330: People Aren't Always Logical


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 330. Today's show is brought to you by ExpressVPN, Bombus, and MailRoute.

00:00:18   My name is Myke Hurley, and I have the pleasure, as always, of being joined by Jason Snell. Hi, Jason Snell!

00:00:24   Hello, Michael Hurley, how are you?

00:00:26   I am fine, thank you. I have a #SnellTalk question for you that comes from Matt.

00:00:30   Matt wants to know, "Jason, do you prefer to be called Jason Snell or Jason Snell?"

00:00:37   Jason is my name, and I prefer to be referred to by my name, my first name, yes.

00:00:43   What do you feel about Snell?

00:00:47   I have been called that throughout the years. Okay, being a Jason, born in the 70s,

00:00:54   makes me one of a very large number of Jasons.

00:00:57   Were there lots of Jasons? Okay. Too many Jasons.

00:01:00   In school, I was always Jason S. And for about nine months, one year, I guess one grade, most of one grade,

00:01:08   I was Jason S. N.

00:01:11   Oh, that's upsetting.

00:01:12   Because there were two Jason Ss.

00:01:14   I had a thing of this in my school. We had two Amy's in my class, class of 30.

00:01:19   And one of them was taller than the other, so we ended up with Big Amy and Little Amy.

00:01:24   And I've always been concerned about what may have happened to those individuals and their mental

00:01:28   health in the long term of being called Big Amy and Little Amy.

00:01:31   How old were they when they were called this?

00:01:34   Maybe... Have they grown yet?

00:01:37   No. Because the dangers one of them grew more than the other.

00:01:39   That never happened during our school time. And I actually remained friends of Little Amy

00:01:45   into secondary school, and Little Amy was always little.

00:01:48   Always little. Okay. Because you hear those stories about there's a basketball player named Tiny.

00:01:52   It's because he was a little kid.

00:01:54   Yeah. Or Tiny Lister.

00:01:54   And they started calling him Junior or Tiny.

00:01:56   Right? Tiny Lister just passed away. So he was a big guy.

00:02:00   Right.

00:02:00   He was a big guy. Well, sometimes it's ironic, sometimes it's not. Sometimes it was like...

00:02:04   Right. You're tall, but you're the smallest in this group.

00:02:08   Yeah. We had the kid who was always the tallest kid in my elementary school. And by the time we

00:02:13   got to high school, I remember seeing him around because we fed five elementary schools into that

00:02:17   high school. So you didn't see most of the people you went to elementary school. And I would see him

00:02:20   occasionally and I'd be like, "Oh, he's just like a guy. He's just like an average height guy."

00:02:24   And he just happened to be a little taller earlier on the growth chart in elementary school. And so

00:02:29   he was the tall guy. He was not the tall guy. He was not tall. He was just normal height.

00:02:34   So if he had gotten a name, if he had been Big Aaron, we would have gone to school and be like,

00:02:42   "You're just a guy. Why are you Big Aaron?" I'm like, "I have no good answer for you."

00:02:46   So I did, as a Jason, I did get called Snell a lot by some people because it was a way to

00:02:52   correctly differentiate me from all the many other Jasons that were out there. I don't love it. I got

00:02:58   to say, I don't love it, but I understand it and I've come to accept it. It's not my preference

00:03:03   when you're not differentiating between many Jasons. But some people do have that

00:03:10   technique of referring to people by their last names. And that's fine. I do it some,

00:03:18   but I tend to only do it when I need to differentiate people. So I refer to Gruber a lot

00:03:28   because not only is Gruber at— And Syracuse.

00:03:31   Gruber and Syracuse, exactly. Because not only are they Gruber and Syracuse on Twitter,

00:03:36   but they are both Johns. And if I say, "I was talking to John," it's unclear.

00:03:41   Oh, yeah. I just realized that I go Gruber, Syracuse, John Voorhees. Both.

00:03:47   You're doing a Jason Snell to John Voorhees. I do. I definitely double name.

00:03:52   He's a man who needs some introduction, so you use both names. One day he hopes to just be Voorhees.

00:03:59   But there's also Jason Voorhees, who's a serial killer in movies.

00:04:03   So let me give you a secret. I probably shouldn't say this on the show, but I'm going to do it

00:04:09   anyway. I've always wanted to be just referred to as Myke on podcasts, and everyone knows who that

00:04:16   is. Because you hear that, right? You just say the name. But people tend to refer to me as Myke

00:04:24   Hurley, I think, in a lot of environments. And I would like to just be like, "Myke."

00:04:29   There's so many Mykes out there. That's the problem, right?

00:04:31   That's the most common. In your age group, that's the most common name, I think.

00:04:36   It's a very common name.

00:04:37   Or top four.

00:04:37   One of the reasons, it's actually the main reasons why my name has a Y in it is because of how common

00:04:44   Myke and Michael was in my age group. So I went with the Y just purely to differentiate myself

00:04:50   when I was 16 years old.

00:04:51   If only it was audible.

00:04:53   I had a secondary question for you from the Snell Talk question, which was,

00:04:56   "Did you have any nicknames growing up?"

00:04:59   Oh man, this is going to be good. Oh yeah. No, I didn't have any.

00:05:02   Ah, I thought you were going to give me a good one that I would call you forever.

00:05:06   No.

00:05:07   Thank you, Matt, for that #snowtalk question. If you would like to send in a question

00:05:12   to help us open an episode of Upgrade, you can send out a tweet with the #snowtalk

00:05:17   or use the ?snowtalk command in the Reel AFM members Discord. As you can see,

00:05:22   very clearly, we will take questions about anything. So whatever it is you want to send

00:05:27   them in, maybe yours will be picked. So as we are recording today, we're in that weird

00:05:32   timeframe again, like we were last week. iOS 14.3 is launching today along with Fitness Plus.

00:05:39   As of recording, we don't have access to any of that stuff. So we'll maybe be touching in

00:05:46   on it again over the coming weeks. I am very intrigued to try out Fitness Plus. Are you, Jason?

00:05:53   I am. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Since I'm an Apple One subscriber, I get it.

00:05:59   Although my primary exercise is running, which is not covered in this. I don't have a treadmill or

00:06:05   anything. I actually run outside. But I do have a stationary bike and I do have a TV in a living

00:06:10   room where I could do whatever they're kind of like flat yoga or whatever it is that you just

00:06:15   kind of move your body around. I could try that stuff too, although as you can see from the

00:06:19   conversation that we're having here, I'm spectacularly bad at that. So I would need

00:06:23   to start at the introductory stage. So maybe I'll just hop on the stationary bike and try that out.

00:06:28   Yeah. I'm really keen to try out the beginners thing and also the yoga. So I will be following

00:06:35   up on that over the coming weeks, I think. Bloomberg got hold of a memo that Tim Cook

00:06:42   had shared with Apple employees talking about their kind of return to work plans or lack of.

00:06:51   So basically it's at the moment that Apple is stating that it seems likely that most employees

00:06:57   will be working at home until at least June of 2021. And an additional quote that I found

00:07:03   interesting from this memo, "There's no replacement for face-to-face collaboration." This is from Tim.

00:07:08   But we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office

00:07:14   without sacrificing productivity or results. All of these learnings are important. When we're on

00:07:19   the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while

00:07:22   incorporating the best of our transformations this year. I think, reading between the lines,

00:07:28   I think it's pretty clear that Apple want their people to be in their buildings and sometimes they

00:07:35   have to be, but it seems like there might be a bit more flexibility on that than there was before.

00:07:40   Yeah, it's again, they have built large campuses and invested a lot of money in them. So I think

00:07:49   that these corporate culture things die hard, but I do like that at least there's a little bit of lip

00:07:56   service being paid to the idea of preserving everything that is great about Apple while

00:08:01   incorporating the best of our transformations. Honestly, "There's no replacement for face-to-face

00:08:06   collaboration" is the part that gets me because there is. There's a lot. There's a lot. And

00:08:13   some face collaboration is great. But there is, I mean, it depends on what he means by this. This is

00:08:21   just a statement. It's a corporate memo from the CEO. I get it. But I'm a big believer in the fact

00:08:28   that you should hire the best people wherever you can hire them. And a lot of them aren't going to

00:08:32   be in the Silicon Valley and then spend the money that you would have spent on enormous rent or

00:08:37   whatever your costs are for facilities, on smaller facilities. And then also, once people are able to

00:08:44   travel again, have in-person meetings and things like that, where people can get to know each other,

00:08:50   get to know the people that they're collaborating with. And I also know some jobs you have to be

00:08:54   there. And that's fine. But we'll see. I remain skeptical. I think that this is going to give

00:08:59   some people inside Apple some ammunition to find ways to hire people who are great, who are not

00:09:06   in the office. But I also think that managers who just don't want to do that will probably be

00:09:15   allowed to continue with that policy. And that's that silly thing of like, you're doing a thing

00:09:20   that's entirely typing words into a screen, but you have to sit at a desk in Cupertino.

00:09:25   Doesn't make sense. No. Apparently, this is from the Bloomberg report, to get around some restrictions

00:09:32   on travel, Apple employees have been controlling robots from their homes using iPads to inspect

00:09:38   manufacturing production overseas. They've had these little telepresence robot-type things.

00:09:43   It's just funny, right? That's the way that they've done it. And apparently been using AR somehow.

00:09:47   Would you call that kind of robot an inspector gadget? Jason, you're a genius.

00:09:52   I know I'm not like guffawing right now, because it's one of those jokes that just like

00:10:01   caught me off guard. That is absolutely fantastic. And you deserve all of the credit for that one.

00:10:07   Bravo. Chance Miller from UntoFiveMac pointed this out on Twitter. It's just like a good thing.

00:10:14   Basically, the likelihood of an in-person WWDC seems pretty set to know from this.

00:10:22   If Apple is saying, "You will be working from home until June," there's...

00:10:26   At which point you will go to San Jose and mingle with thousands of people.

