Spotify tests video courses to throw its hat in the edtech ring | Equity Podcast

This episode is presented by invest Puerto Rico if you believe your business Can go anywhere Puerto Rico is the [Music] Place hello and welcome back to equity The Tech runch podcast about the Business of startups where we unpack the Numbers and the Nuance behind the Headlines this is Alex good morning Today is March 25th 2024 which means this is the very last Equity Monday of q1 I am in awe fastest Quarter went but no time to Look Backwards let's talk about what happened This weekend and what is coming up on This week so on the show today for you I Have stocks and crypto more AI Personnel Moves because apparently we are never Going to get away from that theme new Regulatory issues for apple and alphabet Spotify getting into e-learning of all Things China wanting to get away from us Chips and why liquid death is super cool It's going to be a packed show let's [Music] Go let's start with a look at the world Of money and you know it that means the Stock market shares are largely lower in Asia today the same over in Europe and Are set to open once again Lower here in The US now do keep in mind that us Trading days are shorter this week due To a religious holiday so just four Trading days here in the states on the

Earnings front my gosh my friends we are At the very end of q1 so I only have six Names for you on Tuesday we'll hear from Ino which is built on the Salesforce Platform then Wednesday brings us brace Sprinkler and Rumble and then Friday is SK Telecom so very few names some of Which are SAS and then there's Rumble Which is online video and hosting which Should have a very interesting upcoming Report the stock market is cooling down And we're seeing the same thing over in The world of crypto yes crypto prices Took a breather in the last week with Some rapid gains coming back down to Earth Bitcoin is off just over 2% in the Last week to around $67,000 per ethereum is off just under 5% to about $3,400 and Solana's token which recently Ripped higher is off about 9% in the Last week to $188 don't worry though my friends Dogecoin is up 15% in the last week and Spot trading volume is coming down Modestly from recent Peaks but remains Massively up from the prior Norms we've Seen in the last year so a little bit of Profit taking as we would say in the World of stocks but nothing to worry [Music] About all right let's talk big news that Matters and Personnel shakeups in AI I Think are the biggest news as we got

Started with the weekend stability AI Founder and chief executive Iman mustak Stepped down from his role at top the Unicorn startup and its board now Stability AI has been backed by a number Of investors including light speed Venture partners and coatu management And does appear to have been taken by Surprised by the news how do we know That well it didn't have an immediate Permanent replacement for the CEO role So the startup did what it could and Made its coo and CTO its interim co-ceo Know now stability AI has lost quite a Lot of talent in recent quarters and MTO Stepping down is more bad news for it so Why would the CEO leave well he told us His argument on Twitter I'm going to Quote here with some very very light Changes for the sake of readability Quote we should have more transparent And distributed governance in AI as it Becomes more and more important it's a Hard problem but I think we can fix it He also went on to say quote the conent Ation of power in AI is bad for us all I Decided to step down and fix this at Stability and elsewhere ah okay very Altruistic but at the same time Stability is reported to be burning lots Of cash and not driving enough Revenue To allow it to raise more capital for Example semafor reported last April that Quote name recognition and early

Traction have not translated into enough Revenue to counter Skyhigh server costs And the rapid recruitment of employees Around the world at the company to pick One example so is this the case of a CEO Going rogue to save the world or more of A self-led shakeup of management at a Company that is struggling to raise more Capital well we'll find out in time next Up what is our regulatory news today why It comes from the EU and on top of that Shocking news it involves the digital Markets act or Dma now the Ft report that the EU is Probing both apple and alphabet and also Meta there are two different beefs here On the side of apple and alphabet the Inquiries deal with app stores and Whether or not the two American Tech Giants are favoring their own Application marketplaces here's a pro Tip they certainly want to the only Question is if they are doing so in a Manner that breaks European law and meta Is in trouble of course for advertising Data what else the f T puts this all Into good perspective and I quote the Probes fall under the digital markets Act which is designed to tackle the Dominance of so-called digital Gatekeepers or the biggest online Platforms this is the push and pull of Massive platform companies in the tech Sphere and a massive governing block of

