tv Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg August 10, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
emily: i'm emily chang in san francisco, and this is "bloomberg technology." coming up in the next hour, vacations are back, at least at the happiest place on earth. disney parks have a blowout quarter and streaming subscribers up 70% from a year ago. i knew ad-- a new ad tier is coming. musk sells more tesla shares. he is pointing the finger at twitter. i'll speak with one of his longtime friends, who has been subpoenaed by twitter ahead of the trial. and a key metric for roadblocks and shares tumbling. bookings dropped during the second quarter. what does that tell us about the making of the metaverse?
all of that in a moment, but let's look at market. tech stocks jumping after inflation decelerated in july. ed ludlow with the biggest moves. good news. ed: 8.5% gain in the month of july. decelerating inflation. cooler than expected inflation. mastech up 2.9%--nasdaq up 2.9%. worth noting that the technology and information and communication sectors on the s&p 500 were the best-performing. stocks of 4%, having dropped the most in june, on tuesday. bitcoin trading --$24,000. elon musk selling $6.9 billion of tesla stock.
what you tweete -- what he tweeted after the regulatory filings wednesday night was he wanted to make sure he had the capital in the event that a judge in october when the deal between twitter and musk goes to trial, were two and four study of the cash on hand, taking into account the financing partners he had lined up to help him buy twitter if he is made to buy it. worth noting we are in a risk-on day where tech was up more broadly. the breaking news is disney. so fascinating, because it is a mixed basket of results when it comes to the financials. up around 6% in after hours. the company adding more subscription to disney+ in the quarter than expected and raising prices by 30%. 8.5% inflation in the month of july, disney raising prices 38% on disney+.
interesting what the market is loving, but they are liking it after hours. emily: all right, ed ludlow. i want to dig into disney's results more. i have a long time disney shareholder on. mixed bag, adding 14.5 million new subscribers to disney+. the bulk of those can from india and others from other countries, and 100,000 new subscribers in the u.s. and canada. what is your take? >> i don't look at it as a mixed bag at all. i look at it as blowout results. you look at netflix struggling to add subscribers and tremendous competition in the streaming business and disney still growing tremendously. not only disney+, but hulu as well and espn+. when you look at the streaming business, although it is losing a lot of money, the future looks very bright. disney was a great company before streaming. what is exciting about the earnings report is that the
parks are back with over $2 billion of profits and $500 million of it from consumer products. the operating results of the the company have improved dramatically. emily: sort of a broad-based recovery we are seeing. we have been listening to bob chapek, the ceo, on their earnings call. let's listen to what he had to say. >> significant subscriber growth on streaming services, which added 16.5 million subscribers in the quarter, including 14.4 million disney+ subscribers, of which 6 million were core disney plus. as of the close of q3, we have 221 million total subscriptions across our streaming offerings. emily: hot star is that service offered mostly in india. what do you make of this ad-supported tier? something we were expecting, netflix is doing it as well.
does disney have something on netflix when it comes to an ad- supported model? ross: no, actually, it will be more beneficial for netflix, the ad-supported model. but disney because they have networks and cable channels, you are competing against yourself a little bit from the ads, or spreading the ads on another property. it is a little more complex for them, but it allows consumers to watch content because they sell so many other things to the fans, whether it is the parks or products and such. i don't love bob chapek, but he is proving he is a great operator during difficult times. he is not an exciting guy, but he's got the theme park, the prophet drivers of the business, back. and the losses they are driving from disney+ will turn to gains over time. i think they are managing the business pretty well. there is no reception at disneyland, i can tell you that. emily: [laughter]
what are you looking for in the coming quarter. when it comes to streaming, it all comes down to content. disney has a huge library, but there has been some concern about how much of the content will continue to appeal to adults, something that netflix may be doing a little bit better. how do you think about those two players in a rapidly-evolving streaming environment? ross: i'm still having trouble calling myself an adult, even though -- and as an adult, i watched disney+ -- "obi-wan" was a great show. the minute they drop anything "star wars," i watch it. what am i supposed to do? i don't think they are in a lot of trouble. they have hulu for adult content, but they dropped r-rated movies on disney+ like "deadpool," great content. hulu is much more like television.