00:10:29   We're gonna do nothing and then we're all getting together. No, it's not happening. I've been

00:10:34   saying this, I think, on Connected more recently. I might have mentioned it here.

00:10:39   It's not happening. Apple announced WWDC in March or April. How could anyone expect that we would be

00:10:50   different enough? And I know that the vaccine is starting to roll out, but come on. It's gonna be

00:10:57   way into 2021 before we're vaccinated at the level that people could get together in these

00:11:03   kinds of numbers. Like I said before, no matter what happens in 2021, what company would want to

00:11:11   be on the line for 5,000 people or more getting together? Legally, from a legal standpoint.

00:11:18   You don't want to be in that mess. Hopefully, 2022, maybe. 2020's WWDC went really great.

00:11:26   If 2021 goes even better, I don't know. I don't know if it will come back. I really don't.

00:11:33   I can't say for sure now. I think it is convenient for them, in a way, to have this be so clearly not

00:11:40   ready in person. It allows Apple to refine what they've done, which by all accounts was pretty

00:11:48   great, right? Everybody seems to have been pretty happy with it. So it lets them kick the can down

00:11:55   the road a year, do another online event this summer. Sorry, next summer. This coming summer.

00:12:02   I don't know. It's almost 2021, but it's not quite yet. And then figure out what they want to do,

00:12:09   if they want to do an in-person event or completely revisit it. So we'll see. I think

00:12:15   people who really want them to bring back classic WWDC, this is a bad sign because it allows

00:12:23   everybody another year to get used to not having it. At the same time, I want to reference this

00:12:30   memo that Tim Cook sent out where he said there's no replacement for face-to-face collaboration.

00:12:35   So maybe. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. Definitely not 2021, 2022. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

00:12:49   Next week, we're going to be doing the Upgrade Holiday Special. We have a couple of things

00:12:55   planned. We're going to be doing a mic at the movies. We are going to be watching,

00:12:59   and we would encourage you all to watch, a Charlie Brown Christmas Special for Mic at the Movies.

00:13:05   It's available on Apple TV+. This is one of the rare, very rare movies that we have done for this

00:13:12   series, especially the holiday ones, which is easy for everyone to get it. So in many...

00:13:18   If you have Apple TV+, it's there. It's 25 minutes long. It is not a movie. It is a half-hour

00:13:23   television special from the '70s. And yes, everybody, Myke hadn't seen it. I haven't seen it

00:13:31   because I'm not an American. And I think Charlie Brown is not exclusively, but seems like a very

00:13:40   American thing. But I have this to watch, and I want you all to watch along with us.

00:13:47   We will be talking about it next week. We would also like to do an extended Ask Upgrade for next

00:13:53   week. We want to do a regular Ask Upgrade, but also a holiday-themed Ask Upgrade. So please,

00:14:00   if you have any holiday-related questions, send them in to us by tweeting with the hashtag

00:14:05   #AskUpgrade or using question mark #AskUpgrade in the Real AFM members Discord. Just ask us some

00:14:10   holiday-themed stuff. It could be about technology. It could be about anything, but we would really

00:14:15   love to see what you have to say. And then while we're talking about scheduling, then the week

00:14:21   after, we will be doing the seventh annual upgrade-ies. So I would say we will close voting

00:14:28   at some point next week. We will announce on next week's episode when exactly that's going to happen.

00:14:34   If I was going to pick a day out of the air, which honestly is all I'll be doing anyway,

00:14:39   probably be midweek next week, we will close voting. I will announce the date next Monday.

00:14:46   But you want to go to upgradees.vote and get your votes in, your nominations in for the 2020

00:14:55   upgrade-ies, the seventh annual upgrade-ies. You want to get those in ASAP, please. And thank you

00:15:02   to everybody who has done so, so far. We've had many, many, many, many hundreds of votes. So please

00:15:07   get those in for our upgrade-ies special. All right, this episode is brought to you in part

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00:17:00   So we have just an obscene amount of upstream stuff to talk about today. We have Disney stuff.

00:17:09   We have Apple stuff. There's been reports. There's been basically comic cons happening.

00:17:15   Oh boy. In the last few days, but we should do a little bit of follow-up actually,

00:17:19   that there has been... So people, you know, we were talking about HBO Max last week, right?

00:17:25   And, you know, everyone's really excited about all of the movies that are coming to HBO Max,

00:17:30   except the creators of these properties. So there has been, I think it started with Christopher

00:17:38   Nolan. Nolan was kind of like, he broke the dam on this and was really upset about HBO Max.

00:17:46   He said something like, "I went to bed with a creative partnership with the greatest movie studio

00:17:51   ever and woke up with a movie on the world's worst streaming service," which is very hyperbolic

00:17:57   because I'm not sure Warner Brothers is the greatest movie studio ever. And I'm definitely

00:18:01   sure that HBO Max is not the worst streaming service, even with Quibi gone.

00:18:07   Whilst he is being hyperbolic, I see what he's saying. And the reason is I can kind of get what

00:18:14   he's saying is that I was reading some stuff about this in other reports that nobody knew this was

00:18:21   going to happen. None of the directors, none of the actors, none of the agents, nobody.

00:18:26   HBO or Warner made this decision and did it. And one of the things that has been even more

00:18:33   upsetting to some creators is this was not the case with Wonder Woman. With Wonder Woman,

00:18:37   everyone was involved. Gal Gadot got to make a deal with Warner to say, "This is how much

00:18:44   money you're going to pay me because I'll make less money." Right?

00:18:47   - Right. Because there are certain people who get a portion of money for each point along the gross,

00:18:54   which is where the real money is because profits, movies can be accounted to not make a profit. But

00:19:00   there's the gross, which is, you know, it did a billion in box office and you'll get a certain

00:19:05   percentage of the first hundred thousand. And if you're like the director or maybe a producer,

00:19:09   but if you're like the director and the star, you make deals where you don't get paid as much

00:19:14   upfront, but you get a piece. This is why Robert Downey Jr. has all the money, right? Because he

00:19:19   ended up being in all of these Marvel movies that made an enormous amount of money. And because he

00:19:24   was there at the beginning and made a good deal, he got paid out of the enormity. Like, if this

00:19:30   movie is a billion dollar movie, you're going to make a lot of money. If it's a hundred million

00:19:33   dollar movie, you're not. - Everyone was taking a gamble then. They took a gamble on Downey,

00:19:37   Downey took a gamble on them. So he obviously got a good deal and then just made this, like,

00:19:43   you know, all of it, if you say. - So Gal Gadot is a good example of,

00:19:46   she's a star. Wonder Woman did really well. Undoubtedly, her deal includes participation in

00:19:53   box office that no longer exists. And there are other people who have that, whether it's

00:19:58   from residuals from box office or it's residuals from something else, there's,

00:20:03   there, this changes what it, how the pay, the pay, you negotiated your pay based on an assumption

00:20:11   that this movie was going to be in theaters and now it's not. And, and although they negotiated

00:20:15   that for Wonder Woman, they, they seem to have not done anything about these movies that are coming

00:20:19   out in 2021. And people are up in arms about it for good reasons. Now, Christopher Nolan

00:20:25   is one of these people. He's not, I'm not a big fan of Christopher Nolan. I'm not really a fan of

00:20:31   most of his movies. I think he's made some good movies, but I don't, I think he's made some

00:20:34   over-hyped and not very good movies too. But he's also the kind of guy who's like, well,

00:20:38   you should really only see this in the theater and IMAX and 70 millimeter. Like he's,

00:20:42   I only want to shoot on film. - Yeah. I mean, he was the ridiculous

00:20:46   fool who pushed on Tenet coming out, right? Like just a stupid idea.

00:20:51   - Yeah. Cause it did, did, did great. So, so he's, he's got some other access to grind about the,

00:20:57   the glory and the, and the mythology of being in a movie theater instead of watching it on streaming.

00:21:03   And I have very little patience for people like that. I think people should watch movies in the

00:21:07   theater because they want to go to a movie theater, not because of they're being forced to

00:21:12   buy exclusivity arrangements because Christopher Nolan knows what's good for them. So I'm going to

00:21:18   set that aside. - However, right. So like,

00:21:20   I agree with everything you're saying, but like to go back to this whole point,

00:21:23   I understand what he's getting at in that sense of like, we all thought we knew what was going on

00:21:29   here. - Exactly.

00:21:30   - And now you've decided and consulted none of us that you're changing the entire model.

00:21:37   And we all purposely did not do deals with Netflix. And now you've just put us in that situation.

00:21:43   - So, um, exactly right. Now this isn't, this wouldn't happen normally, right?

00:21:49   - No. - The pandemic has forced this.

00:21:51   - Yeah. I mean, if this would have just happened out of the blue in a regular year,

00:21:55   we would be in a very, it would be like incredibly different to now, right? Like you think people

00:22:00   are mad now. - And Christopher Nolan knows this and other

00:22:03   people know this, like, this is where it's going anyway.

00:22:05   - Yeah. - But this is, this is Warner using this

00:22:11   as a way to make it happen now, like instead of incrementally to make it happen now. Now, I will

00:22:16   say they all got warned like an hour before they made the announcement and they're all outraged

00:22:21   about that. And I get it. I also get that the moment that if, if they went to everybody and

00:22:27   said, here's what we're planning, you know what would happen, right? It would be in Variety and

00:22:32   The Hollywood Reporter immediately. - Yes. - And they begin negotiating in the press for a better

00:22:36   deal. - Yep. Which is why they didn't tell them. Yeah.

