☕ Max bearish

Netflix works on a turnaround plan...
July 20, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Piestro

Good morning. The UK recorded its hottest-ever temperature yesterday, with a provisional reading of 40.3 degrees Celsius in eastern England.

What's that in Fahrenheit? Remember what your sixth grade science teacher explained: Multiply by 1.8, then add 32. That comes out to 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Not that many folks are asking. Only the US, Belize, Palau, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands use Fahrenheit as their official temperature scale.

Jamie Wilde, Max Knoblauch, Neal Freyman, Joe Abrams

MARKETS

Nasdaq

11,713.15

S&P

3,936.69

Dow

31,827.05

10-Year

3.026%

Bitcoin

$23,585.33

Boeing

$156.13

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 8:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The S&P had its best day in three weeks as strong earnings reports blasted stocks to the moon yesterday. Boeing's been on a nice little run while it racks up new orders at the Farnborough International Airshow in shmoiling England.

MEDIA

Netflix is running down that hill

Netflix symbol in the upside down Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Nils Gremminger/Getty Images

Well, jogging. After losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year, Netflix said in its earnings report yesterday that 970,000 more left the platform in the last three months. That's less than half as many as Netflix had predicted it would lose, but still…it's the first time the company has ever lost subscribers for two quarters in a row.

What's going on? Consumers have hit their limit for how many streaming services they're willing to pay for. On average US households were signed up for 4.7 streaming services this quarter; that's the most ever, but also unchanged from the previous quarter, according to research company Kantar. A growing number of streaming services are fighting for a limited number of spots, and Netflix started to lose its place in viewers' chilling rotation.

The company has three big initiatives to break its Vecna's curse

1. Crack down on password-sharing. Netflix is severing everyone's last remaining tie to their ex by charging extra fees for nonhousehold account users. In March, the company said it would start cracking down on password sharing in three Central and South American countries, and expanded that program to five more countries this week. More than 100 million households use a Netflix account they don't pay for, and the streamer has said that's a major drain on subscriber growth.

2. Launch an ad-supported tier. Netflix said it'll launch a tier that includes ads in early 2023, similar to what's already offered on HBO Max with Ads and what's coming this year to Disney+. Netflix's new offering will be less expensive than its ad-free service, which could help it win back subscribers. Brands are already lining up: Peloton and Hyundai are cooking up plans to advertise on Netflix and get in front of a previously unreachable audience.

3. Recreate that Stranger Things magic. Netflix wants what Disney and HBO have: franchises so popular that fans get tattoos of them. Netflix execs told Reuters that they're giving a dozen Netflix shows and movies the Strangers Things treatment (merchandise, spinoffs, IRL events) in the hopes of creating their own Harry Potter or Star Wars. Netflix is releasing a new spy film starring Ryan Gosling, The Gray Man, this Friday that could be its James Bond (Gosling's character's nickname is literally Six).

Looking ahead…with this turnaround plan kicking into gear, Netflix predicted that it'll return to subscriber growth this quarter.—JW

        

TOGETHER WITH PIESTRO

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Don't miss your chance to get a slice of Piestro before their investing campaign closes July 28. Learn more

WORLD

Tour de headlines

Elon Musk pointing with a bird on his finger Photo Illustration: Dianna "Mick" McDougall, Photo: Getty Images/Frederic J. Brown

Five days in October. A judge granted Twitter's request to fast-track its lawsuit against Elon Musk to force him to buy the company, which means the two parties will face off in a five-day blockbuster trial in October. Musk wanted to delay the trial so that his legal team had more time to review the number of fake accounts on Twitter, while Twitter said that was an unreasonable demand given the damage it's already sustained due to the uncertainty of the acquisition.

Lawmakers move to protect same-sex marriage: The House passed legislation that would codify same-sex marriage and interracial marriage into federal law by a vote of 267–157, with all Democrats and 47 Republicans voting for the bill. Democrats are rushing to enshrine certain rights over concerns that the conservative-heavy Supreme Court could revoke marriage equality after overturning Roe v. Wade. This bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where it would need 60 votes (meaning 10 supportive Republicans) to pass.

Biden set to deliver climate address. As parts of the world roast and catch fire, President Biden will deliver a speech today outlining his strategy for tackling climate change. Many progressives have pushed Biden to declare a national climate emergency—which would give him cover to take more action—after Sen. Joe Manchin recently said he wouldn't support climate legislation this summer. But, according to the AP, Biden isn't planning on taking that step today.

FINANCE

Investors are 'max bearish' on the economy

Stocks going down Francis Scialabba

You know when you're in a mood where you'll deliver a roundhouse kick anyone who tells you to "calm down"? Investors have reached that point.

A closely watched Bank of America survey revealed a "dire level of investor pessimism" among 259 fund managers. A few data points:

  • Investors' allocation to stocks has hit its lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008, showing they have little appetite for risky assets.
  • Expectations for global economic growth have hit an all-time low.
  • And the share of investors who deemed a recession "likely" reached its highest point since the onset of Covid in April 2020.

