What I'm Reading - 5/18/2018
Three to five links every weekday - 'First Friday of the Future' edition.
Elon Musk was talking in public again, this time at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles’ posh Bel Air neighborhood. Most of the conversation, with Steve Davis of the Boring Company, seemed to be aimed at reassuring neighbors about the totally experimental tunnel. Before the meeting, the LA Metro confirmed they were working with the Boring Company on the test.
Musk has a vision of mass transit that has “pods” that transport up to 16 passengers at $1 per person. He said this at the meeting, too, but it’s also information that shows up in the Boring Company’s FAQ, tweets, and Instagram posts. “Soul-destroying traffic” is how Musk is planning to brand LA’s transportation system, as it was repeated during the presentation both aloud and on a slide. The phrase also occurs within the first 10 words of the FAQ. Previously, Musk has said that taking a pod will cost less than a bus ticket; tonight, the cost was pegged at $1. He again offered free rides to anyone who wanted to test his tunnel.
For those of us who are not fancy enough to live near Musk’s test tunnel, there was news, too — about bricks, locomotives running with Tesla Model 3 engines, and flamethrower delivery.
UPFRONTS 2018: NETWORK OWNERSHIP PEAKS, DIGITAL RIGHTS DEMANDS INCREASE AS VOLUME & LICENSE FEES SLIDE
I hear the new template — which varied slightly from show to show and studio to studio — called for expanded stacking rights that cover full seasons in perpetuity on more platforms for all new ABC series. Sources say signing the deals was made a condition for all outside studios to get their pilots screened. Other studios had closed their pacts before pilot screenings kicked off, but negotiations between ABC and Whiskey Cavalier and Most Likely To producer Warner Bros TV went down to the wire, so the showing of the two pilots was pushed to the very last day of network screenings — after ABC and the studio finally closed new digital deals.
This is just an example of the increased pressure independent studios face when trying to sell to the Big 4 broadcast networks, and the new ways broadcast nets try to exploit their content to offset declining linear ratings.
Once again, virtually all bubble shows this season were asked to reduce their license fees, something that has become the norm the past couple of years. I hear very few ones, including NBC’s The Blacklist, were able to score renewals without a reduction (but during last year’s renewal negotiations, NBC was able to increase ownership in the Sony TV show from 25% to 50%). Where once license fees automatically went up every year as shows became more expensive with age, a flat fee is now reason for celebration for any show that is not a smash hit.
The online job platform Glassdoor looked at more than 668,000 job applications on its site between January 8 and 14 that were posted by applicants hailing from the 40 largest metro areas in the U.S. The goal was to see which cities job seekers are most likely to want to move to, and away from. Among what Glassdoor calls “metro movers” — that is, job seekers who were filling out applications for jobs other than those in their home metro area — the most popular destination was San Francisco.
Among all metro mover applications, 12.4 percent were for jobs in San Francisco, 8.4 percent were for jobs in New York City, 6.9 percent were for jobs in San Jose, and 6.8 percent were for jobs in Los Angeles. Among the other six cities rounding out the list of the 10 most popular locations for job seekers, each received between 4.3 and 2.3 percent of all metro mover job applications. Those cities were: Washington, D.C.; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; Dallas-Fort Worth; and Austin.
Glassdoor also looked at metro areas with a high percentage of job seekers applying for jobs in other cities. According to Glassdoor, San Jose had the second-highest percentage of job seekers applying for jobs outside of the area, but there’s a big caveat. Of the 47.6 percent of job applications indicating San Jose residents looking for jobs in other places, nearly 30 percent were for jobs in San Francisco. So while on the surface it may look like job seekers are fleeing San Jose, they’re not going very far. Or there may be a large number of job seekers at a few companies in San Jose who are looking to leave.