00:22:39   - Yeah. I get why they didn't do it. But, um, I think it is a fair point that the challenge here

00:22:44   is what is fair in terms of compensating the people who had their compensation originally

00:22:50   tied to a theatrical release? What is fair for them? Because they're not going to get a

00:22:56   theatrical release now. So what happens? Um, at the high level, you've got creative types

00:23:01   like Christopher Nolan, who it's, I would argue it is still about the money, but it's not just

00:23:06   about the money. It's also about the prestige. Anyway, it's about the Batman Begins. No, it's

00:23:14   about the prestige of being in a, getting a big movie release and feeling good about it. And so

00:23:19   when you see people like Denis Villeneuve, who did Dune, um, say, you know, you know, I don't even

00:23:26   know if I want to make the other Dune movie now. Like that's not great because they want that to

00:23:31   be a two-movie franchise for them. And, uh, there are relationship issues, right? There, there are

00:23:36   relationship issues with high-profile creators that are, uh, that are now more difficult. There,

00:23:44   there are more issues there because there's a lack of trust going on here. And that was,

00:23:49   that was a problem with this. But I also see the other side, which is they could have approached

00:23:54   everybody in advance and we'd be basically where we are now, which is how dare they suggest that we

00:24:00   do this. We're not going to do that. Right. And I'm pretty sure that, uh, Warner has, Warner's

00:24:06   lawyers have looked at this and say, well, can we do this? And the answer is yes. Um, that doesn't

00:24:12   mean they should do it. And, and I get why they might have chosen this technique, but it's going

00:24:17   to be damage control for them now with all of their partners. And the big challenge is that

00:24:22   Hollywood has no credibility when it comes to money and working with their people like box

00:24:28   office results are pretty out in the open. And so if you peg your payment based on box office

00:24:33   results, you, you will get paid in a way that you won't if it's almost any other metric because they

00:24:39   can fudge all of that in the accounting. And so instead what, what they did with wonder woman is

00:24:44   they sold wonder woman from Warner to, they sold this, this rights window to HBO max. So it was an

00:24:52   internal sale of the rights and that's money that's being used to pay the residuals to the

00:25:00   people who worked on the movie. The problem with that is it wasn't an auction. It wasn't an open

00:25:04   negotiation. The only bidder was Warner itself. And this has come up time and again, where, uh,

00:25:13   uh, like, uh, what was it? Friends, I think is an example of this, where the argument was that

00:25:18   friends was owned by Warner and, uh, got syndicated on TBS, which was owned by Warner and the people

00:25:29   involved in friends all have residual payments based on syndication sales. And I think there

00:25:36   was a lawsuit about this and there've been many lawsuits, many, so many lawsuits in this area,

00:25:41   because the idea is it's, it's self-dealing. They are, um, they are not putting it out in the open

00:25:47   market. It's an artificial value in the property potentially. Exactly. Exactly. Like if, if they

00:25:52   had made that available on the open market, somebody might've bid three times as much for

00:25:57   Netflix would have paid more for wonder woman and HBO paid themselves for wonder woman.

00:26:02   Yeah. Possibly. Or at the very least Netflix would have been able to, you know, run up the price and

00:26:09   say, well, we would pay this for it. And, and Warner would then have to pay that to itself,

00:26:13   which I get is play money, but it would mean that the percentage of that would go to people.

00:26:19   And that's real money. And so, so there is a like Hollywood studios are unfair to those people. Like

00:26:26   there's no doubt about, they have no credibility to say, no, we'll take care of you. It's going

00:26:29   to be okay. And I know that Jason Kyler, who is the CEO of Warner media now who worked at Hulu.

00:26:35   And I think is a very smart guy. And, and I would say no understands what the future of this

00:26:39   business is and is behaving like it. The problem with that is you've got to bring everybody else

00:26:47   along. You've got promises that you made that you're now not able to deliver because of the

00:26:51   pandemic. It's a difficult situation. Um, not being able to deliver because of the pandemic

00:26:58   is different from what HBO have decided to do. Right. Where it's like, there are these movie

00:27:07   studios and these movies that are just like up in the ether, like James Bond, right? Right. It's

00:27:13   like, look, we want to do what we all wanted to do. And we're going to wait until we can do that.

00:27:19   Where Warner have just been like NASCAR, it will just do this. I could argue that that is

00:27:26   all happening because of a deep sense of denial about how long the pandemic is going to affect

00:27:33   things. Right. So I could argue that what it, what Kyler did and what HBO did is what Disney's doing,

00:27:41   which we're going to get to shortly, what Disney's doing to a certain extent. Yeah, exactly.

00:27:45   Is clear-eyed in a way that, and logical in a way that saying, well, maybe Black Widow will open in

00:27:54   April is not, but people aren't always logical. And this is the thing is you are dealing, you're

00:28:03   in a business where you're dealing with very creative people. They are, they are full of

00:28:09   emotion about the projects they're working on. They have poured their selves into these projects.

00:28:14   They have infused them with their own self-worth and they have, have talked to their agents and

00:28:20   they've made deals based on a world that no longer exists. And while you can just say, well, that

00:28:25   world doesn't exist, so we're going to figure this out. You don't have any credibility if you're the

00:28:29   studio to actually be fair. So you're going to have to put up and you're really gonna have to

00:28:33   prove it, which a unilateral announcement does not do. And so I understand like, there's a lot of

00:28:41   repair work that they're going to have to do, even though, and this is actually, this is the story I

00:28:45   think of HBO Max and WarnerMedia in general in this period, which is I don't think they're making bad

00:28:51   decisions. I think they're executing them badly. And I think that some of the decisions are good

00:28:56   decisions that have very painful outcomes that they're going, that they probably could have done

00:29:01   too differently to an extent, but they were always going to cause pain because I think that they have

00:29:06   basically fully committed to the future. The challenge is we're in a transitory period and

00:29:11   they've decided to rip the band-aid off. And when we talk about Disney in a minute, Disney

00:29:15   is playing partially because Disney has more money, I think, is playing a more transitional game.

00:29:23   Yes, where they are getting their movie stars to make TV shows.

00:29:27   Yeah, Disney is doing, is executing and has been for a few years now, this transition plan where a

00:29:32   lot of the stuff that used to be movies is now going to be fueling TV, streaming TV production.

00:29:37   And it's like movies, but for TV. And they're still also going to do theatrical films. And that

00:29:43   that is leads to weird things like Black Widow is not coming out because it's going to be in the

00:29:46   theaters. And, you know, whereas Warner said, we're just going to forget that and we're just going to

00:29:51   put it on streaming. Disney is saying more like, no, no, no, a lot of that stuff we're going to keep.

00:29:55   And just before we get to Disney, I wanted to say the reason this is relevant to you as a viewer of

00:30:03   entertainment like this is what's the future of theatrical? Because if there is no future for

00:30:10   theatrical, or if there is a niche future for theatrical where it's also on streaming, or it's

00:30:19   only briefly theatrical, I think what you're going to see, and I think this is going to happen whether

00:30:27   anybody wants to do it or not. I think it's just going to be the future of theatrical releases.

00:30:30   They're not going to make as much money as they used to. And why that's relevant is if theatrical

00:30:35   releases aren't going to make as much money as they used to, studios aren't going to spend as

00:30:40   much money on them as they used to. Because that's the real issue here is you can make a Marvel movie

00:30:46   for TV. You're not going to spend the amount of money on it that you spent if you were going to

00:30:51   make a billion dollars in a movie theater. You're not. And so if I had to project out five years,

00:30:56   my guess would be there will be theatrical releases, but they might be smaller. They might

00:31:01   be cheaper because the theatrical market has drained a little bit. Whereas your streaming

00:31:07   stuff is going to be way bigger budget than TV used to be because it's more movie-like on premium

00:31:14   streaming. Yeah, there's this middle ground right now where you have TV and movies and then this

00:31:22   golden age of streaming is in the middle and it's more expensive. And so we're going to start

00:31:29   talking about Disney now, but just as a way to tie these things together, one of the things Bob

00:31:34   Iger was saying and the investor thing was saying that they are creating their shows that look like

00:31:43   movies. And some of the clips that they showed, they looked like scenes from Marvel movies,

00:31:48   but they were from TV shows. Now of course there's not going to be as many of them. Anybody who saw

00:31:51   The Mandalorian last week, I mean the whole season, but like last week's a good example,

00:31:57   that was like a movie. Like there are some special effects shots in there that's like,

00:32:01   "I cannot believe this is a TV show. This looks like a Star Wars movie." And that's sort of where

00:32:05   we are. And it's not, and they don't spend as much money on it, but they spend a lot of money on it.

00:32:09   And that may be the truth of it. And again, if you're a director or a star who is used to getting

00:32:16   participation in a movie that's going to make a billion dollars, it's got to bum you out a little

00:32:20   bit like that might dry up. And I think that explains some of the reaction to Warner. So

00:32:26   sorry for people who wanted a hot take about the Warner stuff, but the truth is I think they're

00:32:34   making some good tactical decisions and also made some bad human relationship decisions. And that

00:32:43   the people who are upset with them breaking the model are people who deserve to be paid.

00:32:49   And it feels a little bit like they're just not going to be paid right for this. And that's not

00:32:55   like I get, I can agree and be enthusiastic about moving those movies all onto HBO Max while also

00:33:03   recognizing that the people who made those movies deserve to get paid what they were promised.

00:33:07   - Let's just state like for the record, right, that we are talking about like,

00:33:11   in some instances, people that they make lots and lots and lots of money, millions, right? And

00:33:17   there's the question of like, "Oh, they have millions." So society has valued these people

00:33:21   this way. - Well, also there are people who are not glamorous.

00:33:23   - They deserve what they're owed. - Who have residual payments. There are

00:33:27   people who are not glamorous, who are technical people, behind the scenes people, people you've

00:33:31   not ever heard of, and they're the ones who, this is how they bank their house payment.

00:33:34   - Yeah, exactly. - And so it's a bigger issue

00:33:37   than just the stars. And Nolan to his credit made that issue. He said, "Don't worry about me getting

00:33:42   paid. Worry about my camera man, my lighting supervisor, my set director. Worry about all

00:33:49   those people getting paid, not don't worry about me." And I think that's the truth of it is that

00:33:53   this isn't just boohoo rich actors. It's also all the people who you don't know of who are also

00:34:00   potentially getting the short end of the stick because of this business model change. But I'll

00:34:06   say that while also saying, I feel like this was kind of inevitable. And what I hope is that they,

00:34:12   the outcry that's happening now leads to those people getting paid fairly for funding. Let's

00:34:19   be honest, for funding Warner Media's attempt to build circulation revenue for HBO Max.

