Apple is officially entering the streaming game on Monday, don't expect any shockers

Happy Friday! TIL there's a stuffed animal hidden in every Trader Joe's and if you find it you get a prize. 
the big one
via Apple
We’re just a few days out from Apple’s big event to announce their highly-anticipated foray into video -- here’s what you can expect.

Spoiler alert It’s not going to be a Netflix-killing production powerhouse.

As Recode reported on Thursday, Apple’s TV business will likely be centered around aggregating and bundling other providers’ shows and less about original content.

For example, Apple could bundle HBO, Showtime, and Starz in a package that’s cheaper than subscribing to each service individually (think the Spotify + Hulu combo). 

But there will be original content, right?
Yep, Apple is reportedly dropping $2 billion on original content featuring Hollywood talent like Reese Witherspoon, Jason Momoa, and Steven Speilberg. 

Our take Apple’s giving away just enough new big-name content to generate buzz and draw users to the service, without actually ever planning on going toe-to-toe with Netflix -- what’s $2 billion in giveaways to a company with about $250 billion in cash, anyway?

Less revolutionary, more evolutionary

While less sexy than an all-out war with Netflix, Apple’s move into aggregating TV services onto a single platform makes a ton of sense (and potential dollars) for the company.

Apple is betting that between Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and the 200 other on-demand streaming services, what consumers need isn’t another content provider -- what they need is a single place to access all of the different ones they subscribe to. 

With an installed user base of about 1.4 billion users, Apple has the reach and influence to convert a large number of its existing fans to users of the new TV product -- just look at how they were able to grow Apple Music from 10 million to 50 million users in just two years.

So much for a free press

Aside from TV, Apple is slated to announce a similar aggregator play with news on Monday, offering a paid Apple News service.

With struggling ad sales, publishers are aggressively pushing subscriptions by hiding content behind paywalls. The problem is, few publishers carry the clout to convince readers to pay, and even if they do, people are unlikely to pay for multiple. 

If Apple can combine licensed content from top publishers into a single news subscription, it may well be a win-win for everyone (despite Apple’s reported steep 50/50 revenue split). 

Stay tuned.
the almost big ones

It's been a banner week for female CEOs

via Forbes
Fashion rental company Rent the Runway made unicorn status with a fresh $125 million funding round yesterday -- the second female-founded company to do so just this week.

A decade ago, CEO Jennifer Hyman (podcast rec: Jenn’s origin story) started the company by offering high-end dress rentals to millennial women that had a tendency to overextend their credit cards. 

Today, they’ve expanded far beyond one-off dress rentals and are creating the “closet in the cloud,” betting that people care less about clothing ownership and more about short-term access via a subscription.

What’s the cash for? Rent the Runway has reportedly been profitable since 2016, they plan to use the cash to invest in creating an online community, beefing up their logistics (cleaning facilities, shipping warehouses, etc), and staying competitive (see Stitch Fix on a tear). 

Facebook: Oops we did it again 🤷

It’s sad that a headline like “Facebook stored hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text” barely piqued our interest -- it’s pretty much par for the Facebook-doesn’t-take-your-privacy-seriously course these days.

It’s been just over a year since the Cambridge Analytica story broke and kicked off a string of scandals leaving us numb to news about Facebook’s laissez faire attitude towards our privacy. 

Let’s take a look at how we got here:

March 17, 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal breaks -- the political data mining company with ties to the Trump Campaign exploits loophole in FB API to harvest data on 87 million users.

September 28, 2018 Facebook discloses a security flaw allowing hackers to steal contact and profile information for 30 million accounts

November 2, 2018 Hackers gain access to private messages from at least 81,000 Facebook accounts

March 21, 2019 (the latest) Facebook announces in a blog post that they’ve been storing passwords in plain text (that should have been encrypted -- that’s cybersecurity 101) for between 200 and 600 million users. 

Facebook says there’s no evidence anyone outside of the company had access to the passwords but at least 2,000 employees checked out the files.
worth watching this weekend

Elizabeth Holmes is the tech Bernie Madoff in new HBO documentary

If you haven’t been following the Theranos biotech miracle-turned-sham story, HBO’s new documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley is a perfect way to get acquainted.

Centered around Theranos’ disgraced CEO Elizabeth "never blinks" Holmes, the doc is a tidy summary of the rise and fall of an ambitious yet-delusion Silicon Valley "visionary."

Don't want to spend two hours but do want to be able to talk to people about it? Here's our favorite review from Rolling Stone.
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Zac Cherin
The idea guy
Brendan Uyeshiro
Nitpicker in chief

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