HBO Max’s big challenges
Image: The White House
Good morning! This Wednesday, HBO Max jumps into the streaming wars, a new level of presidential Twitter fights, and why today's rocket launch matters.
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Palantir might be leaving California, CEO Alex Karp said (from a barn in New Hampshire):
Competing with Zoom would be crazy, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said, but maybe not for the reason you think:
Joe Biden said Californians should vote down changes to AB 5:
It still sounds weird to say, but AT&T is now a genuine content behemoth. There's really no company this side of Disney with a bigger library of great stuff to watch — or at least, that's what AT&T is betting billions of dollars on as it launches HBO Max today.
In a way, HBO Max is a combination of so many other services:
The $15 a month service has a lot going for it — starting with 35 million HBO subscribers, most of whom will likely jump over to Max and get a much better service for the same price. (Remember when AT&T CEO John Stankey called it "an IQ test" whether people would switch?)
It's all going to be a bit confusing, but I still wouldn't bet against HBO Max. It has the library, it has the marketing muscle, it has "Friends." What else do you need?
Tuesday brought two tweetstorms from President Trump, prompting two very different reactions from Twitter.
The first: The president has been tweeting for a few weeks about an old incident in which a woman died in an accident in Joe Scarborough's office, back when he was in the House of Representatives.
The second was even messier: Trump said that mail-in ballots would ensure a "Rigged Election" that would include robbed mailboxes, forged ballots and more.
Twitter has a special set of rules for world leaders, which gives them extra leeway but makes clear that even they aren't entirely above Twitter Law.
Walmart Debuts Express Delivery
With many American families sheltering in place and relying heavily on online deliveries, Express Delivery will offer Walmart customers another no-contact shopping option – one that arrives in less than two hours.
Today's Demo-2 launch at the Kennedy Space Center is huge for NASA and huge for SpaceX. (And huge for anyone who loves rocket launches. 4:33 p.m. EDT, folks, be there or be square.)
It's also huge for the countless other companies rooting for a huge, vibrant, lucrative space industry. That's what Dylan Taylor, the CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, told me:
Space was pegged to be a trillion-dollar industry by 2040, according to a prediction made by Morgan Stanley last year. Some think it'll be higher.
In the long run, SpaceX is Voyager's competitor. For now, it's the canary in the coal mine hoping to prove that space isn't just a government enterprise. The rest of the industry is rooting for it.
Tom Pickett is the new CRO at DoorDash. Before joining the company in March he was the CEO of Ellation (the video company that oversaw Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth), and before that he was a longtime content executive at YouTube.
Regina Dugan is joining Cruise as the board's first independent director. She's a veteran of futuristic tech, from Google ATAP to Facebook Building 8 and all the way back to DARPA.
Allison Johnson is leaving PayPal after an 18-month stint as the company's CMO. According to Business Insider, she's leaving as the company seeks to "reduce complexity, simplify our processes, and better align with our customers."
Minecraft Dungeons couldn't have come at a better time. The new game, which dropped yesterday, feels like the perfect cure for continuing quarantine. (Trust me, don't go outside — I went out, I got sunburned, so it's back to video games I go.) The game's set in the world and aesthetic of Minecraft, but adds more fighting and strategy while still somehow feeling kid-friendly. Like Minecraft, it feels somehow very old and very new at the same time, and proves the idea that Minecraft is less a game and more of an endless virtual world. You're going to see it pop up on screens, Twitch streams and YouTube channels starting … now.
Walmart Launches a Service that Delivers in Less Than Two Hours
The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we knew it, and also changed how customers shop – that's why Walmart rolled out Express Delivery, a new service that leverages machine learning to deliver orders in under two hours.
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