00:34:27   - Yep. So let's talk about Disney. So Disney had an investor announcement last week that

00:34:32   was basically part Comic-Con where they made a bunch of announcements and showed a bunch of

00:34:37   trailers. So we're gonna try, I'm gonna give a very high level to this because there is

00:34:42   literally too much stuff to talk about. So over the next few years on Disney+, we will be getting

00:34:48   10 new Marvel series, 10 new Star Wars series, 15 Disney animation Pixar series, and 15 feature

00:34:58   movies from Disney, all to Disney+. Some highlights, there's a lot of stuff, they showed

00:35:05   a lot of trailers and gave more information about things we already know about. But some of the

00:35:10   things that were new, they're making a series based on the Alien franchise. - From Noah Hawley,

00:35:16   who did Fargo and Legion, which are both, I mean Legion got really weird really fast, but like,

00:35:23   he's really a smart guy and they put him in charge of this Alien TV series. - And this is coming to

00:35:29   Hulu or Star, so that Disney have finally given information about how the FX and Hulu stuff is

00:35:36   going to be international. They're creating a separate property called Star, which will become

00:35:41   part of Disney+, so it'll be like another tab. So that's where I will be able to watch this content.

00:35:47   And also very cleverly, in places where Disney need to provide a percentage of content in a language

00:35:56   or produced in an area, it will go on Star. - It will go on Star. And the idea here is this also

00:36:03   solves the rated R problem of Disney+, which is they're going to have you-- - Always Sunny in

00:36:09   Philadelphia is going to be on Star. So it's kind of funny, I will watch Always Sunny in Disney+.

00:36:14   - Yeah, but the way it works is that Disney+, the plus includes swearing, right? So you'll go in and

00:36:20   you'll say, "I am over 18," or whatever, or a parent or whatever, and I want to turn this on.

00:36:26   And then Star will be there and you'll be able to watch. And presumably that'll probably also

00:36:32   include like Hamilton with the F word in it and the Taylor Swift thing with the F words in it and

00:36:37   all that. But it will have all the FX, Hulu content, anything that's sort of not kids'

00:36:43   content will kind of be able to live in there. And so in the US we'll have Hulu, but they're using

00:36:49   Star, which I think started in India, but is a global brand. But what they're gonna try to do

00:36:55   is sort of like build it inside the Disney+ app. - The name is actually Hot Star in India,

00:36:58   is the name of the service. And they're keeping that Hot Star name in some territories,

00:37:02   so it's kind of got Star everywhere else. Some of the Star Wars highlights for me,

00:37:09   so we knew about Obi-Wan with Ewan McGregor, but they announced that Hayden Christensen will be

00:37:16   resuming the role of Darth Vader, which is incredible, I think. It's like one of those

00:37:23   so surprising type moves. It's like, I don't know if I'm gonna like this, but just because I'm so

00:37:30   surprised about it, I really like it. So that's gonna be really interesting. And also one of the

00:37:37   upcoming features, I believe this is an actual theatrical movie, is going to be Rogue Squadron,

00:37:44   directed by Patty Jenkins, who is the director of Wonder Woman. - Yeah, of the Wonder Woman movies.

00:37:49   And then Taika Waititi, we already knew, was directing a Star Wars theatrical release,

00:37:54   and he is still, they mentioned him. - It seems like Disney's gonna start getting weird with

00:37:59   Star Wars, I think, which I'm kind of excited about. - I feel like maybe the Marvel influence

00:38:06   of like, you need to look at your mates over at Marvel and consider that. I wonder if the Taika

00:38:13   Waititi movie is the one that Kevin Feige is producing, by the way. I wonder, because there

00:38:17   was a rumor that Kevin Feige from Marvel was going to produce a Star Wars movie, and since

00:38:22   he's worked with Taika Waititi on Marvel movies, and he's directing a Marvel movie right now,

00:38:27   but I honestly don't know if that is not happening or is happening differently or whatever. But yeah,

00:38:32   so it's interesting because they've got their whole slate of Star Wars, including a bunch of

00:38:37   new Star Wars series that they announced. There were a lot of jokes there about so many Star Wars

00:38:43   minor characters given their own shows, including two Mandalorian spin-offs that'll be coming from

00:38:51   the people who do The Mandalorian, plus some other Star Wars shows that are not coming from the people

00:38:55   who do, and there are some more animated series on top of it. And we're about to talk to Marvel,

00:39:02   but just as a little sidebar, when we talk about CBS All Access, which is going to be Paramount

00:39:07   Plus pretty soon, we talk about they have Star Trek. And one of the things they're trying to do

00:39:11   with Star Trek is have it be that basically there's always a Star Trek show on. So if you

00:39:14   like Star Trek, you've got to keep subscribing to CBS All Access because there's always going to be

00:39:18   a Star Trek Discovery. It'll go off, and then Picard will come on, and then Strange New Worlds

00:39:23   will come on, and then Lower Decks will come on, and there's always a Star Trek show in season.

00:39:27   Clearly, Disney Plus' strategy, and we gave them a hard time about this, we have been for a while

00:39:33   now, this is phase two for them, and this is where they're like, there will always be Star Wars and

00:39:39   Marvel shows running on Disney Plus. You'll never be able to cancel it. There will be a new Star

00:39:43   Wars and/or Marvel show and probably a Pixar show on every week. They're basically turning it into

00:39:49   a TV network, essentially, for all of their properties where there will, every week,

00:39:53   there's going to be new stuff on Disney Plus, and that is really impressive, especially when you,

00:40:00   this is why Netflix has been trying to buy intellectual property in the background,

00:40:04   buy comic book studios and stuff like that for a while now, is because this is how Disney Plus

00:40:10   potentially beats Netflix at its game, is with using franchise stuff to make their service

00:40:17   mandatory for fans. Now, obviously, you know, I've said this before, my heart is in Marvel.

00:40:23   Like, it's, you know, Marvel movies, they're my Star Wars, you know, like, really. I'm a fan of

00:40:28   Star Wars, definitely, but Marvel movies is what really hits for me, and they have some incredible

00:40:33   stuff coming up. A Secret Invasion series, which is going to start Samuel L. Jackson.

00:40:37   And Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the Skrull in Captain Marvel, they're the stars of that show.

00:40:46   It's a Nick Fury and the Skrulls TV show that's coming. Yeah.

00:40:50   - Ironheart, I've wondered what are they going to do for Iron Man? What are they going to do,

00:40:54   like, what they've done with the comics? And Iron Man is now a woman, is Ironheart.

00:40:59   - Yeah. Yeah, in the comics, this was a very recent invention. This is Riri Williams is a

00:41:04   character who is a, she's a Black girl from Detroit, I want to say, and she invents Iron

00:41:11   Man armor, basically inspired by Tony Stark. She invents Iron Man armor. So you can see the

00:41:15   story here, which is basically like, you get to do the Iron Man thing, but it's a kid, so that's

00:41:21   kind of, it's like Spider-Man-y in that way. And those comics have been a lot of fun. So it's a fun

00:41:27   kind of furthering the Iron Man family. And in fact, in the comics, Riri Williams gets to know

00:41:35   Pepper Potts, and like, she's still integrated into kind of Iron Man's world while also having

00:41:40   her world, and that could be really interesting. There's also, already announced, there's a

00:41:46   Ms. Marvel series coming, which is another relatively new character, but they announced

00:41:52   this time, as a part of this, that that character is also going to appear in the next Captain Marvel

00:41:57   movie. And that's one of those moments where you're like, oh, like, let's be clear, this isn't just

00:42:03   movie characters getting their own shows, although it is that. It's also TV show characters using

00:42:09   that as a launch point to then appear in theatrical releases. So if you're expecting to like, hold a

00:42:15   firewall and be like, I'm not watching those Marvel TV shows, I'm just going to watch the movies,

00:42:19   that's fine. But those TV characters are going to be in the movies, because Disney wants you to have

00:42:25   it all, and buy it all, and watch it all. - It's like, you could jump in at any Marvel movie if you

00:42:30   want to, if you haven't seen the rest of them, but you're maybe not going to understand it all,

00:42:34   and that's the way it's going to be with the shows. Because they announced Captain Marvel 2,

00:42:41   and then stated that the actress playing Ms. Marvel is going to be in Captain Marvel 2. So

00:42:48   like, they're mixing them all around in a really, really great way. They spoke about making a

00:42:54   Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for next year, which, super good. I'm into that.

00:42:59   - It's actually two, it's two years. - Is it two years? Oh, okay.

00:43:02   - It's 2022. See, this is part of the Disney announcement, is they're announcing what they're

00:43:05   going to do for the next like three or four years. They want to really just sort of make it clear

00:43:10   that they have all of this stuff in production. But what I love about the Guardians of the Galaxy

00:43:15   holiday special story is, they're shooting Guardians of the Galaxy 3. And what they decided

00:43:23   to do while they've got the cast there is also do this Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for

00:43:29   Disney Plus that is directed by James Gunn. And I think he wrote the script and he thinks it's,

00:43:33   so it's like a fun little thing that is going to be produced alongside the production of the movie,

00:43:39   using the same sets and characters and all of that. So they're basically creating like a second

00:43:44   little TV special alongside the movie. I think it's a really interesting approach that could be

00:43:51   replayed in other places, right? Like, it's not making it into a TV show, it's making it into a

00:43:57   theatrical feature with a special, which is another way to cut it, right? Not every movie needs to just

00:44:03   be a movie, not every TV show needs to just be a TV show. You might be able to find some way to kind

00:44:08   of like do a little bit of both. So that'll be an interesting experiment. - And the Fantastic Four

00:44:14   are going to be given another shot. - They're going to try. What if the, could the Fantastic Four

00:44:20   work if it was actually a Marvel movie instead of whatever they had before? We'll see. It's from the

00:44:26   director of Spider-Man Homecoming, John Watts. So that's good. But how you fit the Fantastic Four

00:44:33   in the MCU remains to be seen. They were, for people who aren't comic book nerds, the Fantastic

00:44:39   Four, and only know the Fantastic Four from all the bad movies that they've been in. Fantastic Four

00:44:43   was the original Marvel universe characters. That's where the Marvel universe, you know,

00:44:48   basically started is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby doing Fantastic Four. And then they added Spider-Man and

00:44:52   the Avengers and all that. So they are, in the comics, they are kind of Marvel's crown jewels in

00:44:59   a way, and yet have been owned by another studio and Marvel never got to integrate them into the

00:45:05   Marvel Cinematic Universe. So I'm kind of fascinated by that. I'm also, there's a good

00:45:10   question about like, has, have the bad movies killed that franchise? To that I'd only say

00:45:16   Spider-Man, like coming back to John Watts, like Spider-Man franchise was pretty dead. And then

00:45:22   they made Spider-Man Homecoming and it was like, oh, it's in the MCU and it's a good movie. Yay.

