☕️ Streaming slump

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November 13, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Morning Brew

The Motley Fool

Good morning. The World Cheese Awards just dropped and whiz got friggin' robbed again. A soft goat cheese from Spanish artisan cheesemaker "Quesos y Besos" (Cheeses and Kisses) got the nod for first place, and it's apparently so good that one judge said, "I just wanted to go to bed with it."

Max Knoblauch, Matty Merritt, Neal Freyman














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 9:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The S&P and Nasdaq bounced back after getting a bruising from the concerning inflation report Wednesday. Beyond Meat stock crumbled as easily as a veggie burger when it revealed disappointing sales last quarter and said things wouldn't get much better in Q4.


Disney+ Growth Looking Like

A drawing of a horse, becoming increasingly child-like from left to right.


Baby Yoda's not doing great in his toddler stage: Disney shares sagged 7% yesterday after the company announced an abrupt slowdown of new subscribers to Disney+ on Wednesday.

After adding 12, 9, and 21 million subscribers in the previous three quarters, analysts assumed the Dory avatar profiles would keep flowing for the growing streaming service, predicting an additional 10 million new subs. Instead, Disney+ added only 2.1 million subscriptions in the latest quarter.

  • The new figures bring Disney+ total subs to 118.1 million, behind Netflix's 213.5 million.
  • Now, it'll be an uphill battle for Disney to meet its target of 230–260 million subscribers by 2024.

Don't expect fewer Loki eps though: CEO Bob Chapek told investors that it's still full steam ahead. Disney will increase its investment in the streaming service beyond the projected $8–$9 billion it announced last December.

The subscriber slowdown isn't a Disney exclusive

It appears as though the US streaming market has almost reached saturation.

  • Netflix has added just 88,000 subscribers in the US and Canada this year (down from 6 million in 2020 and 3 million in 2019)—and that's in the era of its biggest show ever, Squid Game, AND the reign of Giuseppe and Jürgen on Bake Off.
  • HBO Max added 570,000 new US subscribers last quarter, down from 2.4 million and 2.8 million in the previous two.
  • As for Peacock? Comcast doesn't even want to talk about it.

What to do? Some analysts say Disney needs a hard reset and to look beyond its franchises like Marvel, which require more money and time to produce. And maybe it just needs to make better content. While Disney+ programming is positively received by subscribers, the streamer lags behind competitors in terms of its number of highly rated shows, according to a Barclays analysis.

We'll find out more about the platform's new content slate today, as Disney celebrates its streamer's second anniversary with Disney+ Day.—MK



All's Not Quiet on the Eastern Front

Migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region


ICYMI, there's a crisis unfolding on the Belarusian-Polish border, and now the Belarusian president is threatening to stop gas flows to the EU if Western powers slap more sanctions on his country.

The backstory: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Middle Eastern countries like Iraq and Syria, have amassed at the frigid Belarus-Poland border in an attempt to get into EU states like Poland and Lithuania. 12,000 Polish troops have been deployed to block them from entering.

The EU is accusing Belaurisan President Alexander Lukashenko of using these migrants as geopolitical pawns in yet another attempt to destabilize the bloc.

  • Lukashenko has been called "Europe's last dictator." He runs an authoritarian regime, held a fraudulent election last year to stay in power, and in May effectively hijacked an EU commercial jet in order to arrest a dissident journalist.
  • The EU responded to that hijacking with a barrage of sanctions, which it threatened to widen after Lukashenko's latest border provocations.

Big picture: A gas supply squeeze is the last thing Europe needs right now. Gas prices on the continent have skyrocketed this year, but 20% of the EU's gas supplies arrive via Belarus from Russia.—NF



Drunk Driving on Notice

When President Biden signs the $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday, he'll be putting into effect the government's biggest push yet to end drunk driving.

And it's not just a call for more corny PSAs. By 2026, automakers will be required to install technology that detects and prevents intoxicated drivers from hitting the road.

Around 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year, making up about 30% of all traffic fatalities. This plan seeks to reduce those deaths by 9,400/year. But how?

