tv Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg February 7, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> from the heart of where innovation, money, and power collide, in silicon valley and beyond, this is "bloomerg technology" with emily chang. emily: i'm emily chang in san francisco and this is "bloomerg technology." shares of peloton surging, as they explore takeover options. plus, peter thiel's plans to double down on former president trump's political agenda. and he does not want that to be a distraction from mark zuckerberg. why he's stepping away from
facebook's parent company. daniel ek says the company will not drop joe rogan's podcast. more on that later this hour. u.s. stocks falling amid renewed declines in big tech. ed? ed: it has been an up-and-down kind of day. .08% of 1%, tech heavy index. the technology, meta, the facebook parent having another down day, 5%. year to date declined to 30% and that breaking news you just discussed after the bell that - - he's stepped down from the company's board which he has been on since 2005. there was a bright spot encrypted currencies. quickly look at bitcoin after the last five days. five straight days of gains on the world's most valuable token
by market value. it has sustained momentum. back about $40,000 in that stretch of five days of gains. crypto trades over the weekend for those of you that had a nice time off, not looking at markets this weekend. can't speak for myself, then that is the best run of gains since september. but the big company story, peloton, rising by the most ever. up 30%. we had that throughout the day. and then there are the other players. amazon is taking a look and talking to advisors and has not spoken to peloton directly. the financial times, nike talking to its advisors. has not spoken to peloton directly. bloomberg news reporting that peloton is assessing its option
but the street with a number of -- there's disney that could be a potential suitor, apple too. but no real traction for those names in the markets that would be would be's. emily: interesting. ed ludlow. i want to stick with peloton. according to sources, the fitness company working with an advisor to explore takeover options. the interest is exploratory and might not lead to a deal but what company could be a fit to buy peloton? i'm bring in our guest to has an underperform rating on the company. mark covers peloton for us. we heard what ed just reported. anything we know more in terms of details, whether or not this deal or a deal like this is going to happen? >> of course we know that both amazon and nike are weighing potential bids for the company. for nike, it would make a lot of sense given they already have a ton of athletic apparel. peloton can fit in pretty nicely giving them a new -- obviously they had the fuel band wearable that was discontinued around
2013-2014, and this should put them back in the physical health tech space. it would give them the workout classes and a brand-new way to reach customers and integrate a pretty successful brand that has been taking a hit recently. amazon makes sense with the shear amount of money the company makes. amazon would integrate it and make a peloton subscription part of the prime subscription and that could be a new revenue source for amazon. i strongly believe that apple won't be buying peloton. if a deal gets done in the near term, i do not believe apple has made a bid. so, i think you can roll that out at least for the time being but obviously things can change, things get fluid into the future. emily: apple certainly never made a deal this big and has shied away from big acquisitions. apple, amazon, hulu, nike, disney, who do you think would make the best owner for peloton, and what makes sense? >> isn't it great, to have this
large list of the largest mega caps? mark brings up some interesting points and the fuel band is an important point that people do not talk about but i will come at it from the reverse angle. we cover the athletic companies, i cover nike. we watched all of those names that sell shoes entering equipment and hardware and then pulling back. what they are showing is what they want to do is they want to be neutral and they want to be able to play in that role, more from the software angle than from the hardware. i would be surprised from the nike perspective. the biggest question is figuring out what value it will be. what is interesting are the notion of apple buying peloton w as floated when peloton had a star incredibly rising and apple chose not to do it. is there a distinction that we are thinking about this will be -- how important is that price?
