🎤 T-Swift’s Ticketmaster drama

Thursday, November 17, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
It’s hard to shake it off (John Leyba/Getty Images)

It’s hard to shake it off (John Leyba/Getty Images)

It’s hard to shake it off (John Leyba/Getty Images)

It’s hard to shake it off (John Leyba/Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
33,554 (-0.12%)
S&P 500
3,959 (-0.83%)
Nasdaq
11,184 (-1.54%)
Bitcoin
$16,653 (-1.35%)

Hey Snackers,

The Scrabble dictionary updated its list for the first time in years. New additions include useful words like adorbs, zoomer, and zonkey (a half zebra, half donkey).

Stocks edged down yesterday after Target warned of weaker spending going into the holidays. Still, US retail sales jumped a better-than-expected 1.3% last month.

Swifties

Alexa, play “Bad Blood”… Taylor Swift fans have major beef with Ticketmaster. On Tuesday, the Live Nation-owned ticket platform suffered outages after millions of Swifties tried buying tickets to Taylor’s 2023 “Eras” tour, her first in five years. Presale tix were going for $49 to $500 on Ticketmaster, but resellers quickly began listing seats for as much as $21K+ on third-party sites like StubHub. Some police stations warned fans about a surge in ticket scammers.

  • Fans said they were forced to wait hours for site access — and many still couldn't complete their transactions, despite having a presale code.
  • Ticketmaster said the problems were a result of “historically unprecedented demand,” and it extended the presale event for an extra day.
  • FYI: Swift’s “Midnights” became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single-day when it dropped last month.

Pop-star performances… at Super Bowl prices. The live-music industry has had a show-stopping comeback since the pandemic hit. Last quarter, Live Nation’s revenue climbed 63% from 2019, and it’s on pace to notch record ticket sales this year. But as more Americans splurge on experiences over objects, concert prices have surged nearly 15% from prepandemic. It's good news for Ticketmaster, which is said to make up 70%+ of ticketing services for major venues like Madison Square Garden.

THE TAKEAWAY

It's hard to be a hater of the top player… Music fans may be mad at Live Nation, but its live-music dominance makes it hard to escape. In January, Live Nation was accused of snubbing venues that didn’t use Ticketmaster. Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Ticketmaster was a "monopoly" after the Swift drama. But the backlash hasn’t curbed demand: Ticketmaster sales for 2023 shows are already on track to surpass this year’s.

SBFED

Place your right hand… on the crypto white paper? Sam Bankman-Fried has been called to testify. The House Financial Services Committee said the FTX founder is expected to speak to lawmakers next month about his now bankrupt exchange's spectacular collapse. SBF was a regular on Capitol Hill, lobbying for centralized-exchange-friendly regulation. He spent $40M in the last election cycle, mostly on Democratic candidates and causes. Now the so-called wunderkind could be forced to explain how customer funds disappeared (reportedly up to $2B):

  • FTXtradition: American and Bahamian law enforcement (FTX is Bahamas-based) are said to be in talks to bring SBF to the US for questioning — separate from the House hearing.

Mr. SBF goes to Washington… but this time he’s in the hot seat. Before FTX imploded, lawmakers had been working on the SBF-favored Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA). The bipartisan bill would give commodities regulators (aka: the CFTC) additional crypto oversight. But critics said it would prop up centralized exchanges like FTX while hurting decentralized ones like Uniswap. Now the bill's future is in doubt:

  • SB-effed: The Blockchain Association, a crypto trade group, said the DCCPA has SBF's stink on it, and predicts elected officials will want to distance themselves. And yet…
  • Better than nothing: Sens. Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman, the bill's backers, are doubling down, saying FTX's fall hastens the need for regulation.
THE TAKEAWAY

The sunk-cost fallacy is a powerful motivator… and so is embarrassment. FTX's bankruptcy left elected officials in an awkward position: do they push forward regulation once championed by crypto's now “villain” du jour, or walk away from months of efforts only to start anew? Stabenow and Boozman have chosen the latter. Meanwhile, Binance’s CEO is also calling for regulation — just not through the DCCPA.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Targeted: Target shares plunged 13% after it unboxed a 50% profit decline and cut its holiday forecast because of slowing sales. It also said that “organized retail theft” cost it $400M+ in profit loss this year.
  • Ultimuskum: Elon reportedly sent a midnight email ultimatum to Twitter staff: work “long hours at high intensity” or quit. Employees had to click a “yes” link by 5 p.m. ET the next day if they wanted to stay at the company.
  • Cointagion: Genesis stopped issuing new loans and halted withdrawals for its crypto-lending product as the FTX “contagion” spreads. Gemini, the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange, said it would also halt some customer redemptions (Genesis was a key partner).
  • Pack: Amazon confirmed it’s laying off corporate employees, a rare move for the ecomm leader. It said that the econ environment, coupled with pandemic hiring sprees, means “certain roles are no longer necessary.”
  • War: NATO said the Russian-made missile that hit Poland was likely a stray fired by Ukraine’s air defenses, not a Russian strike. The news eased fears of a wider war.

Snack Fact of the Day

NASA’s Artemis I rocket successfully launched yesterday, becoming the most powerful launch vehicle to ever lift off from Earth

Thursday

  • Jobless claims
  • Earnings expected from Alibaba, Palo Alto Networks, NetEase, Ross Stores, BJ’s, Dolby, Macy’s, Gap, Kohl’s, Weibo, and Williams-Sonoma

Authors of this Snacks own: Uniswap, and shares of Amazon

ID: 2598095