they really are appealing to lots of different demos, and i don't think they lose the older demo at all. parents like me absolutely trusted disney content with my kids. recently i took youtube away from them because youtube shorts has become the garbage hole from hell, and i don't want my kids watching garbage hole content. if i put on disney+ there's nothing they watch that is that. -- bad. emily: quite a way to describe youtube. as a mom, can you expand on that? ross: not youtube kids. youtube shorts. all the creators on tiktok or posting on youtube shorts, and youtube short is physically tiktok. what they are getting is lower- quality content that switches between so many different topics. i monitor my kids' youtubers --
they watch gamers and that is fine, but then they switch to a video of a russian exploiting their children and throwing them in a pool. like, what are you doing? with shorts, i can't monitor it, and within two minutes it is a garbage hole of content. it is just garbage. emily: i want to get your thoughts on tesla. we sought elon musk sell $7 billion worth of tesla shares to potentially shore up its finances if he has to do this twitter deal. how are you looking at this as a tesla investor? ross: well, as a tesla investor, the sooner he can be done with twitter, the better. emily: but what if he has to buy it? ross: it's weird to think about forcing somebody to buy a company where everybody at the company hates your guts. nobody at twitter wants to work for elon. those days are over. this is a disaster.
elon's in a disaster. he sold the stock because you might be liable for $10 billion of damages. twitter, because the stock is up, might end up getting a check for billions and billions of dollars so elon can get out of this forcing him to buy the company would be a worse outcome for everybody involved. i don't know if that is the court's intention. it is to rectify the damage he has caused through this ill-fated merger. this is a tough time for elon and it is all him. fortunately, he is the richest man in the world so he can afford to lose $10 billion. from a tesla perspective, the sooner this is over, the better. emily: ross gerber, you never disappoint. always provocative. thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. now to a bloomberg scoop. apple is stepping up its spending on original podcasts. the tech giant signing an agreement with a pulitzer prize-winning studio and holding talks with more companies about deals. the deal will fund
development and production podcasts, and in exchange, apple will have the first chance to turn any podcast into film or television. coming up, elon musk just sold billions in tesla shares. what does it tell us about his potential twitter buyout? i will ask his culligan longtime friend david sachs, who was just subpoenaed. this is bloomberg. ♪
tesla and twitter shareholders appearing to welcome the news. it is musk's biggest sale ever, and he says it is to avoid a last-minute selloff if he is forced to go ahead with the deal to buy twitter. he will buy tesla shares again if the deal doesn't close. a number of people in musk's circle have been rubbed into the fight. among them, larry ellison, and my next guest, david sachs. good to have you back with us. you got subpoenad. i know you said you were -- you got subpoenaed. i know you said you were getting a lawyer. any update? david: no update, but i have this very large, very broad subpoena, probably the thickest subpoena i have ever gotten. i know you are not supposed to talk about these things in these situations, but i wonder if that is the point. i've been a vocal critic of twitter's management and maybe they don't want me talking about
these issues. i can save them a lot of time and hopefully some legal fees. i don't -- i've never been in possession of nonpublic information related to their contract dispute with elon. i've come into it based on the public information that is out there, and when i tweet, i'm usually directly linking to that information i comment on. this is an overly broad phishing expedition and i look for to hopefully being done with it soon. emily: look, we know you go way back with elon, you worked together at paypal, you have expressed support for him, at least in the last several months when it comes to this twitter deal. looking at some of your tweets, the big question is did you have any nonpublic information? you talk about how you suggest jack dorsey masterminded this whole thing. is it all really just your opinion, or do you know
something the public doesn't? david: no, i don't. look, i'm a commentator. i do a pod, i've been doing a pod couple years, i've been writing blog posts for a couple years. i express my opinion on these topics. this is all based on public information, which, again, the screenshot you are showing, i am linking to the public information that i am reacting to. that was a screenshot from a court filing that elon's lawyers filed, and those are the facts i am citing. i'm just a public commentator on this issue. twitter and elon, they have a fully integrated merger agreement negotiated by some of the best lawyers in the world. i don't know what the relevance is of my public commentary on a contract dispute between them. it just doesn't make any sense. but lots of people were roped into this. you saw that joe long stale tweeted that he was roped into it despite his only connection
being a few snarky comments. i think this is an overbroad phishing expedition-type subpoena. when you multiply it by the number of people they are basically subpoenaing, it basically amounts to harassment. i hope they will limit this soon. emily: you mentioned your podcast. you and your pod crew interviewed musk a few months ago, i believe, at your summit. have you had communications within the past few months, private communications? and if so, do any of them pertain to the deal and could any of them be relevant? david: you are referring to an interview we did in public and it is on youtube if you want to see it. it did make some news, but you can watch it to see. the question is do i have relevant information that pertains to this contractual lawsuit. i don't think i do. there is just nothing that i
know about this that wasn't already in the public sphere. but i offered are--what i offered our opinions, my own opinions. they are not and anybody' -- at anybody's behest or instigation. i don't know why that would be hard for anybody to understand. as you all know, emily, i am a person who has not been shy about expressing his opinions over the years. emily: absolutely, and right here on the show. one concern twitter might have is that elon has been texting all of his fans and asking them to tweet about it. what is your response, even though these people might not know or have data about twitter's bot issues. david: none of this is that elon's instigation or behest. it seems that twitter has a bot issue based on my own uses.
