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The movie business has been crushed by the pandemic, and it wasn’t doing all that well beforehand. Join 7investing Lead Advisors Steve Symington and Dan Kline as they dig into the current sad state of live entertainment, and look at what might happen to the movie industry specifically. They also break down just how bleak things could get before there’s even a chance of a turnaround.
October 13, 2020 – By Samantha Bailey
The movie business has been crushed by the pandemic and it wasn’t doing all that well beforehand.
In a pre-COVID-19 world movie theaters had to compete with the exploding number of content choices most Americans have available in their homes. Big TVs have steadily fallen in price making them accessible to the vast majority of the American public. Add in the proliferation of streaming services offering original programming that rivals all but the biggest cinematic events and you see why theater chains were already up against a wall.
Now, however, in an economy that’s still dealing with a virus that’s not going away soon, the movie theater and live event business has gone from struggling to life support. Many theaters remain closed and others are operating at reduced capacities.
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7investing lead advisors Dan Kline and Steve Symington dig into the current sad state of live entertainment and look at what might happen to the movie industry specifically. They also break down just how bleak things could get before there’s even a chance of a turnaround.
Publicly-traded companies mentioned in this podcast include AMC, Comcast, Netflix, Carnival Cruise Lines, Amazon, Simon Property Group, Regal Entertainment Group, Live Nation, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. 7investing’s advisors and/or guests may have positions in the companies that are mentioned.
This interview was originally recorded on October 6, 2020 and was first published on October 13, 2020.
00:43: Discussion of personal habits when it comes to movies and concerts
3:23: The state of movie theaters now.
4:12 Is this the end of movie theaters as we know them?
4:50 Changes to the theatrical window
6:14 The quality of movies
8:27 Is SVOD viable?
10:10 Different quality standards for streaming
10:29 A better movie theater experience with dining
10:49: What else can theaters be used for?
11:35: Will theaters go bankrupt?
12:28: Can theaters make the changes needed to survive?
13:37 Should you invest in movie theater chains?
15:22 Where should you invest?
17:31 The future of live concerts
21:38 How the concert business may change
23:57 Closing thought on live entertainment and how it might be investable
Daniel Kline 0:03
Welcome to the 7investing podcast. I’m Dan Klein, and I’m being joined today by my fellow lead advisor Steve Symington. Steve, welcome to the show.
Steve Symington 0:11
Thanks, Dan. It’s good to have you.
Daniel Kline 0:13
I am excited to do this. I’ve been wanting to talk about this. I’ve been in that sort of in between period, where, you know, we’ve taped a few things. We’re prepping our live show. By the time this airs, we’ll have had some live shows. But when we tape this, it’s probably important to note, we are taping this on October 6th. It’s not going to air until I think, October 15th. So there might be some minor developments in this story. But here’s what we’re talking about today. On this episode, we’re going to talk about something fairly bleak. That is the state of the live entertainment business in the US. Steve, it’s not good. We’ll talk about movies, concerts and sporting events. But before we start, Steve, what were your family’s consumption habits when it came to movies and live entertainment, in that magical near forgotten time we call before the pandemic. Oh, those were the days , Steve.
Steve Symington 0:59
I missed them. I would say our family was more typical in terms of movies and live entertainment consumption. Really before the pandemic, we’d see maybe a couple movies in theaters every few months. Usually, they were big blockbusters, or kids centric movies that, you know, our kids love. We’ve got three kiddos, and the nearby AMC dine in was really kind of a treat for us. So we’d go you know, you spend 150 bucks on everything. And, and yeah, I get to actually have a beer with my kids watching a movie probably, you know, Abominable, or something on the big screen. And, and maybe a concert or two per year, you know, outside of the movies between my wife and I and our oldest daughter who’s almost a teenager now. God help us. And we also live in a college town. So football was a big deal. We’ve got a stadium that holds half the population of our city, which I guess isn’t saying much. But you know, there’s almost 30,000 people there. So really, college football games were a big deal. And now obviously not so much. But really nothing too extraordinary for our family in terms of out of home media consumption.