what we have to determine is do an apple or an amazon or to any of these companies want a fixer-upper restructure in story, or do they want to growth story? generally speaking we agree on the latter. i love peloton. i'm a user. we are seeing faltering demand i think right now peloton's best bet has been what they are doing, it is starting to reopen. rather than cut it and start to focus on who that strong loyal really impressive base actually is. emily: right. no question there certainly is a big loyal user base but how many new users is peloton really going to add at this point. , and a new owner will not change the problem that this fitness market is a smaller market than some folks thought when we were in the middle of a pandemic. how will a new or a bigger company address some of these challenges? >> you said it. a big base. it is actually not that big, relative to us started, 2.7 million users -- it's exactly your point. peloton dropped the price of their bikes and did not see a
surgeon to man. -- a surge in demand. covid was a pool for demand and not an expansion. at the end of the day peloton is a fantastic company for a niche group of people and that -- has grown bigger and grown faster, etc., but it does not make it on the same plane as some of the mega caps. emily: what is the likelihood of something actually happening? >> at this point, i don't think it is very likely. peloton reports earnings tomorrow so it is possible that peloton lawyers and lawyers for potential acquirers will work through the morning tomorrow afternoon to get something done but at this point it seems like things have only started moving in recent days very quickly with peloton hiring advisors and some of the potential buyers
hiring investigators to investigate a potential deal. peloton would want to come in above the market cap, below $10 billion. i agree, there is probably a better world for peloton. if they started to raise the prices a little bit, trying to expand their product portfolio and try to take it independent. there is no absolute natural fit for peloton. one of the larger companies. i think it does fit in terms of what we talked about. i think nike is the best fit of the three, but i'm not sure something gets done by tomorrow. emily: if a deal doesn't happen, where does that leave peloton? >> we have an underperform on the stock like the product. right now the company is going through a reset. how many growth stories do we know once they become restructuring stories, it is not a fix i ssue.
right now there is a process. they are making healthy decisions, healthy decisions are not the bullish decisions for the short-term. the reality is they need to fix this cost structure and then we can evaluate what the company is worth but especially after today we have an underperform on the stock. emily: i do want to ask you about another story you are reporting on and that is apple's big event coming up on march 8th. you're reporting they are working on a low cost iphone and ipad. what can you tell us? >> this will be an event currently planned for tuesday march 8, one of the virtual launches, this will be the least significant and the smallest one of the year. this will be for a new iphone se and a new ipad air. the big upgrade will be 5g, they are stuck on chips from 2020 and lower end 4g processors and this will be a5 -upgrade,- a 5g upgr ade, so look out for that. emily: thank you both for breaking all of that down. meantime toshiba has scrapped a plan to divide into three companies that was criticized by investors. instead that japanese tech giant will split in two and sell n
facebook and now meta will step down from the company's board after the annual shareholder meeting in may. debit card patrick who wrote the facebook affect about the history of facebook our guest joining us now. let's start with what we know. what do we know about why peter thiel is leaving now ? his support for president trump been controversial but mark zuckerberg has at all times supported thiel in the name of ideological diversity on facebook sport. -- board. >> th par of the reason he is stepping down as he wants to continue -- to push president trump's agenda and it would be a distraction for facebook. it is a little bit confusing only because peter thiel has been supporting president trump for years. and facebook has stuck by him during all that time. it's odd to finally leave now.
if that is the real reason. regardless, he has been on the board for 17 years now. a controversial relationship between mark zuckerberg and him. whether it is to push trump's agenda or something else, it is significant that he is stepping aside. emily: david, you know better than almost anyone aside from mark zuckerberg and peter thiel himself the nature of their relationship, that history. the importance or lack thereof to the company. what do you make of this? >> it's a shocking development, although i think probably an official one from the company long-term. there is no question thiel was someone that zuckerberg listened to more carefully and with more respect than almost anyone for much of the company's history, especially when it came to making financial decisions, big picture decisions.