00:45:27   So they could do that again. They could totally do that again. They're going to be doing a bunch

00:45:30   of Pixar related stuff, including some series, as we mentioned. But there's also just a movie

00:45:36   that I wanted to mention that I'm just so excited about because I love the premise so much. It's

00:45:39   called Lightyear and it's about the character that the Buzz Lightyear toy is made from.

00:45:46   Yes. So it is like, imagine the movie from which the toy was made, a genius idea. And it's, and

00:45:54   the Buzz Lightyear will be voiced by Chris Evans, which is just like, it's all so, it's just so good.

00:46:02   Disney are getting wild, y'all. They are doing some freaky stuff and I am into it.

00:46:09   Like, this is so great. They are on it. So like, they want the, this is the, I said to you on Slack

00:46:17   earlier, like this is the Death Star basically being rolled out here. It is Disney saying,

00:46:23   we are spending a lot of money to do our whole franchises on Disney Plus, in addition to

00:46:29   theatrical, right? Like that's, we're going to do both and we're going to do all this stuff on

00:46:34   Disney Plus. And if you love these franchises, you will have new stuff from them coming into your

00:46:40   house every week. So you've got to keep paying us for Disney Plus, which they raised the price by

00:46:45   a dollar, by the way. So like that'll, that'll keep happening. But yeah, but you look at this

00:46:51   and you're like, oh, there's the value in originals. Like we were complaining that the catalog was

00:46:55   there, but where were the originals? And it's taken them some time to get to this point, but

00:46:59   starting next year, they're going to start rolling this thing out. And I think basically that's it

00:47:04   from that point on, it's going to just be rolling thunder of Disney content releases on Disney Plus.

00:47:09   - Yeah. Like it starts early next year and then the Marvel shows begin and the trailers they show

00:47:15   up at the Marvel shows all looked weird and wonderful in their own ways. Like this is the

00:47:19   Disney Plus that we wanted, right? Like definitely. This is what we, as you said, we were talking

00:47:24   about this, like it felt like they were kind of spinning their wheels a little bit. Julia Alexander

00:47:29   at Polygon wrote a really great piece about this calling what we have now the real Disney Plus.

00:47:34   - Yes.

00:47:34   - I read a couple of quotes from this. It's a great article. It's been in the show notes.

00:47:38   "Last night's presentation established the undeniable version of Disney Plus that

00:47:42   delivers on nearly $100 billion worth of acquisitions over the last 15 years.

00:47:47   There will come a time when Disney has a new Star Wars or Marvel show seemingly every week,

00:47:51   and that powerful harnessing of lucrative sought after founder-lord brands should be terrifying to

00:47:57   competitors." And like this is it, right? Like this is the thing of like whether this was what

00:48:03   Bob Iger planned or whether it's just that all of the stars aligned and they ended up capitalizing

00:48:10   on it. It's like the last however many years, like 15, 20 years of Disney collecting all this IP

00:48:17   has gotten them to this point. The movies are great. Amazing. We love the movies, but what

00:48:23   about consistent continual revenue constantly plus merchandising plus theme parks plus cruise ships,

00:48:28   right? Like this is creating an absolute powerhouse. Like you thought Disney was powerful before.

00:48:36   Like as you said, like the Death Star is a perfect analogy for this. It's like,

00:48:41   wait, what is that over there? Oh no. They're gonna blow up my planet.

00:48:45   - That's no move. No. Yeah, I think I mentioned Netflix earlier. Like I think this is gonna be

00:48:52   one of the long-term challenges. Cause I think Disney plus is going to be a serious challenger

00:48:56   for Netflix. Like that is, it is happening. They're going to be seriously close in worldwide

00:49:02   subscribers at some point this decade it's gonna happen. But long run is about the content, right?

00:49:08   And Disney plus like it's great that they're doing all this Marvel and Star Wars stuff,

00:49:13   but their challenge is gonna be what do they have that's original. And like again, within Marvel and

00:49:18   Star Wars, if you're doing it right, there is original content in there. Within the framework

00:49:24   of the franchise, you have the ability to do original content. It's something that you and

00:49:29   I have talked about before. I've talked about it on the incomparable a lot. Like Marvel movies have

00:49:35   worked over the long haul because they've allowed them to be in different genres and feel different.

00:49:43   They're not, I know there are people who are like only see Avengers movies who say they all

00:49:47   feel the same, but like go watch Ant-Man. Like it's go watch Guardians of the Galaxy.

00:49:51   - Go watch Thor Ragnarok. - Yeah, there's a lot of space and Star Wars,

00:49:58   although Star Wars up to now has been largely, the movies have been largely the same. With

00:50:05   The Mandalorian, you see there's plenty of room and with the animated series too, honestly,

00:50:09   plenty of room to tell different kinds of stories if you just can't do it with the pressure of a

00:50:15   giant theatrical release. But on streaming, you can do that. So there is a framework with the

00:50:20   franchises to tell some different stories. But in the end, Disney is going to also need to do

00:50:27   original stuff, new stuff, things that people who are not deep into Marvel or Star Wars want to see.

00:50:34   And I would imagine if I'm a Disney executive, that's phase three, right? Phase two is get all

00:50:39   our franchises revved up and running. Phase three is more original intellectual property, the next

00:50:45   big franchise, whatever it might be. And that's why I mentioned Netflix making these deals with

00:50:51   comic book publishers and things like that and novelists and stuff. What are they doing there?

00:50:57   It's like, well, Netflix knows that its weakness is that it doesn't own the intellectual property

00:51:05   for big franchises. Everything on Netflix is kind of, I mean, not everything, most of what's on

00:51:11   Netflix is original stuff, which is great, but also a harder sell marketing wise. So I think

00:51:19   that's going to be an interesting dynamic this decade about like, does Netflix buy or find

00:51:26   something that is such a hit, such a breakthrough that instead of being three seasons and out,

00:51:33   it becomes, we're going to do a series of original movies and we're going to do spinoff TV series

00:51:39   that are going to drop on Netflix. I don't think they've reached that point yet, but I don't think

00:51:43   they've found that thing yet. But I do think they're looking for that just like Disney is

00:51:48   going to be looking to make sure that they're trying to find the next franchise. That's going

00:51:54   to be a really fun dynamic to watch. And then everybody else is like, hello, over here, Peacock?

00:52:01   Disney revised their guidance to investors. They previously said that by 2024 that they would hit

00:52:08   90 million subscribers so that they could. They have now created a new projection that by 2024,

00:52:15   they will have 260 million subscribers, which is quite a significant jump just to state like,

00:52:22   I mean, this is now, but as of right now, Netflix has 200 million. So Disney feel pretty confident

00:52:29   that we all think of television as Netflix now, right? Like a lot of us, you know, especially

00:52:35   the younger generation, we just think of like streaming, like Netflix is a thing, like television

00:52:41   is a thing. It's not, and then there's all this other streaming stuff, but it's like, Netflix is

00:52:45   like the home. You go there to see what's there first. Disney think that's going to be them.

00:52:51   And that's very interesting. And you know what, if I could put money on it, I would bet they're

00:52:57   right. I think that stars have aligned and they've got it, they got it on lock. I think Disney+ is

00:53:05   going to be much bigger than I had originally estimated it would be for sure. And I don't think

00:53:13   it's because the pandemic has helped them in any way. Because the big growth they're going to see

00:53:20   is post pandemic. No, they, they, well, this is the funny thing is they feel like they don't need

00:53:26   to do what Warner did, which is, pull the plug on theatrical in order to prop up their

00:53:34   streaming, right? Disney is like, nope. What Warner did was a stunt, right? It's a stunt.

00:53:38   And like I said, it was a stunt also, I think maybe a little injection of realism about the

00:53:45   2021 box office and saying, why would we not just use this to fund our streaming service? There's

00:53:50   nothing else to do, but you can't, I mean, in the end, Disney is the one that wants to have it all

00:53:55   and probably will have it all. Let's be clear here, probably will have it all, which is they're

00:53:59   going to have this burgeoning streaming service and they're still going to own a large percentage

00:54:07   of whatever theatrical film market is out there. - Yeah, as you said before, if they don't even

00:54:13   just own their own theater chain at that point. - Which is the other piece of this, sure. And then

00:54:18   here's the other thing is long-term, there's also is a hedge for them because if theatrical doesn't

00:54:23   come back or doesn't come back at the level that it was before, which I think is pretty likely.

00:54:31   Which is not to say there isn't money to be made in theatrical, but it allows them to adjust.

00:54:39   And you might end up in that scenario where they're still doing theatrical releases, but they

00:54:43   are smaller budgets than maybe, because they don't expect to make a billion dollars on them. Or maybe

00:54:48   they do. They can go any which way here because if this is all set up and working correctly,

00:54:53   Disney is going to have all the money from theatrical and all the money from Disney Plus

00:54:57   and have these two different businesses. Also knowing that the theatrical is going to reference

00:55:03   a lot of their content on Disney Plus and then it's going to go to Disney Plus. And right,

00:55:08   like it all the money just gets sucked into Disney eventually. Yeah. -

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00:58:06   All right. So let's continue this train and talk about Apple TV killing the Gawker show.

