Pandora Bringing The Heat To Spotify And Apple, Plus Vimeo Partners With Lionsgate To Offer 80 TV Shows

by 2 years ago


“This is the anti-Amazon” — The ever-quotable short seller Jim Chanos, best known for betting against Enron, this time commenting on his current favorite punching bag: Tesla. Chanos’ thesis: Tesla will ultimately fail due to its seemingly endless need for more capital.

Market Snapshot

  • Monday’s much-needed rebound was followed by a sharp selloff on Tuesday as energy slumped and volatility spiked
  • Oil fell more than 3% after the International Energy Agency forecast slowing demand. The downturn arrives at an inopportune time, with the industry currently plagued by massive inventories that are still rising
  • Apple stock rose over 2.5% yesterday after T-Mobile stated that weekend preorders for the iPhone quadrupled the previous high watermark set during the same time frame

We See You, Pandora

…Bringing the heat to Spotify and Apple. Known for its (increasingly outdated) online radio service, Pandora has finally made the move toward launching a music streaming platform to rival Apple Music and Spotify. Good looks…we guess? As it happens, Pandora hasn’t released many details about the service other than saying it would be “mid-priced” (thanks for the deets, Pandora). But it’s settled licensing deals with Sony, Universal Music Group and some independent labels, meaning the service could be able to provide a pretty darn respectable selection. As of now, Pandora is saying that its new service will hit the market by the end of 2016. We’ll keep our ears open.

Oprah Has Had it Up to Here

…The face of Weight Watchers sparks a big change. It’s about time we did a story on Oprah. The media mogul is a huge stakeholder (owning 10%) in the weight loss company and wields quite a bit of power—which she just used to oust CEO Jim Chambers. If you didn’t know, now you know. Why’d she do it, though? Weight Watchers shares have fallen nearly 55% this year and the company hasn’t notched positive revenue growth under Chambers at all (dating back to 2013). The industry is changing—fitness junkies prefer using Fitbits and Apple Watches to track their calories and food consumption instead of subscribing to food programs. Will a new CEO be the solution? Save us, Oprah.

Vimeo Says “Hi, We Exist”

…By partnering with Lionsgate to offer over 80 TV shows…all on Vimeo’s new video TV store, set to launch next month. Lionsgate will be the first Hollywood studio to license its content on Vimeo’s platform, including such binge-able hits as Orange is the New Black, Mad Men and Blue Mountain State (more power to you if you binge all three). If you’re thinking, “boy, this sounds a lot like Netflix and Hulu,” you’d be right—we’ve got a serious power move on our hands. As for Lionsgate, the partnership presents an opportunity for the studio to get more of its TV content where the eyeballs are going…online.

Old Data but Good Data

…Household Incomes jumped 5.2% in 2015. Not half bad. In fact, it’s really, really good—last year saw median household income rise to $56,516, the largest annual gain since figures were first reported in 1967—even after accounting for inflation. Translation: the middle class had quite the strong year. Yes, household income still remains slightly below pre-recession levels, but we’ll take it. And there’s more good news: the poverty rate decreased in 2015—dipping from 14.8% in 2014 to 13.5% last year. The uninsured rate also dropped significantly. All things considered, the figures point to an economy that got a lot healthier in 2015 than many thought, but it remains to be seen if these positive trends will continue. Keep doing you, America.

Other Stories

Economic Calendar

  • Monday: Manchester United (-) Earnings; T-Bill Auctions
  • Tuesday: Treasury Budget
  • Wednesday: Cracker Barrel Earnings; Import/Export Prices
  • Thursday: Oracle Earnings; Producer Price Index; August Retail Sales; Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Friday: Consumer Price Index; Consumer Sentiment

Gym Rats

This might surprise those of you that peg millennials as lazy: according to Gallup, the obesity rate for millennials is dropping significantly. Why? For one, millennials are exercising at levels we haven’t seen in years, so much so that there may even be a subsequent economic boost. Let’s work out these numbers:

  • 19 to 35 year-olds saw a 0.6% decline in obesity and a 4.2% rise in exercise rates from 2008 to 2015. Keep it up, kids.
  • Diabetes diagnoses have also dropped 0.5% in the same seven-year period. Amazing what a little exercise can do.
  • As far as the general American population goes, however, the numbers aren’t quite as rosy. Older adults saw a 3.8% increase in obesity during this period and are only exercising 0.5% more than in 2008.
  • Believe it or not, obesity actually has a huge impact on the economy. The chronic disease adds an exorbitantly high $142 billion annually in medical costs, as adults who are overweight can expect to pay close to $400 more every year. Simply put, exercise = more money in the bank.

Interview Question of the Day

A farmer puts six pigs into four pens. None of the pens are empty. None of the pens contain an uneven number of pigs. How did he manage this? (Answer)

Business Person of the Day

Dennis Lockhart — The current Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President announced yesterday that he will step down in February, ending his reign at the helm that began in 2007. Lockhart’s comments on the economy and monetary policy were often seen by many as a reflection of the central bank’s consensus view.

Food for Thought

What video game was that kid playing on the subway? Trick question: you won’t see it played on the subway, but according to developer Riot Games, the massively popular online battle game League of Legends has now surpassed 100 millionmonthly players. Well played, Riot Games.

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