when i was tweeting about the ukraine war, all of a sudden these brand-new accounts that i just been created with zero followers, started in, whatever, march of this year were all of a sudden tweeting things back and me and all of a sudden they were trying to drown me out. there is many examples like that. the information i am relying on is what has come out publicly, and what got revealed is the way that twitter determines whether or not there is a bot issues they are sampling 100 accounts a day. in my view, that does not sound sufficient. look, i am not a statistician. this is just my opinion. i'm sure they will call all sorts of expert witnesses. but in my view, having operated at companies before, if you have a serious issue that could affect your company at an existential level, you do more than just statistically sample 100 accounts a day. that feels like a perfunctory exercise.
that is basically what i tweeted, and i linked to the public information about this, and that is all there is to it. emily: elon musk at a tesla event last week had this to say about twitter. take a listen. elon: i do understand the product quite well, so i think i've got a good sense of where to point the engineering team with twitter to make it radically better. emily: so this is as he is still trying to get out of the deal. what do you make of those remarks, david? if he is -- say the court forces him to buy twitter. what is he --what does he do with it? does he turn around and try to sell it or does he stay and try to fix it? david: i always hoped elon would buy twitter. let's be clear, i supported the idea of this deal and i wanted to go through because i think it would be a societal good if elon
restored twitter to being a free-speech platform. that is my main interest in this thing, i would like to see censorship restrained and freed speech restored on a major social network like twitter. i have always hoped of deal would go through. at the same time, i have taken elon at his word when he tweeted there is this bot issue, that that is a serious issue. he has tried to get to the bottom of it, and it seems like twitter hasn't been fully transparent about that. i can understand that issue from his point of view. emily: i want to get your thoughts on another issue having to do with social media. we have got this #civilwar trending on social media after the fbi searched'trum--search trumps mar-a-lago property. you are a free speech advocate on social media. but in this particular
case, how do you think these platforms should handle something like this? david: first of all, if anyone is calling for violence, i would condemn that. you can take down any post that is trying to incite violence or a crime. content like that is not protected under the first amendment. emily: do you think the hashtag itself, anything with that hashtag? david: no, that is where i was about to go with this. you can take down content that would seek to incite violence. however, i don't think that is what this hashtag is necessarily doing. what i see is that people on the right are criticizing this raid on mar-a-lago, on president trump's private home, in which 30 fbi agent stressed up as soldiers and wearing body armor and carrying weapons of war, it looked like a raid of something
like pablo escobar's home. they are wondering whether this is the beginning of the civil war, whether the civil war is being declared on them. i think that is a legitimate question to ask, and you have got to see it in the context of not just this event, but things that have been happening the last 19 months. you have had your goni and covid policies that have get-- draconian covid policies that have given unelected bureaucrats dictatorial powers. gavin newsom is still ruling a state of emergency. you have the department of homeland security redefining misinformation as terrorism and hiring a democratic party operative to run a new agency as a sort of ministry of truth defining what the misinformation would be. and then you have this raid on president trump's home, utterly unprecedented. i don't know what this was about, but i think the public deserves an excellent nation
from these agencies in terms of what they are after--explanation from these agencies in terms of what they are after and what they are doing. emily: once again, you expressing your opinions, i should underscore. always appreciate hearing your thoughts on the show, and we will continue to follow this twitter story and more. david sacks, appreciate it. coming up, much more of "bloomberg technology." stay with us. this is bloomberg. ♪
prices will go up for the accessories. coming up, we would dig into the story of a nebraska teenager. how private messages are being used in an abortion case against her and her mother and what that means for the future of digital privacy post-roe. plus, my exclusive interview with the roblox ceo on gaming and the metaverse and more. this is bloomberg. ♪