00:58:15   Oh boy. Okay. This came out. This is a New York Times article.

00:58:19   Listeners of this show may remember us talking about this show when it got commissioned a while

00:58:25   back. The show was going to be called Scraper. It was being co-created by some ex editors at Gawker

00:58:33   with the premise being a show about a news organization just like it. And they were actually

00:58:38   going to use things from Gawker's past for stories. Cause I remember us joking about like,

00:58:44   are they going to do something about the iPhone 4? Yeah. And Tim Cook sadly doesn't listen to us,

00:58:49   but I just want to point out when we say people who used to write for Gawker,

00:58:54   the creator of this show is Cord Jefferson, who is a, an Emmy winning writer of among other TV shows,

00:59:03   Master of None, The Good Place and Watchmen. So Cord Jefferson, very talented person in his

00:59:13   post Gawker career as a professional television creator. And this was his first, I think his first

00:59:19   series that he has created personally. Um, but, uh, apparently it's not going to run on Apple TV

00:59:27   plus after all. So the story goes that Tim Cook personally canceled the project after being quote

00:59:34   from the New York Times article, surprised to learn that his company was making a show about

00:59:38   Gawker, which had humiliated the company at various times and famously outed him back in 2008 as gay.

00:59:46   Now Scraper is now back on the market and the executive who bought the show at Apple,

00:59:51   whose name is Lane Eskridge has left the company. Um, and so let's, let's talk about this now,

00:59:58   cause there's another part of this, which I want to get into in a minute, but let's, let's pause

01:00:01   here and have a little discussion about what's going on here. So can we talk about bad management,

01:00:06   like what not to do in an organization? Yeah. Okay. Go on. Cause I feel like that's the number

01:00:12   one thing I have to say about this, which is who, who greenlighted this and who got all of these

01:00:24   scripts written when, okay, like it's not a good look that this all got approved and then it bubbled

01:00:34   up to the CEO and then he killed it because this is the kind of thing that you, you check, right?

01:00:43   Like this is the kind of thing that somebody needs to have a clue about this Gawker project and say,

01:00:48   you know, Apple has a fraught history with Gawker. Maybe we should talk and make sure everybody's in

01:00:55   alignment on this. We'll use some corporate speak here. Let's make sure we get alignment on this

01:01:00   from the top, from Eddie and Tim, that what the show is and what it's going to be like and whether,

01:01:07   whether we're comfortable saying yes to this. And it's possible, you know, I mean, obviously it got

01:01:12   there eventually, but it seems a little, I have a question about like why it got to this point.

01:01:19   It feels from the piece in the New York times, like Apple said yes. And then it said no. And

01:01:25   that's the part that I think there's a disconnect there. And then this, this development executive

01:01:30   left the company. So either this was not communicated when it should have been. And it

01:01:37   was sort of like hidden, which is bad and would be a reason why somebody might leave the company when

01:01:42   it was discovered. Or the alternate view is this was disclosed and everybody said it was fine. And

01:01:49   then all of a sudden the CEO said no, and they had to unwind the whole thing. And the person who got

01:01:55   all the approvals and got this show in development saw it all taken away because of a Fiat from the

01:02:02   top. I guess what I'm saying is at least as it's depicted in the New York times, I have questions

01:02:07   about Apple and why it happened like this, because you should not ever have a situation where you

01:02:16   approve something and pay money and get it going. And then later the CEO comes in and says,

01:02:23   no, get rid of it. I want it gone. Like ideally you should run it by the CEO. If you should be

01:02:29   smart enough to know that this is going to be controversial, run it by everybody, get everybody

01:02:33   to approve it in advance and then go with it. And that seems to not have happened there. So on a

01:02:37   fundamental level, I'd say it makes Apple look bad just because, you know, what are they doing? It

01:02:43   makes it seem like Tim Cook is, you know, reading scripts and approving things again, which is a

01:02:48   story we've heard before. And the way you avoid that is by getting everybody clear. We're going

01:02:53   to make this right. Okay. Everybody's okay with it. We're going to make this show. And apparently

01:02:59   that didn't happen. So I didn't grab, I didn't get this from the article. Maybe you did. Do you have

01:03:06   a sense of a timeline here? Like how long was this show in development at Apple before it was canned?

01:03:12   I don't know. And, and the Ben Smith story doesn't tell me the impression I get is long enough for

01:03:18   them to put in an order for multiple scripts, which I don't know if I don't know whether they bought

01:03:25   based on the pitch, they bought a whole season's worth of scripts before they put it in production

01:03:31   or whether they green lighted it. And then they were writing the scripts and then they

01:03:34   saw the scripts and didn't like it and they killed it. It's unclear to me how deep they went in this

01:03:39   process. Cause it is possible that what they were pitched, they liked. And then they saw the scripts

01:03:46   and said, Oh no, no, this is not what we were pitched. It's possible. That's what it is. I,

01:03:50   that story doesn't suggest that that's what it is, but it's possible that that's what it is.

01:03:54   Cause the other potential timeline that I'm thinking here is, uh, an executive said, yes,

01:04:00   it got out in the press. Tim saw it and said, what the hell is this? Kill that. And this was months

01:04:06   ago. But now the cause has cause now this mood, this, this show is now back on the market again.

01:04:14   Now that wouldn't happen immediately. There would be a period of time. So they may have negotiated

01:04:19   a payout and an exit and a, and perhaps even a waiting period. It's possible. That's possible.

01:04:24   The problem is from this report, we don't really know. It looks like it looks bad for Apple. And

01:04:30   I'd say it looks bad for an Apple and a gang who couldn't shoot straight kind of way, but it's

01:04:33   possible that that's not what happened. That the time sequence is different. I I'll bring up at

01:04:37   this point, a couple of tweets from Myke Schur, who is the creator, the good place and parks and

01:04:42   recreation and Brooklyn nine nine and has worked on the office and is a, one of the great comedy

01:04:47   creators of our, of television right now. And Corey Jefferson worked on the good place

01:04:54   and he tweeted not, not knowing it seems much about this project. He's got his own stuff that

01:05:02   he's working on, but his comment was, I know Tim Cook has a personal grudge against Gawker,

01:05:07   but killing the show only really makes sense in that context. If it was going to be a one-sided

01:05:12   unnuanced hagiography of the site and the people who ran it. And given what I know of cord,

01:05:18   I doubt that is what he had in mind. There have been TV shows about sociopathic mobsters,

01:05:24   serial killers, corrupt law firms, and diabolical politicians. Succession is about the Murdochs.

01:05:29   The crown is about the actual British Royal family. You cannot assume what the show was

01:05:34   going to be and this, and then pass judgment on it based on the subject.

01:05:39   And I, I think that's an interesting point, which is, I think there's an assumption among

01:05:46   some people that Gawker was awful and sucked and did a lot of bad stuff and then was killed by a

01:05:54   billionaire, by the way. So there's, it is a nuanced story, right? Like I, I have lots of

01:06:01   negative thoughts about a lot of what Gawker and Gawker's spin-offs did. I also have positive

01:06:06   thoughts about some of what Gawker did. And I also have thoughts about the fact that they angered the

01:06:12   wrong person and got destroyed because of it. I think there's a lot of really interesting stuff

01:06:16   there. And as Myke Schur points out, that actually sounds like kind of potentially a great TV show

01:06:22   and not one that makes the people who were their saints, which is why the framing of this

01:06:30   as Tim Cook called, and he doesn't want to make a show about Gawker because they're mean,

01:06:37   is very weird and reminds me of something. Does it remind you of something, Myke?

01:06:44   Well, the expensive NBC thing. Expensive NBC.

01:06:49   It does a little bit. I have, I just have a problem with this whole

01:06:53   argument, right? Where there is this like, and I'm not saying that this is what you're saying or

01:07:01   Myke Schur saying, but there are people saying this that maybe he just doesn't want it made. And

01:07:06   like that's, I think that's fine. Like just because they don't want it made doesn't mean it won't get

01:07:11   made, but not everything has to be for everyone in every place. It depends on the man. And like,

01:07:17   again, and we don't know exactly how it goes. It goes down here. If it goes down as described,

01:07:21   the problem with it is you're a creative person in Hollywood and you've got something to say,

01:07:27   and you've worked with all the Apple TV executives and they like what you have to say,

01:07:30   and you get set up to do this show and you start, you hire a writing staff and you start going on

01:07:36   scripts and you get six scripts in. And then all of a sudden, again, this is just one scenario.

01:07:41   You get the word that basically Tim decided he doesn't like it. It's dead. And that is going to

01:07:48   make it hard for your creative executives at Apple TV+ to make deals with talented people.

01:07:56   If the perception is that the whims of a computer executive in Cupertino are going to determine

01:08:03   whether your show lives or dies, even after you've made the deal and everybody in the room agreed

01:08:08   that it's great. Okay, but I understand that. But okay, but then we're looking at where we are right

01:08:13   now, right? You've got the guy who come up with the DVD company. You've got the guy who runs the

01:08:19   theme parks. You've got the AT&T guy, right? Like this is just the landscape now. Okay. And Ben

01:08:27   Smith makes this point. I think the challenge is, and you're right, no company needs to make

01:08:34   a show they don't want, right? And there are other places you can shop it and it is commerce.