but i think that thiel's presence has really accentuated the impression that facebook is unduly sympathetic to the right wing. and that is the impression many have had in his failures to moderate certain kinds of content. the opinion on the right is the opposite, that facebook is too negative, but a more objective view is that facebook has not done enough to moderate voice that are considered tos be right wing and i think thiel has played a future role -- a huge role in influencing them to be that way. emily: does meta still have that ideological diversity without peter thiel? >> yes, although it would not be nearly as dramatic. you still have a very outspoken board members including mark andreasen. he is on the board, someone who is known mark zuckerberg a very long time, very opinionated. he's still there. but you are starting to see this board kind of shift focus a bit. it has become more friends of mark zuckerberg, loyalists to
mark zuckerberg and we have seen historically. the fact that peter thiel, the two are close, but the fact that he is stepping aside is very significant. emily: meantime, another big story on the facebook front, facebook threatening to pull facebook and instagram out of europe based on new pending rules from the e.u. about data transfers from europe to the united states. this statement coming from meta directly. "we have no desire and no plans to withdraw from europe but the reality is that meta and other businesses rely on data transfers between the e.u. and the u.s. in order to operate global services." would facebook actually do this, pull out of europe? >> it seems unlikely to me to obvious reasons. this would be absolutely devastating to the company's reach, devastating to the advertising business, but let's
just remember that last year facebook did pull news from australia. a very different step than removing the service entirely, but my point being is that they are not necessarily afraid to make these threats and at least attempt to go through with them. while i don't think it is going to happen, i'm not necessarily surprise that facebook was starting to throw their weight around and say, listen, it is a benefit to e.u. citizens to have facebook and instagram. we're going to dangle that in front of you and threaten to take it away if you do not play ball with us. emily: this is a complex issue. who has the better argument, meta or the e.u.? david: it is not really in question because of e.u. is the legal jurisdiction and they have a right to make the rules as they see fit. i do think the chances are extremely good on this question, that they will come to
some kind of an agreement before meta facebook pulls out of europe because as kurt says that would be a radical, incredibly destabilizing stock destroying move. and hugely upsetting for the over 400 million europeans who are active users of facebook. but there are other issues on the horizon that might be more problematic in the digital services act which the e.u. is contemplating and it could be that facebook is talking like this now sort of to put a shot over the bow to make regulators realize they will not let their business be dramatically impacted by regulation. emily: what's really an impending issue is the stock price down another 5% today after that huge fund between this data transfer issue and what we learned about the apple privacy changes and how it is impacting digital advertising. what are the holes we're seeing
in facebook's business model at this point? kurt: we're really realizing just how dependent facebook is on so many other institutions and companies. we've known for a long time that the service relies on apple for the iphone, for android and google to reach people, but up until now, we have not really seen them suffer because of decisions of these other companies, and we're seeing that now. apple is able to wipe $10 billion from ad revenue from a facebook forecast for changing privacy rules, and we have regular is -- regulators in the e.u. making threats that impact the business. i think we are kind of realizing what mark zuckerburg has known all along which is that facebook is dependent on others and when they choose not to play in a way that benefits facebook it can have dramatic consequences.
emily: tesla has received another subpoena about a subject that keeps coming up -- elon musk tweets in 2018, saying that he was considering -- tweeting he was considering taking the carmaker private. i thought this issue was settled. what is happening now? david: this issue should've been settled a couple of times but it keeps coming back up. it's almost, back to elon musk's
funding secured tweet when he was going to take the company private. got all kinds of trouble for that. the two sides settled -- for anything he tweets out, in other words, it is supposed to be treated like any other company communication, lawyers would review it to make sure he is not in breach of securities fraud, and he has tweeted out again about a production outlook. the sec filed to hold him in contempt and they settled on in april 2019 again. governing procedures that they would review his tweets. and now they're taking a look again because ten days before this november subpoena was issued, he took a weekend or he took a poll on twitter asking whether he should sell 10% for shares. not quite sure it's related to this but the timing is awfully coincidental and he is just been
monitored for this before. the shares really took a hit after he put that tweet out. he was supposed to be having these -- reviews. elon likes to use twitter. he frequently does so without -- really having a lot of review. it just keeps landing -- keeps landing him and the company in hot water. emily: so, what is the likely fallout here? are you looking at a potential penalty, an impending lawsuit coming up in may? what are we expecting there? david: well, what will happen out of this, not sure, he already had to give up the chairmanship of the company. it doesn't look like he will try to get it back in the company has had to pay fines. they could possibly fine him again. that doesn't really seem to be
stopping him from tweeting. he doesn't tweet as often but there still are tweets that are essential material information that are moving shares. his lawyer said in a court filing last week that the 2018, august 2018 tweet about taking the company private was truthful -- it wasn't fraud. but you do get into information where you're putting market moving information on the street and that seems to be whether sec is tired of seeing. emily: we know tesla does not have a traditional p.r. team. anymore. elon speaks for himself, but any response on this latest development yet? david: yeah, we have not heard back from the sec on this either . we don't really have any more detail from either side, but if, when they are issuing an opinion for an issue that was supposed to be settled two years ago, they have to be looking for something. it's just not a good look for elon.
