in the British pound yesterday. Whoops.
- U.S. stocks closed mixed on a ho-hum day on Wall Street as oil closed above $50 for the first time since April
- Twitter’s roller coaster ride picked up even more speed yesterday: shares reversed 20% after a Recode report claimed that neither Google, Apple nor Disney are interested in the company
- Hurricane Matthew isn’t just wreaking havoc on the ground: a number of insurance companies with Florida exposure dropped 10% on average
NFL Viewership Takes a Hit
…Down 10% in the first four weeks of the season. What’s going on here? Everyone, from network executives to media buyers, is searching to explain the NFL’s unexpected ratings drop. Remember, there’s A LOT of money on the line here. North of $20 billion to be exact. Some attribute the decline to the presidential election, citing Donald v. Hillary’s Monday night head-to-head at Hofstra, which drew 84 million viewers. Others point to cord cutting, which is sending viewers to mobile platforms like Twitter. Nielsen data doesn’t yet track these new platforms, but it’ll be releasing the Total Audience Measurement service next season. Whether analysts are right or wrong, primetime football networks are forking up a cool $5 billion a year until 2021 to broadcast the NFL, so you best believe that NFL ratings will continue to be front and center.
Netflix’s Next Stop
…Your local movie theater? Yes, you read that right: this week, Netflix announced its first partnership with luxury movie theater chain iPic to play 10 of its original films in theaters. Don’t get too excited though…for the time being, Netflix’s original content is only for the lucky urbanites in NYC and LA.
…Public company? Can it be? Snap Inc., the renamed artist formerly known as Snapchat, has reportedly started working on its much-anticipated IPO. With a plan to go public in March, the much-loved messaging giant could fetch a valuation upwards of $25 billion, which would make it the largest IPO since Alibaba’s $168 billion offering in 2014 (yeah, Alibaba was freaking huge). Big money…but why does Snap Inc. need the capital? The IPO proceeds could be used to fuel the company’s advertisement growth goals—the company expects a whopping $1 billion in revenue in 2017, up from a slim $60 million in 2015. Or even spicier, the money could be used to make acquisitions in the virtual/augmented reality space. Speaking of…
Don’t Feel Ready for VR?
…Too bad. Facebook is making you ready. Remember Oculus Rift? The Facebook-owned virtual reality headset was released to insane hype earlier this year. But a high price, shipping problems and a lack of compelling software fogged consumers’ enthusiasm in a hurry. Coupled with increasing competition in the VR space from HTC, Sony, Samsung and others (don’t forget Google and its just-unveiled Daydream headset), and you’d be forgiven for forgetting all about Oculus.
Well, forget no longer. Yesterday, in a sprawling, jam-packed two-hour conference, Mark Zuckerberg said “remember me?” and revealed a whole bunch of VR goodies that show Facebook’s intention to double down on VR tech. The headline news: Oculus is currently building a “standalone” VR headset that won’t need to be hooked up with cables to a PC or smartphone. The highlight: a 10-minute demo during which Zuckerberg performed day-to-day tasks in a virtual world—including a virtual call with his wife, Priscilla. Put it all together, and Facebook’s ambitions become clear: the social media company believes that VR is the next major computing platform, and—surprise!—the future of social interaction. Let the virtual games begin.
- Verizon will soon start selling data plans for drones
- Gap climbs after September sales decline isn’t as bad as feared
- Verizon wants $1 billion discount after Yahoo privacy concerns
- Samsung profit tops estimates despite Note 7 recall debacle
- Monday: ISM Manufacturing Index (-); September Auto Sales (-); Construction Spending (-)
- Tuesday: Micron (+), Darden Restaurants (+) Earnings
- Wednesday: Monsanto (+), Yum! Brands (-) Earnings; ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (+); Factory Orders (+); Private Employment Report (-)
- Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims (+)
- Friday: September Jobs Report
Cue the Jealous Rage
As our brutal work week winds down, let’s take a few moments to honor the people who are so rich they don’t have to work another day in their lives. We can dream. The Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest people in America has a returning cast of characters, with Bill Gates reigning supreme for the 23rd straight year. Following in his footsteps, tech tycoons continue to gain prominence on the list. In second place is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who added a whopping $20 billion to his fortune just this past year. While tech billionaires take up only 55 of the 400 spots, their net worth is enormous, accounting for 25% of the total wealth on the list. Here’s more:
- One of only three tech women on the list, HP CEO Meg Whitman is the richest female in tech. With a net worth of $2.3 billion, she made most of her fortune as the CEO of eBay.
- Thousands of miles away from the financial hub of NYC, 38 tech billionaires on the list live in California. Five reside in Washington State, while Texas (shoutout Mark Cuban) and Florida both host two.
- Great news: they’re young! Every self-made billionaire under 40 on the list made their money in tech. The youngest member of the coveted list is Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel—he’s only 26. His net worth? $2.1 billion. That’s just over $80 million for each year he’s been alive—not a bad salary, if you ask us.
Interview Question of the Day
In between the numbers 1 and 1,000 (including those numbers), what single digit number occurs the most often? (Answer)
Startup of the Day
Welcome to the big leagues, Coupa. The expense management company—essentially, it provides software to help companies keep track of everyday expenses—went public yesterday, raising $133 million and skyrocketing 87% on its first day of trading. Not a bad first day on the job.
Food for Thought
Lots of Snapchat love in today’s Brew, so we can’t help but end on a bit of a downer. Hear that, Snapchat? That’s the sound of Instagram encroaching on your turf. In just two months, Instagram’s Snapchat clone, Instagram Stories, has already hit 100 million daily active users—two-thirds of Snapchat’s total.
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