01:08:38   It's art, but it's also commerce. I get all of that. I guess my issue is, what you don't want

01:08:46   is to seem capricious because you've got executives who are going to have opinions and they're going

01:08:50   to swoop in at the last minute. If you're one of the creators who is a great, in this case,

01:08:55   Cord Jefferson, Emmy-winning writer, really well thought of, this is his first show. And as Myke

01:09:00   Schur pointed out on Twitter, wouldn't you want as a streaming service to have that be one of your

01:09:05   shows, to be the show from this guy? And wouldn't you want that? The challenge is not do they have

01:09:13   the right to do it to me. It's do you get a reputation that there's some random chance that

01:09:18   somebody somewhere is going to just swoop in and kill your show? And that's the way it's portrayed

01:09:24   in the Times article. It's not necessarily what happened here. We've seen before the expensive

01:09:28   NBC example where somebody got kicked off of a show and was really bitter about it and leaked,

01:09:34   for those who don't remember, to the Hollywood press that Apple TV's content was a joke. It was

01:09:39   all going to be family friendly. It was going to be like an NBC level of standards and practices,

01:09:44   but with a lot of money behind it. And it turned out to not be true and that that was sour grapes

01:09:48   from somebody who was working on a show. My theory is amazing stories that got recast with a different

01:09:54   target audience but was not reflective of Apple's slate as a whole or Apple's rules as a whole,

01:09:59   and they extrapolated because they wanted to make trouble because they were unhappy with what had

01:10:04   happened with their show that they had previously been working on. So we got to remember that this

01:10:10   information may be coming out of people who are, and almost certainly is coming out of people who

01:10:16   are angry that Apple cut this show and that they have to shop it around again. But again,

01:10:22   John Stanky or any of these like CEO types, the difference is there are no rumors that John Stanky

01:10:33   doesn't want to make a deal with John Oliver because John Oliver makes fun of AT&T

01:10:40   or anything like that. We haven't heard those stories.

01:10:44   - Yeah, but these are easy stories to write about Apple though, right?

01:10:48   - Yeah.

01:10:48   - Like people like to write these stories.

01:10:51   - Right, so the challenge for Apple is people like to write these stories and there's just more of a

01:10:56   vibe that Apple is a weird control freak company, which I saw a comment on Twitter from a friend

01:11:00   of mine last night that said, "This is really bad for Apple's, like the way it views itself

01:11:05   and the way it sells itself." And I'm like, I don't know, control freak? That kind of sounds

01:11:10   like Apple to me actually. But this is the thing is, I think the bad thing for Apple here is,

01:11:18   do they get a bad reputation? And do they not get stuff brought to them? Because remember the story

01:11:23   with Quibi was that everything that got brought to Quibi was everybody's second rate material

01:11:27   because they had tried to sell it everywhere else and failed and so they brought it to Quibi.

01:11:31   Apple doesn't want to get, Apple wants prestige projects and they want to reassure creators

01:11:36   that they want to be in business with them and when they give them their word that it stands for

01:11:42   something. And that's the danger in this story is that it could potentially have a chilling effect

01:11:49   on future Apple TV content deals, not that it's going to hurt Apple's bottom line. And Ben Smith's

01:11:55   argument in the Times is really more like, these are all enormous corporations with powerful CEOs,

01:12:00   which of course they are, the CEOs are powerful because they're in charge of enormous

01:12:04   corporations. I think that he overstates that a little bit. But the point is, yeah, they're big

01:12:09   media companies and they're going to decide what they want to do and they're going to set rules.

01:12:13   And if you're Apple and you have a huge phone business in China, you're going to say, "Maybe

01:12:18   we don't make a TV show about the Dalai Lama." And we can all grumble about that and we can all

01:12:24   debate that, but it's their money and I get why from a business standpoint they would say, "We're

01:12:29   not going to do that." I think the bigger issue and why you wouldn't bring that show to Apple TV,

01:12:33   the bigger issue is if Apple says, "Yes, this is a show we want to do." And then six months later,

01:12:38   the CEO has a brainwave and your show gets killed because that's not going to make people want to

01:12:43   work for Apple. Yeah, the Apple part was, Eddie Q, this is a quote, has told partners that the

01:12:50   two things we will never do are hardcore nudity in China. And just to be clear, and China, not

01:12:58   just hardcore nudity is fine, but not in China, it's actually China in general and hardcore nudity

01:13:06   in general, which is a far cry from expensive NBC. And we've seen that. We've seen that with what

01:13:11   they've done. There's plenty of strong language and sexual content and all sorts of stuff on Apple

01:13:16   TV's thing. So I guess this is, I don't know, it is a black guy to Apple, but again, I feel like

01:13:25   the real story here is not the black guy to Apple for having standards about what it wants on its

01:13:33   platform, because of course it does. So does Disney, so does AT&T, so does everybody, so does

01:13:40   Netflix, so does Amazon, right? All of these companies are enormously powerful companies,

01:13:45   which is sort of Ben Smith's point in the times, and they all have other rationales. And television

01:13:55   is, as you said, it is commercial art. It is a business. It is art, but it is also a business.

01:14:04   And are we surprised that the giant businesses that run it have stuff that they don't want on

01:14:10   their show and on their air or on their stream and stuff that they are okay with? It's not surprising.

01:14:17   I think it's good to be informed of it, but it's not surprising. I think the long-term deleterious

01:14:22   effects of this are more fear that Apple is a bad partner for me to bring my show to as a

01:14:32   great high-powered creator. - Yeah. I wonder about the balance on that though, Jason. Like,

01:14:39   yes, this is true, but look how many people they've got on board.

01:14:42   - Well, I know. That's the thing, and that's what makes us, I think, bring up expensive NBC, right?

01:14:50   Because that was a case where you were trying to kind of tar Apple with this brush, and it didn't

01:14:58   seem to take. And I would think that the word of mouth of people who had a good experience with

01:15:04   Apple would also be spreading in Hollywood. Like, if they are good to work with, that people would

01:15:09   say, "Yeah, they were great to work with. It wasn't a problem. We didn't have a problem with it."

01:15:13   And if they're not, by the way, if they're bad to work with, then that spreads too, and then people

01:15:19   don't go to Apple for their projects if they can help it. So I think that's all. Yeah, I don't know.

01:15:25   It's a weird story, and I think it's entirely possible that in the end what's going to come

01:15:31   out is that we're going to realize this is very much like the expensive NBC thing, where there

01:15:35   are sour grapes and there's more to the story, and we may or may not ever hear more of the story.

01:15:39   And I kind of hope that's the case, because the alternative really is that Apple mismanaged this,

01:15:47   and you shouldn't ever be in a situation as a creative executive at Apple TV+, honestly,

01:15:54   where you can be fully behind a project and then have it yanked out from under you by a higher-up

01:15:59   in Cupertino. And it doesn't mean they don't have the power. It means you need to manage up,

01:16:04   and you need to manage expectations, and you need to communicate with Eddie and with Tim

01:16:08   that this is the show we're doing. Do you have a problem with this? And if this isn't just sour

01:16:14   grapes, it's a sign of somebody making a big mistake in the chain of command at Apple to say

01:16:23   yes and then say no, because nothing is more infuriating if you're making business deals

01:16:29   than to get a firm yes and then have it walked back a few weeks later. I find this an interesting

01:16:34   story. I think that it's a very shades of gray story. It really does remind me of the expensive

01:16:42   NBC part in that there were things in that report that were worth taking away. The same here, but

01:16:49   I think a lot of the conversation I've seen around it I just think are idealistic viewpoints from

01:16:57   people that like, oh, because it's art, it must be made, and so it must be funded, and executives

01:17:04   must stay out of the way. It's like, I'm sorry, this is not how commercial art is made. People

01:17:10   have to pay for it. Someone has to make the decision, and if you're paying for it, I'm afraid

01:17:16   you kind of do get a say if you want one, right? That's just the way this type of content is made.

01:17:21   And guess what? In Hollywood, the people with the money interfere all the time.

01:17:24   And it's entirely possible, by the way, that this was not Tim Cook being involved at all,

01:17:29   but a producer, somebody inside Apple TV, seeing the scripts and saying this isn't what we agreed

01:17:38   to, and this is a company that's been burned by Gawker all these times, and you seem to be

01:17:43   applauding them here, and maybe the creators say, well, no, that's not what we're doing,

01:17:47   and they're like, no, we didn't agree to this, uh, you know, and that gets relayed to a writer

01:17:52   on the staff as Tim Cook didn't like it, so we got killed, but it might actually be, I hate to say

01:17:57   creative differences, but it might actually be that. We don't know what that is, but you're right.

01:18:02   In the end, Hollywood in general is people with lots of money who tell you what to do,

01:18:08   and as a creator, you have to navigate that, and I think it's a shame because just in describing

01:18:14   the history of Gawker, which again, a company that I don't really have a lot of love for,

01:18:18   that's a great story. I could see there being an amazing show about the trials and tribulations

01:18:28   from the very unlikely founder to a lot of the people who worked there, including some people

01:18:33   who did some great work and some people who did some really kind of awful things, and then they

01:18:37   got destroyed by a rogue billionaire, like, and a wrestling star, like, there's an amazing story.

01:18:45   See, because I actually do want a movie or TV show made about that literal thing, because it's so

01:18:51   fascinating to me. But I could see Apple looking at the scripts and saying, this isn't us.

01:18:57   Because I could imagine there being a thing like, just this being like, this is celebrating a bad

01:19:05   thing, like something we think that is bad. And they might have even said, oh, yeah, you know,

01:19:12   I get your arc here. It's sort of like succession or something like that. But these early days,

01:19:17   yeah, it's not really for us. It's not really working for us. And having it literally be

01:19:21   a creative decision that gets spun as a decision about Tim Cook being angry that he was outed

01:19:27   by Ryan Tate. But I don't think that's necessarily the case. And we don't know. Well, you know,

01:19:34   we don't know. It's hard to say. If that is the case, that's bad management on Apple's part,

01:19:39   and they shouldn't do, they should get their ducks in a row before they make deals with

01:19:42   TV producers. But there are a lot of other ways to interpret this too.

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01:21:34   of this show and Relay FM. So we're running long today and we're going to do our double ask upgrade

01:21:41   next time, so I'm going to be saving some questions, but don't forget to send in your holiday-themed

01:21:45   ask upgrade questions. We're actually going to start today talking about a new product that

01:21:49   neither of us have, AirPods Max. This is kind of funny. AirPods Max is like a, it's like almost

01:21:57   like a doomed upgrade product because we knew something was going to happen, right? And that

01:22:04   was on last week's show and then it came out on Tuesday, the day before. And now we know what

01:22:10   these things are and I don't know about you, but I'm getting some some point this week, but I don't

01:22:15   have them right now. So you don't need to know about me. I don't, I don't use over-ear headphones

01:22:20   and there's never been a product that I am less fit for. I do. I hate over-ear headphones.