sonos after hours. ben: sonos down almost 20%. that's right, 20% in after-hours. they cut their sales outlook and had previously forecast $1.95 billion. everything we have heard in this earnings season in terms of what is going wrong -- a stronger dollar is hurting consumers in all kinds of markets around the world. inflation is cutting off consumer spending. there are also elements of shifting consumer behaviors. ceo patrick spence saying they are seeing humans spend less on goods, more on services and travel. they also hurt by supply chains and a backlog. they had missed sales opportunities in the quarter. the supply chain for their hardware has not fixed itself. a real severe reaction in after-hours. this is a stock that has suffered anyway, year to date. at least on the supply side,
sonos could improve things. they recently launched their own version of alexa, voice recognition, to compete in that market. but they are very sensitive to what amazon is doing. this is not good news for sonos. really severe reaction after hours. emily: thank you. as the pandemic has ebbed, that means less time playing games, and add rising prices and money being spent on in game purchases dressing up avatars and such. some games publishers and consuls struggling after the surge in growth seen during the pandemic. for roblox, who just reported bookings that were disappointing to some -- but the company has been growing and expanding into the metaverse. i want to bring in ceo and cofounder david bouzouki -- bas zucki for more. there is no question the
u.s. and canada is actually 17 to 24 years old, outpacing the younger kids. my son is in that younger cohort and loves playing roblox. what do you think is driving that? david: we have always had the vision that roblox is a civil platform for people of all ages. it brings them together. it allows them to connect authentically, to do things together, whether it is playing, dissecting a frog in school, graduating from high school. i think what we are seeing as the players on roblox get older -- they are inviting friends. this growth in 17 through 24 is driven by three things, really. one is amazing content. almost half of the content on roblox is played more by over 13 players than under 13 players. it is driven by constant
technical innovation. amazing things around avatars, around immersive layered clothing that allows people to be more closely a dent i'd with who they want to be. spatial audio we rolled out. higher fidelity material. there are a bunch of things driving this growth. emily: how is engagement and monetization different for a slightly older age cohort? david: what is interesting is we have been monetizing very well across all ages. one can imagine as we start looking at older demographics they do generally tend to spend more money online. some of the products we are working on right now, including a visionary ad server product that is immersive and native and feels fun, rather than getting in the way of our players -- those types of things tend to monetize better with older
players. there is a huge future for our platform not just around the world, but as we get more and more older players on the platform. emily: you keyed in on the disappointment among some analysts and investors earlier. you have always talked about a grand vision, the seven big inventions that are going to take years and years potentially to play out. how do you convince investors who might have a shorter-term time horizon to stick around? david: think of the engagement. july, the biggest month we have ever had. four point 7 billion hours of engagement on our platform. 50.5 -- 58.5 million active users. we are going 36% year on year. as we grow engagement, we grow monetization.
there is enormous space in countries like india and japan and the cohort for older players for us to continue growing, with our vision of connecting a billion people with optimism and civility. emily: you have expressed frustration at times over being measured against analyst estimates. given that you have waited so long -- roblox was founded in the early 2000's. he waited a long time to become a public company. do you have regrets about going public or has that benefited roblox? david: to be clear, i don't think i have ever expressed frustration at any analyst. i think they are all trying to do their job. we do keep optimistically talking about the size of the potential market here. we keep talking about the amazing people we are bringing on. i want to highlight our business model as robust. we are continuing to hire amazing people through the midst of what is for many people a difficult time. we have no regrets about going public.