emily: thank you so much for that update. well, the tight labor market and war for talent is impacting the biggest of giants. amazon is now more than doubling vp salaries from $160,000 to competitive. the turnover rate has reached 50 vice presidents departing in the last year. keep in mind, amazon employees also get paid in equity. coming up, joe rogan keeps giving spotify major headaches. first it was covid misinformation and now it is racial slurs. the ceo says he will not drop joe rogan from the platform. we will discuss next. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: welcome back to "bloomerg technology." i'm emily chang in san francisco. it is going viral, more problematic content from the joe rogan experience resurfaces the pressure is mounting against spotify to -- first it was vaccine misinformation for which joe rogan apologized to say he would do better and be more mindful of guests. last friday it was a compilation of all the times joe rogan has used the "n" word on the podcast. rogan said it was taken out of context and apologized again over the weekend. joe: i know that to most people there is no context where a
white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind probably on a podcast. and i agree with that now. i haven't said it in years. emily: in a letter seen by bloomberg, the ceo says he "is deeply sorry for the way it continues impact his employees and underlines that rogan's comments do not represent the values of the company." joining us now is david kirkpatrick still whether this and our bloomberg analyst who to talk about how the story continues to develop and the bottom line is daniel ek saying the podcast is staying on the platform. we've seen facebook and twitter do with these content issues, netflix recently with the dave chapelle show, taking a stand there. talk about the options that daniel ek and spotify have in this moment. >> he doesn't have a lot of good ones when you have one of your
biggest are saying some of the horrible things he said in the past. you made the comparison to facebook and netflix. this is a lot more similar to netflix in that spotify has a direct relationship with this person. as one of the faces of the company. in their shift into podcasting. and so, they don't want to end that deal under really any circumstances. i think there is a world in which enough pressure mounts. you go back to the archives and and find enough horrible things that rogan has said over the years -- but you will need more major artists like neil young boycotting and you need a real sign that people are canceling subscriptions for ek to go that far. i think the desire is to stay the course but there is of course the option of ending the deal or trying to ban him. emily: the #delete spotify it was trending. are people canceling, do we know?
lucas: when they were asked on the earnings call last week they said it was too soon to know that they suggested there had not been a mass of cancellations. and their justification was that if there was some affect it'd probably be felt over a longer period of time, but we don't know yet. emily: daniel ek saying after speaking with joe rogan that he's reflected and decided on his own bullish and to remove some old episodes. -- his own volition to remove the episodes. what do you think of the repercussions? david: so far, i don't think ek has made much of a choice. he has basically acted as if spotify was like facebook and at least facebook can credibly claim it is a neutral platform. that is not the case here with spotify. i mean, rogan's role on spotify
is comparable to like a host on bloomberg or a columnist in the new york times. making statements that are offensive and in the case of new york times, the publisher, the broadcaster would bear responsibility properly so for the content they have paid for and broadcast. and ek does not seem to understand that that is identical to the role he's in. he's saying, canceling him silencing him would be a mistake but there is plenty of other things he could do possibly in my opinion that would fall short of getting rid of rogan -- 130 podcasts that had to be removed. obviously he's a little bit of a loose cannon. emily: now, in your screen time newsletter you point out that other platforms are paying other people also to say outrageous things. talk to us about how this isn't necessarily just a spotify problem or a joe rogan problem. what problem is it?