01:22:26   Sweaty ears. Yeah, sweaty ears. That's right. Now, we spoke about this last week. I feel like,

01:22:32   I don't remember if I predicted that this is what was going to be the product, but it was what I

01:22:37   most thought would be the product if Apple released anything this year was the over-ear headphones.

01:22:42   It seemed like the most logical to me. If you do want to hear actually from people that have

01:22:49   used these products, I recommend the most recent episode of the talk show with John Gruber and Matt

01:22:54   Pansarino. They both have them. They spoke about them for like an hour. It's really, it's a really

01:22:58   good episode of the talk show. I recommend it. But what I want to know though, Jason, is even

01:23:03   though you're a person who will not own or use this product themselves, I do know that you're

01:23:09   obviously a person with impressions and with opinions. And I wanted to know three things from

01:23:15   you. I want to know what you think of the design, what you think of the overall kind of feature set

01:23:20   that Apple is offering and the price. Again, we might, we're going to touch on these next week

01:23:25   because I will have had some time to use them. But I want to get kind of like your feelings on these,

01:23:30   especially the pricing stuff. I wrote a piece that I've been meaning to write for a while on

01:23:35   Macworld this week or last week about pricing in general and listeners to upgrade will nod along

01:23:40   because you've heard me play these songs before about how Apple, you know, always imagine the

01:23:46   price that you want to pay and then raise it painfully and then raise it some more and that's

01:23:50   the price. And this is, boy, this is that, right? $5.49 for a pair of over-ear headphones is a lot

01:23:55   of money. But Apple priced it that way thinking that, first off, they've sold out basically

01:24:02   through next year. So whatever they had made... - Yeah, it's like some of them, like March is

01:24:07   the oldest you can get them. - Yeah. So they priced it that way, possibly knowing how many they had to

01:24:12   sell and thinking, and clearly they sold them all. So they're doing pretty well at that price and

01:24:19   you might not like it or even find it valuable at that price. But I think they priced it pretty well

01:24:24   because you have to add in all the Apple stuff, right? It's like, yeah, they're more expensive

01:24:28   than Bose or Sony headphones, but it's got the Apple wireless stuff that's so nice. And it's got,

01:24:36   I don't know, it's got Apple's design and it's got that look and you can buy it in an Apple store and

01:24:42   it works great with all the... It's got spatial audio and it'll switch between your devices. And

01:24:46   if you're in the Apple ecosystem and you're buying things at an Apple store and all those things,

01:24:51   you're like, "Oh, okay, I'll just buy these." And not everybody will do that, but will enough people

01:24:55   do that to make it worth it for them? And I think that's true. That's why Apple sells expensive

01:25:01   versions of things that other people sell for less is because they're Apple and they can charge more

01:25:06   and they'll make more. This is why there are cheap Apple iPhone cases on Amazon and people buy the

01:25:13   Apple cases that are way more expensive. It's the same thing. It's the same principle. And I get

01:25:19   that some people like that and some people hate that, but I think that's what's going on here.

01:25:25   In terms of the design, I don't even know how to judge it. They look nice because they got aluminum

01:25:29   and they've got the little... They got colors, which makes me happy. And there were rumors...

01:25:34   - No red MacBook. - No product red MacBook Air yet. Just put a pin in that for 2021.

01:25:42   Mark Erman said that they were trying very hard to get this with a little detachable

01:25:47   headband thing and that didn't happen. They had to change it to what it is now

01:25:51   because the two cups are independent, but the headband is attached to both of them,

01:25:56   so they can't kind of come off. And the other thing that's interesting is he said that they

01:26:01   were trying to build a touch screen version or a touch version, not touch, touch pad version,

01:26:05   basically, touch controls. And that didn't work out. And so there are physical buttons. There's

01:26:10   a button and a digital crown. And I don't know what to think about that because if they were

01:26:18   going to do touch controls and then they ended up not and they did this, I feel like they dodged a

01:26:22   bullet there because I have tried headphones with touch controls, like big over-ear headphones with

01:26:28   touch controls. And I hate them. I hate them. Like a touch surface on the side of your head.

01:26:34   Physical buttons are really good. You know exactly when you want to change the volume

01:26:38   and you've got a little dial and you can go and it's louder. That's really good. Like,

01:26:43   that's what it should be. It's a little dial like the digital crown. So I like that they used

01:26:50   physical buttons in this product and I hope they keep using them because I don't think learning a

01:26:56   whole bunch of gestures and tapping the side of your head is great. I didn't really love it with

01:27:01   the original AirPods either. So you've got room for physical buttons. So bring it on.

01:27:08   I think-- -We had to use the crown though, really. Seeing it out of context, like out of its usual

01:27:12   context, it looks peculiar to me. -Yeah, but I like it. I think it's a good move. In the end,

01:27:16   it's just a dial. But it is obviously from the digital crown collection. They brought it over.

01:27:24   I don't know. And then otherwise, I just want to listen to people who know about this stuff tell me

01:27:30   how good it is and whether they feel it's worth it to them because this is a category that I don't

01:27:37   have an opinion about and I haven't used the products in it and I don't appreciate it,

01:27:41   quite frankly. So beyond that, I don't really have anything more to say. Plus to colors and

01:27:46   I understand why they priced it this way. And if they priced it wrong, they'll find out and they'll

01:27:52   change the price. Although I will say something I mentioned in that article. I mentioned the fact

01:27:57   that modern Apple, the last couple of years, overpriced their products so that they can market

01:28:02   them. It used to be the price was the price and that's not true anymore. I know we've talked about

01:28:06   it here, but it's that my examples of the 1099 MacBook Air that you could always find for 999.

01:28:11   And I think that that will be the case with these headphones too. I would be shocked if sometime

01:28:16   next year you couldn't find them on Amazon for 499 or 479 and people will be like, Oh my God,

01:28:21   go get them. It's such a great deal. Not, you know, and not even realize that they're still

01:28:26   paying $500 for that set of headphones, even though it's $49 off. I think stuff like that

01:28:30   will happen because that's sort of part of what Apple does now is market their products by leaving

01:28:35   enough room for them to have deals in various online stores. I am very intrigued by them.

01:28:44   I love my AirPods Pro and I'm intrigued by a pair of headphones that have similar technology.

01:28:52   That's just why I have ordered a pair. The price is like, it's high, but I wasn't surprised.

01:29:03   If that makes sense. I would never pick this number, but it also doesn't surprise me for

01:29:07   all of the things that you've said. It's just like, yeah, of course, in a way. And it's one

01:29:13   of those things where it's like, okay, they are that price. They are very expensive, you know,

01:29:17   like it's more expensive than a PlayStation. Like it's a lot of money, but you also can't buy them.

01:29:22   And sometimes that's the best kind of marketing because now AirPods Max, they are a hype product.

01:29:32   Yeah, I guess so. You can't get them. And I don't think Apple intended this to happen,

01:29:37   but it's like, you know, it's the Wii U thing, right? If something is out of stock, I mean,

01:29:43   honestly, we're seeing it right now. All the graphics cards, you can't buy them. All the

01:29:46   games consoles, you can't buy them, right? Like once something goes out of stock,

01:29:51   it gets tricky to put it back in stock for a while. And you cannot deny the

01:29:59   cultural significance of AirPods. That's why they're called AirPods Max, even though really,

01:30:06   really this should be its own name. Like HomePod is its own name because everything that would be

01:30:13   like, they're not like AirPods. It's AirPods. They don't really share, all they share is the

01:30:17   technology inside. It's like AirPods are little things, right? Like you put this big thing on

01:30:23   your head, this is my AirPod. It doesn't track, I don't think. Which is why we always gave it the

01:30:29   jokey name like HeadPods or whatever, right? But... Which apparently was the code name because

01:30:35   there's some of our friends who are the code spelunkers found out that it actually is called

01:30:39   HeadPods in some of the code. Yeah. But I just think, you know, AirPods, especially AirPods Max,

01:30:46   it's like, I know why you named it that. Like I get it. Like I get it. It was the right name for

01:30:51   the product from a marketing perspective, but it's just like a funny name to me. I am very intrigued

01:30:57   by them as a thing. I hope that they are as good a pair of headphones as AirPods Pro or earphones.

01:31:07   And I will follow up on that next week. So as we mentioned earlier, next week's episode is our

01:31:13   upgrade holiday special. So make sure that you go and watch a Charlie Brown Christmas special

01:31:17   on Apple TV Plus. You can go and watch that. We're going to be talking about it next time.

01:31:23   And please, if you have any holiday themed Ask Upgrade questions, send them in to us over Twitter

01:31:28   with the hashtag #AskUpgrade or with question mark Ask Upgrade in the Relay FM members Discord.

01:31:33   You get access to the Relay FM members Discord if you support the show

01:31:37   with Upgrade Plus. If you go to getupgradeplus.com, you can sign up. We give great content for you

01:31:44   every week and no ads as well. So if you want an ad free episode of Upgrade every single week with

01:31:49   bonus content, you can go and get that. This time in Upgrade Plus, we talk a little bit about

01:31:56   keyboards and what it's like for the two of us to write. So that is some additional, but it's a lot

01:32:02   of behind the scenes stuff, sometimes some extra stuff. It's always really fun in Upgrade Plus.

01:32:07   So go to getupgradeplus.com. I would like to thank Mail Route, Bombas and ExpressVPN for their support

01:32:13   of this show. Of course, thank you for listening. If you want to find Jason online, go to sixcolors.com

01:32:19   and he is @jsnell. I am @imike and we'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye Jason Snell.

01:32:28   Goodbye Tom Myke.

01:32:30   [Music]