we run our business the. -- the same way. david: -- emily: given the macro environment, how are you thinking about spending? apple ceo david cook talked about being deliberate. we have seen layoffs and comebacks at other -- cutbacks at other companies. are you leaning on the gas or stepping on the brakes? david: we are being consistent. we are hiring at the same rate the second half of the year is the first half. we have always been deliberate about our spending. everything we spend is money that does not go back to our developer community. we have amazing people who innovate at a rapid pace. we have efficient infrastructure. we have a wonderful safety team. as much as possible, we are trying to be efficient so our developers can take a bigger piece of that pie and keep making amazing creations. emily: you are playing a role --
planning to roll out an immersive advertising system. can you give us any more color on that? david: this has been a vision for a long time, the notion that we are in -- are together in a 3d experience, we start to see some of the interesting things like billboards or a pop-up store in the town square. we are quite optimistic based on the brands we work with that these will not feel like something that gets in your way, but will feel like something that is added to the roblox experience. the brands that we work closely with tend to be fun, interesting brands like gucci town, which just released in march and had over 30 million visit, or tommy play from tommy hilfiger, spotify island. these are brands we think enhance the experience and will integrate with this immersive advertising system. emily: i'm curious how you are thinking about m&a.
we are seeing some gaming and ad tech companies joining forces at the moment. are you thinking about m&a, and if so, in what area? david: i think we have acquired six or seven or eight companies in the last two years. there is a common thread of the companies we have been acquiring , which is absolutely amazing people, people who are very creative and innovative. people who are working on exactly the technologies we are working on with our roblox platform. we had this wonderful business model where we bring these people and teams together, but it is 100% focused on improving our single platform rather than maybe buying a second studio or pivoting in some direction. we are 100% focused on the quality of the roblox platform. emily: there are still skeptics out there who don't understand the metaverse, who don't believe it is going to be a thing. when it comes to the immersive experiences you are talking about, what is the next
development on the near term horizon that is going to help us all better understand this and potentially even experience it? david: i think the more people see, just like print and video, people using immersive 3d as a utility technology, i will give an example of one thing we are doing with first robotics. first robotics is a wonderful educational platform. it requires everyone to have a robot building kit in the real world, and many people do not have access to this. our partnership with them is simulating the same thing. competitive robot building, seeing what you can build, seeing how it works. this is really a utility use of a platform that i think as people see this, they start to say we see the wide range of uses, from music, entertainment, play, learning, and ultimately
working. i think everyone will understand this is a continuation of communication technology. emily: roblox ceo and cofounder david baszucki. great to have you back with us out of a busy earnings week. appreciate it. coming up, crypto rallies on a new cti report. the leaders of the rally? more next. ♪
expected inflation number, with cpi increasing 8.5% from a year over, decreasing from 9.1% back in june. any crypto winners in this rally? katie: the whole space was winning today. if you look across your crypto screen on the terminal, it all comes back to this. the largest cryptocurrency out there having a fantastic day, up over 3% on wednesday. the reaction on the stock market -- you've had the nasdaq up 2.9% bitcoin is going to be up as well given the slight correlation. it all ties back to wagers. it is going to have to be less aggressive than maybe feared. you saw that reflected in the bond market as well. you also had a theory him -- it -- had ethereum rallying. it has had quite the run over
the last month and a half or so. there are some fundamentals as we await the merge. emily: all of this coming out of the merge. how are investors bracing for this? is it really going to happen? katie: it is a great question, a little impossible to answer. it is known as the merge. it is a software update, basically. we have been waiting for it for a while. it could happen in the back half of this year. what is important tonight -- you are going to see the so-called girly test, a german word. it is a test merge with a test network. analysts say this is a final dress for her soul before we get to the actual merge. there is optimism that this test will go well and we will get the actual merge to follow soon. emily: katie greifeld, thank you for that update. we will be right back with more. ♪
emily: i want to talk about facebook now and how the app was used recently in an abortion case. a woman charged with two felonies related to illegal abortion after authorities discovered information about the pregnancy through private messages on facebook messenger, according to court documents. jessica had helped her 17-year-old daughter obtain abortion pills when she was more than 20 weeks pregnant, making termination illegal in the state. her daughter also facing related charges. i want to bring in our reporter for more on this. set the stage. what happened? >> what happened in the case or what happened in --
