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Trump & Kanye Make Lunch Great Again

Daniel Chase

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It began with Samson and Delilah, the original gangsters of power partnerships. Many years later, the world delivered to us Batman and Robin, and we thought we had everything we ever wanted. Society gave us hundreds of tandem titans, dynamic duos, double troubles (the right kind), it was a great time to be alive. We thought we had hit the goldmine, but then came perhaps the most exceptional combination in modern history, Peanut Butter and Jelly. This mind-boggling combination of the salty, nuttiness of a peanut, paired with the sweet, gelatinous preserve of a grape, was too much for the world to handle. We peaked, the most magnificent duet ever performed on the global stage, and it tasted incredible. 

Maybe we grew too comfortable, the follies of Abbot and Costello were a mere distraction from something coming over the horizon. A duplet headed our way, one that was as shocking as it was perplexing; President Donald Trump and rap artist Kanye West. The world’s greatest minds have left their life’s work behind to decipher the machinations of this pairing. 

Kanye West, music producer, rapper, and creator of some of most significant records of the last two decades shares President Trump’s adoration of Twitter (TWTR) as an outlet for whatever seems to be on his mind. Last April, Kanye tweeted his admiration of his good friend, President Trump:

“You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”

President Trump returned the love by sending Kanye a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) baseball cap, which Kanye immediately wore and took a photo to share on Instagram (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) accounts. 

Months of healthy communication,” man-dates,” and sleepovers later, Kanye and President Trump are set to meet at the White House on Thursday for lunch. According to CNN, West requested the meeting with the President to discuss the many societal issues plaguing America that he is passionate. The topics of discussion for lunch, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago.” 

Kanye hopes to discuss two major issues during his White House playdate: job opportunities for ex-convicts and ways to increase manufacturing jobs in and around his hometown of Chicago, CNN reports. West and Trump will not be alone at this lunch meeting, NFL star and civil rights activist, Jim Brown, will also be in attendance. Brown has met with the President before to discuss the many issues facing African-Americans in our country. Evidence found by the Sentencing Project, a Washington, DC-based group that advocates for prison reform, suggests that “one in every three black males born today will be incarcerated in their lifetime, along with one in every six Latino males, and one in every 17 white males.” This upsetting truth depicts the life of black males living in America. Just because of the color of their skin, they have a 33% chance of ending up in prison. Kanye West and Jim Brown, both of whom are African-American males, are incredibly passionate about bringing an end to this systemic issue. 

President Trump on Thursday before his lunch meeting with West described West a both a “very different guy” and a “genius” who will be a great asset in reforming the prison industrial complex in America. 

“He’s a very different guy, I say that in a positive way. Those in the music business say he’s a genius, and that’s okay with me.”

– President Donald Trump

I am less curious about the proposed topics West, Brown, and the President will discuss during their meeting, but rather, what is on the menu for their meal. My best guess is peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. 

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Stocks To Buy Or Sell As Streaming Wars Heat Up, Disney (DIS)

Jon Phillip

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The launch of Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS)’s streaming service Disney Plus was the biggest event in the streaming industry this year. This formally launched ‘the streaming wars’. Reports show that right after the launch, the company garnered as many as 10 million sign-ups. However, it should be noted Disney also owns ESPN+ and Hulu.

Strong Growth

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In its latest regulatory filing, the company revealed strong growth for both those services. The numbers could show that Disney Plus is here to stay. It could also show that the company may be on target to reach its goals with all other streaming offerings.

ESPN+ was the first streaming platform that was launched by Disney in 2018. It had managed to attract as many as 1 million subscribers in 6 months. In its latest regulatory filing for the period ended on September 28, the company revealed that it now has 3 million paying subscribers.

In the fourth-quarter conference call, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that the service now has 3.5 million subscribers. The company is targeting 8 million to 12 million subscribers for ESPN+ by 2024.

