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HBO was the prize horse in the stable of media properties AT&T acquired in its recent purchase of Time Warner. Now, according to audio leaked to the New York Times, AT&T wants its thoroughbred to run faster and harder, all in the name of making even more money.
Why it matters: For all the wrangling over the government's antitrust suit that tried to block the AT&T/Time Warner merger, it's still a big open question whether a buttoned-up telecom company can take the reins of a legendary content producer like HBO without squandering its cultural cachet.
What's happening now: According to NYT, AT&T's plan includes several steps...
Step one is dramatically increasing the amount of content the unit produces.
Step two is generating significantly more revenue, in part through targeted advertising that benefits from all the information AT&T knows about its customers.
No sugar coating: Stankey made it clear that AT&T is planning lots of changes to HBO's way of doing things. “It’s going to be a tough year,” Stankey said to NYT. “It’s going to be a lot of work to alter and change direction a little bit.”
What they're saying:
Our thought bubble: If AT&T is serious about cranking up both programming and revenue, it could decide to raise HBO's prices. That would prompt a chorus of "I told you so"s from the merger's antitrust critics.
Go deeper: Read the full story here.
CEO Lei Jun hits a gong at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as Xiaomi begins trading on Monday. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images
Not only did it price below what the company had hoped, but Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's initial public offering also failed to produce a bounce in the first day of trading on the Hong Kong exchange Monday.
Buzz: Shares fell as much as 6% today, before recovering a bit to end down 1.2%. Founder Lei Jun's comments at the exchange suggest the company knows it's in for a rough ride. Per CNN, Lei said:
"Although the macroeconomic conditions are far from ideal, we believe a great company can still rise to the challenge and distinguish itself."
Our thought bubble: It's hardly a shocker that investors aren't totally sold. While Xiaomi has done well gaining market share in a brutally tough smartphone business, it has had uneven results outside of China. And, even gaining phone market share is really only the first part of the company's broader aim of being a profitable internet company.
Go deeper: Read Axios' Dan Primack's story here.
There was an interesting Twitter thread last week on how Silicon Valley is a bit like the former Soviet Union. Robotics and computer vision engineer Anton Troynikov laid out a number of parallels, including the following:
Obviously, there are some noteworthy differences too, but the full thread is definitely worth a read.
First off, let me be clear. Every prospectus and annual report is filled with "risk factors" that sound ominous. That said, there are a couple of items in the Sonos IPO documents that bear some thought for would-be investors.
Our current agreement with Amazon allows Amazon to disable the Alexa integration in our Sonos One and Sonos Beam products with limited notice. As such, it is possible that Amazon, which sells products that compete with ours, may on limited notice disable the integration, which would cause our Sonos One or Sonos Beam products to lose their voice-enabled functionality. Amazon could also begin charging us for this integration which would harm our operating results.
We have historically maintained, and we believe our customers have grown to expect, extensive backward compatibility for our older products and the software that supports them, allowing older products to continue to benefit from new software updates. We expect that in the near to intermediate term, this backward compatibility will no longer be practical or cost-effective, and we may decrease or discontinue service for our older products.
Go deeper: Wired's Lauren Goode has more on Sonos and its risk factors.
Nike is launching an athletic hijab for female Muslim athletes, becoming the first big brand to do so.