Lizzo and Chani Nicholas speak onstage during Spotify Cosmic Playlist Launch Event at Gold Diggers on Jan. 23, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Frazer Harrison—Getty Images for Spotify
By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
February 7, 2019
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Three quick thoughts to start your tech day:

* As we noted yesterday, Spotify is buying two podcasting companies, Anchor and Gimlet. (I cleared my throat on the podcasting subject last month, when I wrote about a publisher Spotify didn’t buy, Wondery.) Spotify CEO Daniel Ek observed, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, that the video market is 10 times the size of the audio market—a situation that could change. “The question I always ask myself is, ‘Are your eyes really worth 10 times as much as your ears?’ And I don’t think that’s the case,” he told the newspaper. “If we add more monetization opportunities, the industry will grow and that’s the opportunity.” That make sense, and all power to him helping rejuvenate a new/old medium: You say podcasting, I say streaming radio.

* The departure of Angela Ahrendts at Apple after five years highlights the astoundingly long average tenure of the company’s management team. Ahrendts’s replacement is Deirdre O’Brien, a 30-year Apple veteran and Tim Cook loyalist for two thirds of that time. Aside from the company’s general counsel, A.I. expert, and its relatively newbie (five years) chief financial officer, the entire executive team has been around a minimum of a decade and typically far more. It can’t be easy being new and senior at Apple.

* For two years, I ignored every article I read about a failed Malaysian investment fund called 1MDb. Then I sat next to an Australian who lives in Singapore who regaled me with the story in the book Billion Dollar Whale by Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope. (If this message finds you, seatmate, I never caught your name, but thank you.) One of Fortune’s best business books of 2018, I highly recommend this rip-roaring story of brazen fraud (by a Malaysian poseur named Jho Low), political corruption (by the then Malaysian prime minster, Najib Razak), and investment-banker callousness (Goldman Sachs).

Adam Lashinsky


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