Did the Spotify revolt work?
And "We Don't Talk About Bruno" shocks again
What to know:
Spotify attempts course correct over Joe Rogan backlash… Are you following the Spotify-Joe Rogan story? Here’s what happened: Podcast host Joe Rogan spread misinformation about COVID-19, Neil Young, Nils Lofgren, and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the service, Brené Brown paused her podcast, and Meghan and Harry expressed their concern. As a result, Spotify saw a $2B drop in market value. In attempt to smooth things over, Spotify vowed to put content warnings on COVID content and Joe Rogan apologized. It’s good to see artists speaking out and Spotify doing something (though not enough) to fix the problem. But did the revolt hurt Spotify where it counts, the bottom line? A Citigroup analyst upgraded Spotify to a “buy” on Monday morning and its stock rose 12%. 🔊
Big movies bring in streaming subscribers, but can’t keep them… It turns out people know how to cancel the streaming services they no longer use. Half the people who signed up to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max and Hamilton on Disney+ left the services within six months. This is why the streamers are pumping billions into library content. Viewers clearly want more value and the media companies see more everything as the answer. Netflix knows quantity helps but also having a diverse array of content is key. 📺
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” hits No. 1… It’s a phenomenon, here are the facts: It broke the record for most credited artists on a No. 1 song (seven). It’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first No. 1 as a songwriter and the first No. 1 to have just one songwriter since Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” in 2017. It’s Disney’s second song ever to hit No. 1 (“A Whole New World” is the other) — and currently six other tracks from Encanto are in the Top 100. Wild. 🎶
Lin-Manuel explains why he turned down the Oscars… Speaking of LMM, he says he turned down hosting the Oscars in the pst because it “isn’t in his skill set.” Shocking considering he’s got every other hyphenate in the book, but I do respect the humility. 🎤
New York Times buys Wordle for low seven figures… Talk about striking while the iron is hot! Good for creator Josh Wardle! The Times says the game will remain free “initially.” I give it 3 months until it’s behind the pay wall. If you like word games, the Times crossword app is a must-have and Wordle only increases its value. 🤔
Physicist says Don’t Look Up’s comet could be destroyed… But the chance of a comet like the one in the movie hitting Earth is very, very small. Good thing we don’t have any real environmental disasters to worry about, RIGHT?! 🙃
Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez to write songs for musical Hulu series… start engraving the Emmys 🏆
New Woody Allen movie makes $24,000 at box office… womp, womp 🙅♀️
For more pop culture news, discussion, and what-to-watch recommendations subscribe to my pals over on the Kickball Friends podcast. 🎙
What’s new this week:
Pam & Tommy — Feb 2 | Hulu miniseries | 🍅 85%
Jackass Forever — Feb 4 | Comedy film in theaters | 🍅
The Winter Olympics — Feb 4 | NBC sports event
What to watch:
TV Trailer: Halo - Mar. 24 on Paramount+
Developed by Kyle Killen and Steven Kane, starring Pablo Schreiber, Natascha McElhone, Jen Taylor, Bokeem Woodbine, and Shabana Azmi.
A Halo TV series has been in some kind of development since 2013. After nearly a decade, this is what we got? Post the spectacularly inventive Dune and the expansive new eras of Star Trek and Star Wars, this derivative approach to sci-fi feels dated and safe. This is giving me 2010s Syfy or USA Network vibes. I don’t have much familiarity with the video game series, so I’m assuming much of the aesthetic is loyal to that, but from what I understand this a prequel to the games — so why not take more liberties with its look and feel? Had this show hit screens in the mid 2010s maybe I’d be singing a different tune, but in a content landscape that demands differentiation, I’m not sure how this reaches an audience beyond OG players. Maybe that’s all Paramount+ is hoping for, but with a $40M+ production cost, I’m guessing that’s not the case.