Bavan Arumugam


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AMC Theatres is rolling out $20 monthly subscription plans

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AMC Theatres is rolling out $20 monthly subscription plans

No one will shut up about disruption… and neither will we. MoviePass made headlines last year for disrupting the movie theater experience by offering a $10 monthly subscription. With MoviePass, you can see one 2D movie per day and each movie can only be viewed once. AMC Stubs A-List aims to compete directly with the original disruptor.

MoviePass on steroids… is what AMC Stubs A-List looks like. For $19.95, subscribers can see up to three movies per week – book any movie, any time, including IMAX and 3D movies (all features not available with MoviePass).

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… except AMC could actually beat them. While AMC believes they are at a sustainable price point, many question the sustainability of MoviePass because they either break-even or lose money when a subscriber uses their service. To actually make money, the company plans to give marketers access to their subscriber base for a fee.

And since it’s 2018 both companies have taken to Twitter to insult one another for all to see.

Check it out here

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Starbucks closing cafes

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Starbucks closing cafes

Maybe there are just too many… Starbucks (SBUX.O) locations because they seem to be on just about every corner in the city. The company’s stock took a hit after they announced a lowered sales forecast and the intention to scale back growth. To accomplish this, Starbucks is planning to close more than 150 stores next year and slow down the number of licensed store openings.

Not just coffee… the company will be offering more cold beverages which are now about 50% of their business. Additionally, they will be adding new lunch items to give people a reason to come after 9 o’clock in the morning.

Down, but not out… Starbucks was down as much as 3% after-hours on Tuesday and down 6% over the last twelve months. The coffee chain hopes to play to their strengths and capitalize on customer preferences to strengthen sales.

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Disney is pushin’ their luck

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Disney is pushin’ their luck

Affordable(ish) family entertainment… and it is only getting less affordable with ticket prices climbing 20% over the past five years. However, it is the $299 admission price to attend a six-hour preview of their new attraction, Pixar Pier, that has people upset this time.

But Disney wants you to know… they are not greedy. Even with their high ticket prices, public demand is holding strong. Higher prices aim to mitigate demand and increase profits for the company. However, internal projections at Disney say that admission prices could go much higher without driving away too many customers.

It is for your own good…because the last place you want to vacation is an overcrowded Disney park. Disney hopes to use pricing and increased capacity to influence and manage park attendance on any given day.

Money saving tip: Go stand in line at the DMV – it’s not “the most magical place on Earth,” but the experience is eerily similar.

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Fruit and vegetable lovers may find Costco’s latest deal ‘Apeel-ing’

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Backed by Bill Gates… and just signed a deal with Costco (COST) – the start-up company Apeel Sciences is looking fresh. The company aims to reduce waste by extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Not only will you throw away less food, but you will also have higher quality produce for longer. Apeel uses plant-based materials to create an invisible, natural coating applied to fruits and veggies.

The FDA approves… and has designated the product as “generally recognized as safe.” This is helpful because many people are wary of produce sprayed with anything extra. The coating is designed to be tasteless.

Look out for… the Apeel label in-stores such as Costco and try the product for yourself. Hopefully it can live up to the hype because this could generate huge savings for grocery stores and consumers. The company aspires to take their products to make a dent in the $2.6 trillion food waste cost worldwide.

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GE out, Walgreens in!

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GE out, Walgreens in!

An OG member of the Dow… dating all the way back to 1896. That’s right – for the first time since before your grandparents were born, GE (GE) will not be a part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Walgreens (WBA) will be the newest member of the 30-stock index. This comes on the heels of a bad year, where GE stock lost nearly 50% of its value. They are down another 25% this year.

Stick to the plan… because getting the boot from the Dow changes nothing, according to a spokeswoman with the company. This plan includes paying down debt by selling long-held businesses, including its light bulb division.

But times are changin’… according to David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee. Industrial companies like GE have been taking a backseat to banks, healthcare, tech, and consumer companies. Accordingly, the swap should make the DJIA a better measure of the economy and stock market.

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iPhone, RapidSOS can now share your location with 911

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iPhone, RapidSOS can now share your location with 911

Ordering an Uber is no problem… with smartphone location technology. After a night out, even if you don’t know where (or who) you are, your smartphone probably does. Now that smartphones have figured out how to get your drunken ass home, Apple has decided to focus on other similarly important uses for the same technology.

I know what you are thinking… what gives? If our smartphones know exactly where we are, why can’t emergency services (i.e. police) find us the same way an Uber can? It isn’t exactly Apple’s fault. The real problem stems from an outdated 911 system built for landlines. However, RapidSOS specializes in sharing your information with 911 dispatch systems. The start-up will provide information to 911 dispatch including your location and possibly medical records.

Be sure to update… because we all want you to live. The update will be included in iOS 12 and will be turned on by default (but you can opt-out). Try not to ignore the update for several weeks (or months) because this one is actually useful.

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Tesla is fired up – again

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Tesla is fired up – again

Tesla came out smokin’ hot on Monday… for all the wrong reasons. Their factory ceased vehicle production for several hours after its fourth fire since 2014. Apparently, the cause is not so simple because even Elon Musk doesn’t seem to have a grasp on what is going on.

Obama was born in Kenya, the moon landing was fake… and the fires at Tesla were caused by [fill in the blank]. We have no clue, but this is prime time for conspiracy theorists to shine. Especially as Elon Musk urges employees to “Please be on the alert for anything that’s not in the best interest of our company.”

Elon is actually not that paranoid… especially considering that he just discovered ‘extensive and damaging’ sabotage carried out by a former Tesla employee the day prior to this happening. As the story goes, this former employee was disgruntled after being passed over for a promotion. One can only speculate that said employee was insane not an ideal candidate for that position.

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Goldman downgrades Zillow, Redfin due to housing market conditions

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You can’t hide behind the computer… maybe some can, but that is not the case for Zillow (ZG) and Redfin (RDFN). Both stocks closed down -1.36% and -7.45%, respectively, after trading on Monday. The decrease likely resulting from a downgrade by Goldman Sachs on both stocks.

It’s the real world… and despite Zillow and Redfin being internet-based companies, they are still subject to the conditions of the real-world housing market. The housing market is facing low supply, rising prices, and a tough mortgage lending environment. This spells out ‘underperformance’ for both companies for as long as this lasts.

Look out… because real estate tech is attracting venture capital investment and is becoming one of the fastest growing vertical markets in that regard. We have seen Zillow and Redfin launch their own “iBuyer” (buying homes directly from owners) initiatives, but there are already companies that do this exclusively. It will be interesting to see if and how these companies adapt and stay competitive in a tough market with no shortage of new competition.

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