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😡 Hell hath no fury like angry Swifties

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Calling all sneakerheads: DJ Khaled listed his shoe closet on Airbnb; visitors can sleep there for $11 per night.

In today’s email:

  • The big business of holiday rom-coms.
  • Chart: Disney’s Bobs.
  • Ticketmaster created some angry Swifties.
  • Around the web: AI tools, quirky inventions, goodbye bad thoughts, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack, Mark, and Juliet discuss the business of cheesy holiday movies, EV pizza delivery, and more.

The big idea
family watching a holiday movie

Why even QVC has a holiday rom-com

QVC, best known as a home shopping channel, is producing a holiday movie, Holly & the Hot Chocolate. And yes, it’s a romance between a big-city gal and a small-town guy.

The movie will drop on the network’s free streaming service, QVC+, on Thanksgiving, and features QVC host David Venable as a hot chocolate vendor, per Variety.

Of course, QVC will also sell the cocoa mix.

Meanwhile, Discovery+ has two films boosting its Food Network stars: Bobby Flay cameos in one as a food critic, while Duff Goldman of “Holiday Baking Championship” plays host of a gingerbread house competition in another.

Holiday schlock is solid TV business

Entertainment Weekly rounded up 164 films coming to networks and streaming services this year, most of them romances. (One, however, is about a killer Santa robot.)

The reigning champ of holiday movies is Crown Media Family Networks’ Hallmark Channel, which has produced 300+ holiday movies since 2009, per Forbes.

They’re fast and cheap, but yield great results. They:

  • Shoot year-round, typically in Canada due to favorable tax credits
  • Cost ~$2m to make (including ~$50k in fake snow for those not shot in winter)
  • Take 2-3 weeks to film and generate $1.2m-$1.5m for the local economy
  • Attract 80m+ viewers, making Hallmark the most-watched channel among women ages 18-49 and 25-54 every holiday season
  • Generate $350m+, a third of the channel’s annual ad revenue

This year, Hallmark has 40 new holiday films, the earliest of which premiered before Halloween — oddly enough, it was not the one about a ghost who must help a man rediscover his holiday spirit.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Sheesh: In a plot that combines the two biggest stories in tech, a scammer paired a deepfake of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried with a verified Twitter Blue account to lure victims into a fake crypto giveaway.


🦈 Last chance: We’re giving away $5k in prizes to celebrate Another Bite, our new “Shark Tank” rewatch podcast. Enter here.

Electric pizza: Domino’s will soon have a fleet of 800+ electric cars, which would be America’s largest EV pizza delivery fleet.

Twitter: Musk laid off more employees yesterday, but now reportedly plans on hiring. Also, Apple’s Phil Schiller, who runs the App Store, deactivated his Twitter account; people speculated on the move’s significance.

SMART-TD, America’s largest rail union, rejected a proposed labor deal. Strikes scheduled for December could impact billions of dollars worth of cargo.

Trend: A new report found 79% of Amazon customers were highly satisfied in 2022, well above 2020’s all-time low of 65%, but below an 88% high set a decade ago.

TSMC’s Morris Chang confirmed plans for a critical three-nanometer advanced Arizona chip factory, but clarified that US-manufactured chips will cost 55% more than Taiwan’s.

Hasbro wants to sell TV and film company eOne, which it acquired in 2019 for ~$4B, citing interest from “several parties.”

Social app Hive is bumping as Twitter falters, with ~30% of its total 733k installs occurring over the last 30 days.

Coinbase shares hit an all-time low yesterday amid falling crypto prices and investor anxiety over the collapse of FTX.

Template time: When job hunting, a crisp cover letter can separate you from the pack. Shoot better shots using five timeless frameworks.

Stock performance under each Bob
Singdhi Sokpo Tweet this Image

Bob’s back. Can he bring the magic?

Despite having Bob Iger’s return on our 2022 bingo card, the move came as a surprise Sunday night when it was announced by Disney’s board.

Iger held the top role at Disney from 2005 to 2020, and led the acquisitions of Pixar ($7.4B), Marvel ($4B), Lucasfilm ($4B), and 21st Century Fox ($71.3B).

In the short time Iger was away, he invested in and advised hot content startups like Genies, Funko, and Canva.

  • Iger chose Bob Chapek to fill his shoes in February 2020. Since then, Chapek’s faced PR crises and has struggled to move Disney+ toward profitability.

One person upset about the news: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. “Ugh. I had been hoping Iger would run for President. He is amazing,” Hastings tweeted.

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Swifties Revolt
Taylor Swift
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

How many people does it take to convince the federal government to turn up the heat on an accused monopoly?

The surprising answer: a few million rabid Taylor Swift fans.

Last Tuesday…

… a flood of traffic crashed Ticketmaster’s website during the Taylor Swift Eras Tour presale, per The New York Times. Because of what the company termed “historically unprecedented demand,” Ticketmaster canceled the Friday public sale.

Swifties, left in a lurch, had nowhere to turn because Ticketmaster is the country’s foremost gatekeeper of live music.

  • Thanks to its 2010 merger with parent company Live Nation, Ticketmaster occupies 80%+ of music venue ticket sales.
  • This enables the company to get away with sketchy practices, like additional fees that can amount to 78% of a ticket’s value.

Pearl Jam and other bands have raged at Ticketmaster for decades, but grunge band anger evidently doesn’t stir the pot quite like pure, unfiltered pop.

Elected officials are pouncing

Earlier this month, President Biden said his administration would crack down on “hidden junk fees,” and the T-Swift debacle has led more politicians to weigh in.

The Department of Justice is reportedly investigating Live Nation, a probe that predates last week’s fiasco, according to CBS.

The angriest party? Swifties who didn’t get a ticket are taking their wrath out on Ticketmaster by organizing to break up the company.

As The Guardian’s Arwa Mahdawi put it: “Move over Karl Marx, it looks like Taylor Swift just radicalized the masses.”

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💋 On this day: In 1968, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) kissed in “Star Trek” episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” — the first kiss between Black and white co-stars on US TV.

⚒️ Useful: A huge directory of AI tools.

🧠 How to: Banish unwanted thoughts from your mind.

💡 That’s cool: Submit your invention to Quirky and it might just get made.

😍 Aww: And now, we’re gonna need you to look at these baby tawny frogmouths.

Microsoft Word meme

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Angry Swiftie” Dent.

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