emily: how did they obtain this message? >> this is not the perfect case to look at when we are talking about whether tech companies can give data to authorities in the post-row world -- post-roe world. in this case, the warrant for this information went out facebook before roe was overturned and did not ask for anything related to abortion. it asked for messages related to the improper treatment of skeletal remains. that was what was at stake. so facebook cooperated with that. and then, through that search, they found the messages about the abortion pill and added those charges. so facebook came out with a statement saying we did not know this was about abortion. that statement seemed to imply that they would have been hands-off if it was. i'm not sure that is the case. emily: let's take a look at
this. this is from meta. the warrants concerns charges related to a criminal investigation and court documents indicate police at the time were investigating the case of a stillborn baby who was burned and buried. not a decision to have an abortion. both of these warrants were initially accompanied by nondisclosure warrant -- nondisclosure orders that have now been lifted. as you say, this statement begs the question -- if they believed this did have to do with an abortion, that facebook would have done something differently -- would they have? sarah: that is where i think they need to bring up clarification, because that is what the statement is implying, but i don't think that is going to happen. tech companies do tend to comply with the law. a state warrant is the law. otherwise, they cannot operate there. their business comes under risk. i think we will see many cases where it is not even clear in the warrant that they are searching for abortion-related data. it is going to be up to
companies like facebook. facebook has, and said this in the past. it is going to be up to them to make sure the requests are not overly broad, that they have the legal framework they are following, that it is not a wild goose chase to try to find something to convict somebody, and that they let users know when their data has been requested. that has been the line from the company. they are not coming out and saying either way whether they would cooperate with authorities on abortion cases. my guess is a lot of the companies will end up having to do that. emily: this brings back the case of the san bernardino shooter back in december of 2016. apple refused to turn over the shooter's iphone. he killed 12 people. how do you compare this to that standoff? sarah: i think we have not seen a lot of tech companies standing up to law enforcement in the
time since. they put those parameters around. we don't want our users to -- we don't want a backdoor to all of the messages they ever send. in the tech companies that work on things, apple included, have worked on encryption, to make sure there is a private way for people to send messages. i think while this gets cleared up, the best advice for anyone using any tech product is to use an encrypted messaging service, whether it is signal or what's up. -- whatsapp. it is better than messenger. messenger does have an option to send encrypted messages. the point from the company is we cannot give this to law enforcement because it does not exist on our servers. emily: this happened with facebook before roe was overturned, and a number of big tech companies have a lot of information.
sarah: think about your gmail. think about everything. emily: what do these companies do if law enforcement comes to them and asks for emails, texts, messages, search history, buying history? sarah: the companies have been mulling it because there has not been a perfect case to rally around. i think what is happening with this case is people are saying abortion messages from facebook. facebook giving it up to law enforcement, endangering a woman who needs an abortion. but we look at the details, it gets murky. it is after 20 weeks in the state. there was burial of the body. i don't know if i want -- the details are a little dark to go into on air. but i think the case is not the one that privacy advocates probably want to rally around. it is not -- it is just an
indicator of how murky each of these is going to be. there is never going to be a perfect, clean-cut decision, where you can say this is not an area where we are going to cooperate, or we are definitely going to cooperate. emily: what is your sense of whether this nebraska case could create a precedent for what happens in these cases? sarah: the problem is every state is changing their laws in this moment, right? in the past few weeks, we have seen abortion get limited, restricted, criminalized. people who have helped out with abortions -- whether it is having knowledge they exist can lead people to legal liability. i think it is opening up liability for users of these platforms beyond even patients that might get abortions. this is a very big area we need to continue to look at because
if companies continue to just comply with law enforcement wherever it goes, users of these platforms are going to get increasingly concerned about their privacy and their ability to conduct normal, everyday business. emily: a very complicated, nuanced issue. thank you for helping us wade through all of that. appreciate it. that does it for this edition of bloomberg technology. thursday, i will be sitting down with a new ceo of pinterest, joining us for an exclusive conversation about the first month on the job. ♪