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November 11, 2020

Talk Money Weekly #015 | Spotify Introduces Legal "Pay for Play" 💰

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Mesh Lakhani

Talk Money Weekly - #015

Hey All,

This is Issue #015 of the Talk Money Weekly. To get your mind moving on the topic of money every week, I curate and share trending conversations around money, business, current events, and pop culture from Twitter, my favorite podcasts, and other platforms.

We took a break last week because of the elections. We're back with a new edition and a new President!

As we get ready to launch our Season 3 soon, have you checked out the Talk Money Podcast? Here are my three recommendations to get you started:

Black in Business
A Table for Two, Please
The Coffee Shop

One small favor. If you're enjoying this curated list, please forward it to your friends. I would greatly appreciate it!

📈Markets & Business:

Pfizer Announces Positive Vaccine News AFTER the Election


On Monday, Nov 9, Pfizer announced news of an effective COVID vaccine trial- 90% effective to be clear. Three things to point out here.

  1. The news caused an upwards surge in the Stock Market. Markets like good news. While airlines & travel-related companies were up 20%, companies like Netflix, Zoom & Shopify were down on the news. This simply implies a behavior change in the future.
  2. Pfizer made the announcement after the election result. It seems they didn’t want this news to be politicized. One can only imagine, right?
  3. Which leads me to the last point. Pfizer did not take any government funding. From what I understand the government would be been involved only in the distribution of the vaccine, and as a buyer.

All in all, this is positive. While we may not have anything nationwide till the fall of 2021, we have a better timeline.

Spotify Introduces Legal Payola?


Spotify announced that it’s offering artists the ability to boost their exposure for a lower performance royalty rate. A few things to unpack here.

  1. This is not the same thing as payola. Payola is when record promoters pay DJs to keep songs in circulation. It is illegal.
  2. According to Ben Thompson of Stratechery, this is a way for Spotify to make their memberships more profitable, by lowering the cost they pay per music stream.
  3. Artists and rights holders (mostly labels) are already paid fractions of pennies for each stream. Spotify controls the distribution and therefore can offer more exposure, but in exchange, they want a discount on the cost per stream.

It’s not illegal. It's just not great for artists who are already paid so little. Exposure to a larger audience isn’t even guaranteed.

A New COVID-19 Task Force Can Bring Our Economy Back


The right team is important to get the US to mass testing, which also has to be both convenient and affordable. Hopefully, we’re moving in the right direction. This thread is very detailed on how this would work and I encourage you to check it out.

The plan suggested, would need 50% of the country to participate. Modeled out, the program would cost $28B and increase GDP by $395B. Why? It allows people to go back to work, be social, and still maintain control over the virus. Great leadership balanced with a lack of bureaucracy will help us get there.

New Traders Are In For A Rude Awakening


The Compound Show with Downtown Josh Brown
I love Josh Brown for his brutal transparency. In this podcast, he tells the history of the so-called day traders. Once people caught on to this trend, those with superior technology dominated the space, and we saw the industry fade away.

After the Pandemic, we saw 30 million new investors/traders enter the market, using apps like Robinhood. A lot of them believe they will get rich trading (many of them already have). It’s easy to think this way when stocks only go up. All good things come to an end. You learn about investing by losing money. It's a harsh reality. Josh Brown discusses the history of the day trader and why today’s young traders will never get rich by simply trading. It's a great listen. Josh will be on Season 3 of the podcast!

🎥 Entertainment:

Home Alone Turns 30!


Still one of the holiday greats, Home Alone is a classic. My favorite comment about the movie is how much the house they lived in costs. I believe it’s worth around $1.9M.

Home Alone was a huge financial success. It made almost $1B at the global box office. In 1990, it was second to Ghost, which hit the $1B mark. That's just crazy! Can you imagine what it takes to make $1B at the movies now? It involves superheroes... and lots of them. We live in different times now. In all honesty, I can’t wait to go back to the movies. It’s one of the things I miss the most.

That's all for this week! I hope you enjoyed the FIFTEENTH issue of Talk Money Weekly.

If you haven't already subscribed to my podcast, Talk Money, do so here. Make sure you listen to our latest episode "Black in Business". Stay tuned for our trailer for Season 3 which is going to be pretty amazing. More on that soon.

Want to chat? Tweet me at @meshlakhani. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, subscribe here for updates!