Stoked On Spotify Stock

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MUSIC & INDUSTRY


Spotify officially filed to go public. Their prospectus provides a detailed look at the company with highlights like: $5 billion in revenue in 2017, up 39% from 2016, and 159 million active users, 71 million of which are loyal paying subscribers. Not to mention the $10 billion in royalties paid since the service began. Spotify has amassed a whopping 200 petabytes of total data, compared to Netflix's 60 petabytes. Netflix built a model that cut out their content studio middlemen. Spotify currently pays 90% of its royalties to four major rights holders (music companies). The symbiotic relationship between rights holders and Spotify means we won't see anything drastic in the music industry soon. However, Spotify is specifically taking aim at terrestrial radio and direct consumer gatekeepers, two big power levers of music holding companies. Oh, and did we mention iHeartMedia is filing for bankruptcy?

BRANDS & BANDS


Try as they might, brands just can't stay above the fray anymore. So, apparently, the NRA has, for years, had all sorts of deals and discounts for members with big blue-chip brands. Now, activists are calling these brands to task, forcing each one to make a binary choice - cut ties or continue partnership - and thus, take a side. In this case, the preponderance of public opinion support was on one side and most brands followed. But not all. And for those that did, their decision was not without risk. Indeed, pro-NRA Georgia lawmakers passed a bill revoking tax exemptions to punish Atlanta-based Delta. While all gun-selling brands are being forced to react, some are seizing the opportunity to enforce their own methods of gun control. Rather than waiting for congressional action, Dick's Sporting Goods discontinued the sale of all assault weapons. REI, a co-op, went even further, discontinuing the sale of all Vista Outdoor products, including guns and ammo, but also ski goggles, helmets and CamelBak water bottles.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


There's now broad consensus that we have a tech problem. Public opinion polls and tech-industry leaders are in agreement. What to do about it? That's more complicated. So let's distill it down. All the way down, to a small, red dot. Or rather, a proliferation of infinite red dots. Red dots that command our attention, require a response or action, beckon us to engage. They "imbue whatever they touch with a spirit of urgency, reminding us that behind each otherwise static icon is unfinished business." There is a simple solution to the scourge of the red dot, however. Following these few steps in your notification settings won't just ease stress, it's an act of revolutionary defiance.

EVERYTHING ELSE


LISTEN


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The Hamilton Polka
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LOOK


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Coastal & Jackie Mendoza
Cleon Peterson

WEEKEND PLAYLIST

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Sydney "Scooter McGavin" Lindberg

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See ya next week...