lucas: well, it's a media industry problem right now. we have conversations about what, from youtubers to, who get taken down or punished in some way for people like they say, stephen crowder and dan -- who's not posting on youtube anymore. if you asked the critics of rogan how they felt about hosts on fox news, they would probably hope that fox news would exert more control over some of the things that come out of their host's mouths, especially as it pertains to covid. especially when it comes to the racial slurs -- that are clearly despicable. but i think we're trying to
figure out what is the role of these big media companies and the views they are putting out and the very strong response it is getting from users. spotify is an unusual situation in that is both a platform and a publisher and sort of like a netflix, trying to appeal to everyone. when you try to appeal to everyone, you are likely to alienate many customers on a regular basis. emily: there is some distinction between spotify and facebook but, you know, ultimately, is it not much of a distinction at all? david: there is a distinction that facebook for the most part doesn't pay to have people on its site and then disavow responsibility for that. i think what we are seeing in some sense is daniel ek's in maturity as a leader or his inability to really evolve -- as his service, successful as it is, has evolved. he has to think harder about what he wants spotify to be. i do not get the feeling he has gone to a sufficient process here. emily: meantime, rumble, a
canadian platform, throwing its hat in the ring, offering joe rogan a $100 million deal to bring all of its content there. no censorship. will he go for it? lucas: not unless forced to for some reason. this is a hallmarks of a publicity stunt. rumble has gotten attention for being an alternative platform for some of these right wing talking heads who have been in one way or another vanished from the mainstream media. david brought up something that i am kind of curious about. we're drawing a distinctive between facebook and spotify because spotify's paid joe rogan and facebook does not pay country creators, it's a valid distinction but you asked about options. let's say that spotify ends its deal with joe rogan and now his show is on youtube and apple and spotify and facebook and
anywhere else you can listen to a podcast. i'm not entirely sure what that solves beyond having a direct relationship between rogan and spotify. it seems why rumble is tossing it hat in the ring, one of the options is that rogan continues to do what he's doing or all the major platforms decide they will not be in business with him. emily: david, your reaction? david: one possibility is they can review the podcast before they air. if 130 episodes had to be removed, he has set a lot of things that are offensive to a lot of people. there was no reason why they cannot take the interim step of saying publicly, we are going to pay more attention to what's said on this show before it air. i don't know why spotify would not do something like that. emily: all right. fair enough. thanks for the debate. thank you both. we will keep watching this one. coming up, the bet on the metaverse.
pivot to the metaverse and how it missed wall street expectations and now as you create a strategy around investing in the metaverse how long does it take to see results from that? adam: if you look at what is happened with nft's in the last year or two, 23 billion in transactions last year up from nothing a few years ago, what's clear is that this is a profound and large market and investors are looking for access to that market. >> when you thing about the metaverse, i'm wondering how the nft strategy fits into that. how do you bake in crypto investments into a liquid portfolio here?
adam: we've put together a strategy of don't -- at domain money that focuses on the infrastructure layer of the metaverse, which obviously incorporates nft's, the transactions required to buy and nft. the storage requirements to have those assets be housed. the rendering technologies to process three dimensional objects in real-time, in virtual worlds. all those things are infrastructure bets that are parts of our metaverse strategy. emily: adam, there are people who think that metaverse is just a pipe dream. how big do you think this market really is and when does that market actually start being --? adam: the notion of the metaverse being something that emerges in one day and is an all-encompassing virtual world is missing the point. the metaverse is a collection of digital locations or experiences that are occurring today in the world.
roadblocks. snap, augmented reality, virtual reality, all of these things make up a collection of experience is that define metaverse. >> you mention companies that are more focusing on the software experience and i wonder about the hardware. who do you see cracking that part of the market and is that necessary? is it meta, is it apple, is it microsoft? adam: certainly nvidia, qualcomm and the massive storage requirements that are needed to house this many digital assets is a profound market ended up itself. so, we've looked at a number of those underlying technologies as we have thought about crafting our metaverse strategy. >> when you think about the metaverse here.i wondering -- i'm wondering how
this plays into the larger picture of what you're trying to build a domain money. you left goldman sachs, building a traditional investment platform. how many people now have signed up with you since starting domain money, launching the platform and allowing people to both invest in cryptocurrency and stocks? adam: thank you for that question. we have been really pleased with our reception in the market we have only been live for a week or two. it is been quite incredible to see the response particularly to our strategies. investors are looking for the responsible diversified way to invest in these new asset classes, and, rather than having to make a bet on one individual protocol or cryptocurrency, investors can avail themselves to our strategies, curated by our team and represent a basket of assets they give investors exposures to this asset class. emily: and you're also getting some exposure to the crypto space. can you tell us specifically where and if the recent tumult in the markets is giving you any pause? adam: the short-term volatility is to be expected. what i think is more important
to focus on is what is happening in the blockchain ecosystem. what we've seen is defi marketplaces emerged over the last few years, less than 5 billion in transaction volume to nearly 200 billion. that is not speculation. that is investors, that is dollars and placing them into the market to appreciate yields to lend or borrow. cryptocurrencies, the blockchain ecosystem is opening up access to financial markets in a way that hereto for has never been available. that's a profound shift in the way financial services work. we think blockchain technologies represent the operating system of finance.