M&A Finally Adding More Value

The acquisition of Fox made Disney the controller of Hulu. After reaching a deal with Comcast, the company assumed full control. Back in May, the company announced that Hulu had 26.8 million subscribers. In the latest regulatory filing, the company revealed that Hulu has 29 million subscribers.

With regard to Disney+, the company stated that it would reveal subscriber data in the quarterly earnings report. It also stated that it’s targeting a subscriber count in the 60 million to 90 million range globally by 2024. The three streaming services could set a pace to provide the company with high growth. Disney stated both ESPN+ and Hulu to be profitable by 2023, while Disney+ could be profitable a year later.

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Disney (DIS) Streaming Business is Getting 1 Million Subscribers a Day

Jon Phillip

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The so-called ‘streaming wars’ started in earnest this month with the launch of Apple TV+ but it well and truly took off on November 12 when Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) launched its own streaming service Disney Plus. Since its launch, the service has proven to be hugely popular and within a few days, it had managed to garner as many as 10 million new sign-ups.

Big Numbers

 It has now been two weeks since Disney Plus was launched and reports suggest that as many as 1 million subscribers are flocking to the app every day. Apptopia, a research firm, has revealed the staggering details about the sort of success Disney Plus has had over the two weeks.

Since its launch, Disney Plus has been downloaded as many as 15.5 million times. However, it is important to point out that people are not only signing up for the free trial but actually paying the $6.99 monthly fee. Disney offers its service for a significantly lower fee than market leader Netflix.

It is also enormously rich when it comes to programming. In addition to content from Disney, it also features programming from hugely popular Disney owned media properties like Star Wars and Marvel.

More importantly, the service has already started generating revenues according to Apptopia. In the 13 days since the launch, customers have made app purchases to the tune of $5 million in total. An analyst at Wedbush spoke about the reasons behind the impressive performance of Disney Plus so far.

What’s Next For Streaming Stocks?

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Wedbush’s analyst said, “This shows the company is gonna be a legit competitor to the likes of Netflix, despite the skeptics that continue to doubt the House of Mouse. The pricing, the content and the bundling was just a pure genius strategy from [Disney CEO Bob] Iger and Disney.”

At this point in time, the market leader Netflix boasts of 60 million paying subscribers in the United States and 97 million globally. In this regard, it should be noted that Disney Plus is yet to go big with its international expansion and when it does, a clearer picture could emerge. Analysts also said that Disney’s $12.99 a month offering that bundles Disney Plus, ESPN and Hulu is also showing strong demand.

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Is It Time To Buy Or Sell Netflix; Streaming Wars Heat Up

A. Lawrence

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Streaming Wars Continue To Expand But Is Netflix Still A Top Contender?

The streaming wars have commenced this month with the launch of Disney Plus and Apple TV+. Many more services are going to be launched over the coming months and the sole purpose of these services is to topple the biggest name in the streaming services, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX). The streaming giant has had a hard time this year, due to disappointing subscriber growth.

Increased Competition

The emergence of competition at such a juncture has further made life difficult for the company. The stock is trading at its lowest point this year and it is interesting to figure out whether the Netflix stock is a buy.

One thing that needs to point out with regards to the stock is that some experts would call the current valuations a bit over the top. The stock is trading at 20 times the book value and 99 times its trailing earnings.

Moreover, some analysts also believe that competitors are definitely going to eat into subscriber growth to some extent as well. However, the company’s CEO Reed Hastings has a completely different view on the competition. That could challenge Netflix.

He has actually welcomed the competition. He also said that the emergence of so many streaming options is going to lead to even more cord-cutting. In other words, more customers are going to subscribe to streaming services and opt-out of satellite and cable. If that is the case then Netflix should continue to thrive even after the emergence of tough competition.

While there are legitimate reasons for the gloomy outlook from many analysts, it is also true that the very nature of consuming entertainment is changing. In the long run, could Netflix be able to grow?

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