  • Some options in development include discrete sensors placed in cars that would measure the alcohol level in drivers' blood or breath.
  • Other possible solutions include cameras similar to ones currently used by carmakers like GM to monitor attentiveness when driver assistance features are in use.

Bottom line: People definitely have privacy concerns over the tech, but anti-drunk driving activists are praising the new rule. Alex Otte, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, called the mandate the "single most important legislation" passed in the advocacy group's history.—MM



5Gee, I Wish I Invested

Arial view of white city buildings iwth "5G" in the middle

Dreaming of the big time stocks you shoulda-coulda-woulda invested in...but didn't?

The Motley Fool works to identify potentially massive tech trends right before they take off, and with Apple making all of their iPhones 5G compatible, The Motley Fool believes 5G tech has reached a pivotal inflection point. 

This means it might be poised to explode with opportunity, making 5G a potentially great place to invest $1k right now. With past picks like Tesla and Netflix, The Motley Fool's got a strong rep for picking tech stocks right before they gain serious mainstream traction.

And while others are eyeing obvious picks like 5G providers, The Motley Fool's Stock Advisor has homed in on a lesser-known stock that serves 5G tech in a significant, barely-replicable way. 

Want their pick? Get its name, plus two other recs, *and* Stock Advisor's report on 5G here.


Key Performance Indicators

Yale university

Getty Images

Stat: The number of managerial and professional staff at Yale University has grown at 3x the rate of the undergraduate student body over the last two decades, and now is greater than the size of the undergrad population, per the Yale Daily News. There are even more administrators than a cappella groups.

Quote: "Making history in the world of food."

DJ Khaled's new business venture is as large as his "featured" credits. The producer launched chicken wing delivery startup Another Wing in five countries across three continents—one of the biggest restaurant launches ever. You can even get your wings delivered via jet ski in Miami.

Read: How NFTs create value. (Harvard Business Review)




News Quiz image

The feeling of getting a 5/5 on the Brew's Weekly News Quiz has been compared to straightening a picture frame at a friend's house when they're out of the room.

It's that satisfying. Ace the quiz.


  • Global luxury sales are on track this year to top pre-Covid levels, according to Bain.
  • Bumble stock plunged nearly 20% after it said its number of paying users dropped in Q3 from the previous quarter.
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the market for NFTs could be as big as or even bigger than the company's crypto trading business.
  • Schools across the US are loosening mask requirements as more kids get vaccinated.
  • MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes has bought back the company from a trustee and wants to relaunch it, per Insider.


No flippin' wayyy. Kitchen assistant robot, Flippy, is servin' up another partnership—this time with the parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings. Flippy Wings is forecasted to increase their food production speed 10-20%...spicy numbers indeed. Get in as an investor before this offering closes November 18.*

Your budget's BFF: With Affirm, shoppers can buy gifts now and pay at their own pace without any pesky hidden or late fees. Available at thousands of merchants like StockX and Dick's Sporting Goods. Learn more about Affirm here.*

Down with QWERTY: Improve your WPM by entering the global typing competition.

Follow Friday: This two-part TikTok is so ridiculous it can't be true. Can it? (H/t Today in Tabs).

*This is sponsored advertising content


Your Guide to Virtual Fitting Rooms

Image of clothing rack coming out of an iPhone, on a blue background

Since at least 2010, companies have been working on some form of technology that allows shoppers to "try on" clothes from the comfort of their homes. Retailers and tech companies from Warby Parker to Pinterest have latched onto the idea of solving the challenge via a mixture of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, cameras, and other forms of sensors.

  • Fast-forward to 2021, and the need to solve this challenge is stronger than ever before. And closer to being solved than ever before.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the key components, players, challenges, use cases, and developments in virtual fitting room technology.

Read the guide


Friday Puzzle

Triangle puzzle

Reader's Digest

How many triangles can you find?


The Founder's Mindset

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Upgrade your morning with the Founder's Journal podcast and get smarter, faster for free. Start with some of our favorite episodes:

This editorial content is supported by American Express.




Written by Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, and Matty Merritt

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