we're very excited about the future of these technologies, despite the current market tumult. >> i think about how many companies in the last few months have issued their own defi strategies and having our work with both, do you think tried and true financial players are going to be able to -- dec ode defi? adam: there is no question the large financial institutions will embrace blockchain technologies. in fact they already have. i'm reminded of the comment that jamie made at j.p. morgan chase about crypto and now j.p. morgan has their own coin. so, it's very clear that the large investment firms are moving into cryptocurrencies, moving into blockchain technologies, and the thing that i am interested in is if you look at the developer, the engineering efforts going on behind the scenes it is really hard to find a technology startup that's focus on financial services that isn't embracing blockchain technologies.
that ought to tell you something. >> adam, what does it mean for the war on talent? you hear banks and crypto firms needing engineering talent. this is getting competitive and i say that as somebody who does hire from bridgewater 30 people from goldman sachs, where are you getting your talent? adam: we have been very delighted by the quality of the resumes that are coming. we have a number of job openings at domain money. we encourage people to check those out on our website. but, yes, your point is well taken. it used to be the large banks had to contend with the googles and the facebook's of the world for the talent war. now there is a whole new wave of defi firms that are stealing quality candidates away from even the googles and the apples of the world. there is absolutely a talent
was. -- talent war. i was asked to give a talk at harvard and i was amazed at the amount of people that were going to going to crypto after they graduate. the wave is a larger one and i think it is early days for this market space. we have yet to see the best implications of blockchain technologies yet to come. emily: all right. adam dell, ceo of domain money, thank you very much. coming up, netflix is realizing just how profitable korean content can be and they're hoping their new shows in 2022 can match the success of squid games. we'll discuss how next. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: following the smash success of "squidgames" netflix is doubling down on korean content in 2022. 25 new series set this year. talk about webtunes strategy and a success with a recent phenomenon based on netflix making this bet. >> thank you for having me today. i'm really excited to talk about
the webtoon. webtoon is a world that allows you -- a platform and we have more than 14 million users. and 72 million global users monthly. our technology revolutionized how to create creative stories immediately. for now we have more than 750,000 creators creating more than 1 billion titles. you have seen a lot of our content through netflix. all the great stories -- two weeks after friday.
emily: you've got a huge following a social media. are other platforms taking note, or is it just netflix at this point? ken: you can find webtoons everywhere lately. one of our -- which is, the best-selling -- the new york times best-selling graphic novel. a lot of our content is developed as videos, such as a lot of our other formats our content is developed. emily: you have been making partnerships with marvel, e sports, graphic novels are all the rage. my son loves those. what do you think about the content pipeline and what format is the best for storytelling these days? ken: storytelling is everything and everywhere.
so, webtoons, we aim for -- mobile storytelling format. now everyone uses their smart phone or their laptop. to watch the content. at the same time, we revolutionize how to make the mobile phone made for storytelling. through -- the huge amount of creators that are waiting for this platform and they are creating a lot for this platform. emily: talk about the creators and how much they get paid. how do you see webtoons standing out on this note, given that that is where the storytelling originates, right? ken: of course. there are a lot of content creators on a platform. the biggest volume of the creators last year was worth $12 million and we are averaging -- webtoon creators they make on average 250,000 titles. this is not the only work for the creators. so, webtoons, we build a billion-dollar -- to make their money for -- and manage their lives.
emily: obviously we have been talking a lot about korean originals, especially with the success of "squidgames." do you see this happening for other languages? i'm speaking about " borgen", "la bureau," "le pen." ken: "squidgames" and all of those are great stories, too, this is not only from korean content. webtoons is a global content platform. we have over 750,000 players globally and then we have content from that. so, it is not just korean content. emily: looking forward to lots more. the ceo of webtoons, thanks for joining us and that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology." great show tomorrow. we continue our coverage of