What's got investors blasting Simple Plan? Their biggest concern is inflation remaining elevated, which has been a real drag on the economy.

To weather the storm, investors are piling into defensive sectors such as utilities and consumer staples, and hoarding cash at levels not seen in 21 years.

Zoom out: BofA chief investment strategist Michael Hartnett said that, while a stock market bounce like yesterday's is possible, expect it to be as fleeting as a summer camp romance. He expects the market to bottom out only once the Fed reverses its interest rate hikes, which—with inflation only soaring higher—may not be happening anytime soon.—NF

        

TECH

Can this meeting be a story?

Don Draper Gif Mad Men/AMC via Giphy

Yesterday Microsoft announced Viva Engage, a new social app within its Teams product that will allow employees to share Snapchat and Instagram-esque stories of their activities. Finally, somewhere to put all these videos of you using the computer without any expression whatsoever!

The company describes Viva Engage as a "social app for digital communities, conversations, and self-expression tools." While the typical content that goes on stories—videos of your Uber driver blasting Josh Groban at 2am, or a beautifully designed graphic about the dangers manatees face—may not seem work-appropriate, Microsoft thinks the service will help liven up remote work and foster new connections between employees.

Stories will launch on Teams later this summer to the app's 270+ million monthly users.

Microsoft isn't exactly early to the idea of stories, though, even for the workplace. Last fall, Slack rolled out Clips, which its CEO described as being "very much like Instagram stories, or Snapchat stories." Microsoft's own LinkedIn had the feature so long ago (it launched February 2020) that it already decided to shut it down (August 2021). Other companies that bailed on stories include Twitter, which scrapped its stories clone product called Fleets last year.—MK

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Chart showing who we spend time with Our World in Data

Stat: This chart shows who Americans spend their time with over their lifespan. Better start getting comfortable being with your own thoughts.

Quote: "Time for me to leave electoral politics and focus on other ways to serve."

Bill de Blasio, former mayor of New York City, announced that he would be exiting the race for New York's 10th Congressional District, and electoral politics all together, on Tuesday. De Blasio served in politics for 25 years, but closed out his second term as mayor with miserable polling numbers and gained minimal traction in his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Read: Emmanuel the TikTok-interrupting emu opens up about his newfound fame. (Washington Post)

TOGETHER WITH MCKINSEY & CO

McKinsey & Co

Are you versed in the metaverse? You might wanna get on that. With potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030, the metaverse is getting bigger, bolder, and more significant. Learn how to foster value in a space that's still taking shape with key research from McKinsey & Co. Download the report here.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • 16 Members of Congress were arrested while attending an abortion rights rally in front of the Supreme Court.
  • A transformer at the Hoover Dam exploded, but no one was injured and the flow of electricity was not disrupted.
  • A crew member for Law & Order: Organized Crime was ambushed and killed in his car ahead of the show's filming in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
  • Gas prices fell below $4.50 a gallon for the first time in two months. They've now been sliding for 35 straight days.
  • Macy's is adding small Toys R Us stores within all of its locations in the next few months, ahead of the winter holidays.

BREW'S BETS

Inspo for Christopher Nolan: The 20 scariest theories known to humans.

It's a sign war: McDonald's, Dairy Queen, and other local restaurants in Missouri got dragged into a nasty sign war.

Speak crypto to me: Here's your definitive guide to all blockchain slang, from "gm" to "wagmi" (yeah, we didn't know what that meant until reading this article, either).

GAMES

The puzzle section

Picdoku: If you're like us and haven't been able to put down GeoGuessr all week, you might have an edge on today's Picdoku. Play it here.

Moon trivia

On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface. Here are a few questions that will test your knowledge of the moons in our solar system.

  1. How many people have ever visited Earth's moon?
  2. Who was the first person to discover Jupiter's moons?
  3. This planet has the most moons of any in the solar system.
  4. These two planets have no moons.
  5. Many moons of Uranus are named after characters from which famous writer?
  6. True/false: The moon is made of cheese.

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How the Brooks Running CEO fought off cancer and $40 million in debt

How the Brooks Running CEO fought off cancer and $40 million in debt

On the latest Imposters: how the CEO of one of the world's leading running companies managed to turn around a failing business and overcome esophageal cancer. Listen or watch here.

For more from The Brew:

What the smish? Phishing attacks are now invading our text messages. Here's how IT departments can fight back.

‍♀️ Did you know that the Starbucks logo is NOT a mermaid? This is the real story behind the iconic design. Watch now.

ANSWER

  1. 24 (Give yourself full credit for getting within three people.)
  2. Galileo Galilei
  3. Saturn
  4. Mercury and Venus
  5. Shakespeare
  6. 100% true no one can convince us otherwise
         

Written by Neal Freyman, Jamie Wilde, Joseph Abrams, and Max Knoblauch

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