Wealthy Nations trying to keep those Same platforms as open as possible now From the American perspective this may Seem like too much meddling techwrench Has after all covered the EU vers Domestic tech companies battle for what Feels like 17 decades now however flip It around from the European perspective When the two major mobile platforms are Both American companies well you can Imagine why the EU might want to ensure That those same companies are not taking Undue advantage of their Citizenry moving right along Spotify is Getting into learning and my first take On This was oh God why here's what Techwrench has to say Spotify has carved Out a business for itself in the world Of music streaming sure but more Recently it has spent time and money Building out its podcast and audiobook Business by now this should be no Surprise however the company is Something new up its sleeve as part of Its ongoing efforts to get it 600 Million plus users to spend more time And money on its platform so the company Is going to spin up a new line of Content e-learning this means that Starting with a roll out in the UK Spotify is going to test the waters for An online education offering of Premium Video courses now these are produced in Partnership with third parties like the

BBC and skillshare the first two lessons Are free but the total cost for a course Will range between 20 and 80 on average And if you are a premium subscriber you Don't get a discount why is it doing This well Spotify for example works with Music companies and makes a lot of money Money streaming music to users however When it does that it pays most of its Revenue back to rights holders that Means that spotify's overall Revenue mix Is not that impressive on a gross margin Basis so what does it do well it tries To have more stuff on its platform to Give it pricing leverage so it can have Stronger margin Revenue this means Podcast spent a lot of money on that Audio books they're trying that and now E-learning anything to get you to spend More inside of Spotify that way it can Keep more of those dollars it has to Grow and it needs better margins now I Don't know if digital learning via Premium courses is the way to go but I Think we're going to see more Experiments from Spotify until investors Are [Music] Happy now let's go across the sea the Other direction and talk about China Chinese State media reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company will Bring its Vision Pro headset to the Country this year Reuters is the one

That brought us the news from Chinese State media and this should make China The second country to get the Apple Headset given that China is going to be Just the second Nation this is in fact Very big news now elsewhere in China the Ft reports that the country has quote New guidelines that will boot Intel and AMD silicon from government computers The context here is that the US and China are decoupling from one another in Chips with the US looking to ensure that Chinese Tech doesn't find its way into Core infra and also limiting the expert Of high in Silicon to the Rival Nation At the very same time China wants to Build more of its own ships and get us Tech out of its Digital Life and to Closes out a little startup news for Your pallet Tech wrenches Rebecca Scoutek and Christine Hall two names and Voices that regular Equity listeners Have Heard on this very show report that The beverage startup world is getting Fizzy in indeed but with some real Results to back up the hype for example Liquid death reached $263 million in Sales last year and don't worry only Half of that came for me still though With the margins I anticipate that water Has that's a lot of revenue for a Company that isn't that old and has only Raised so much but liquid death is not Alone in trying to Take On The World of

Drinkables there's also Poppy and Ollipop amongst other names like Odyssey Many companies out there with Venture Dollars are trying to take on the Growing non-alcoholic beverage sector And uh well as a recovery and Boozer I'm Totally in favor of it but more Importantly for startups it's fun to see A return of cpg and perhaps even DTC Amidst all the AI hype that we can't Stop talking about who would have Thought that the most basic of goods Drinks is Venture backal but here we are Liquid death is proving the haters Wrong that's our show for this ever so Lovely Monday morning and we are Equity Pod over on X and threads if you want Even more from the podcast crew I am Alex over on X and Equity comes out Three times a week Mondays Wednesdays And Fridays except for weeks when we Have an extra interview and this is one Of those weeks look for a special Episode in your podcast feeds sometime In the next 7 Days in the meantime of Course we have two sister shows chain Reaction and found we'll talk to you Soon hugs happy Monday equity is hosted by myself Alex Wilhelm and Tech rench senior reporter Mary an aeto we are produced by Teresa Loans solo with editing by Kell Bryce Durban is our illustrator and a big Thank you to the audience development

Team and Henry pette who manages Tech Runch audio products thank you so much For listening and we'll talk to you next Time

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