Daniel Kline 2:09
So let me clarify, Steve is having his beer. The kids are having something else. He’s not having a beer with the kids. He’s having a beer in the presence of the kids. So my son and I, and to a lesser extent, my wife are pretty big movie consumers when I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, I wanted to live downtown. And it wasn’t make or break. But I wanted to live walking distance to a movie theater, and I do, I live walking distance to an AMC. And it’s not an AMC dine in. But it is an AMC that has a bar. The bars usually only open on Friday and Saturday nights. But yeah, I could go get a beer or a glass of wine or a mixed drink while I’m watching, and my son’s old enough now that we like the same movie. So that’s okay, but when we moved here four years ago, and I might be seeing, you know, some animated film that I don’t want to see, or some like, you know, kid oriented film, you could get through it with some Junior Mints and a beer and that was a positive. I’m a pretty big concert guy a little bit less so because I live in South Florida and the type of music I like doesn’t generally come to West Palm Beach. But I was always a big attendee West Palm Beach has an event called Sun Fest, which attracts 100,000 people, it’s just a hodgepodge of bands like a pretty cool festival. I flew to Seattle a few years ago to see my favorite band, I think it’s fair to say I am a heavy consumer of live music, live events in general. I like doing stuff. And right now we cannot do stuff. And Steve, there’s more bad news. So if we wanted to go to the movies, the past couple of weeks, you could have gone, most theaters are open, they have limited capacity. If you’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s Tenant, you could go see it in the theater of yet. You could go see Empire Strikes Back, I surprised you by telling you that. But that’s not working for the movie business. We learned this week that the Regal chain of movie theaters, that’s the second largest one in the US, they gave up, they decided we’re just going to shut our theaters down. And let’s talk a little bit about why their box office last week for the top 10 Films was about $8 million. $8 million is usually good enough for like 6 on the top 10. any given week. So that varies a lot by week to week. But this is a bleak number. And that’s not covering your electricity that’s not covering your employees. So this isn’t good news, because every major release has been pushed back to 2021. Steve, is this the end of movie theaters as we know them?
Steve Symington 4:20
Yeah, I don’t think so. I don’t think they go away entirely. I think you know, in in my view, it’s it’s this fantastic experience, and there’ll always be really a place for them in the entertainment landscape. But it’s it’s going to be different. I think content creators are really quickly learning that they don’t necessarily need them to survive and thrive. So you know, we’ve seen that happen with some of the the direct video deals, you know, you Comcast and AMC, you know, they made that deal to shorten the theatrical window to ensure to 70 days and it’s usually 90 right so before films can move to video on demand. Yeah.
Daniel Kline 5:01
So that let me clarify on that one. So this is a bone of contention previously, when a movie came out, it had to stay in the theaters for roughly 90 days, there’s a little variance to it. And then after that 90 days, it could go to blu ray, it would have a second window in cable, it would eventually end up on a streaming service, whoever they were partnered with. The AMC/Comcast deal allows them to take a movie, and have it be in theaters as short as 17 days, that is three weekends. Now, does that mean when the next Jurassic Park comes out? It’s only going to be in theaters for 17 days? Probably not. It means when like a family movie, like like the next Scoob comes out, that’s the Scooby Doo movie that was released directly to…I’m telling Steve, as if he hasn’t had to see it with three kids at home. But it’s one of those things where if it’s a big blockbuster film, and it’s bringing in tickets, they’re going to keep it in the theaters, they’re not going to put it in a home release. But if it’s something that yeah, maybe during school vacation, it’s going to be a big driver, but then it falls off a lot, they’re going to be able to move it quickly. And it’s an interesting deal, because in theory, AMC gets a cut of the money. I think the reality is that’s going to be an irrelevant cut of the money. And it’s kind of AMC giving up its business. So I’m bleaker about theaters than you are. I look at it and I say, and I worry about it as a movie goer. Because if a movie comes out in the theaters, box office tells us something, like it doesn’t tell us if the Avengers is good. But it does a little bit, because sure a lot of us are going to go see it on day one. But if the early adopters don’t like it, it’s not going to do as well. The recent Star Wars movies a good example of that, it came out in theaters, people didn’t like it that much. It was certainly a hit. But it didn’t do as well as expected. That tells you something when a movie comes out straight to Netflix. What’s my what’s my cost? If I’m going to watch Birdbox, the one where Sandra Bullock wears a blindfold and them something eats her, I’m not entirely sure what happens at all, my only cost is two hours. And I think that lowers the quality of movies. So I do think there’s a need for theaters. But how do you survive when there’s not going to be any business for the next six months? I mean, what if I owned a movie theater? Steve, what should I be doing?
Steve Symington 7:13
I think you, well, you can maybe do what AMC did a little bit and they sort of said “hey, you’re ruining our symbiotic relationship.” And for background, the the reason they struck that deal of shortening theatrical window came from Trolls World Tour, which it was a huge hit for Comcast and Universal when they released it on the streaming format, because of the whole pandemic, destroying, you know, the movie format. And they said, well, let’s release a director video. And I think within the first few weeks, it had pulled in something like 100 million in direct video sales for them. It was ridiculously lucrative, and really without the profit sharing to AMC. So the management for Universal made some comments and said, well, you know, when theaters reopen, we’re going to release these movies on both theatrical and on demand format going forward. And then AMC threw a bit of a temper tantrum and said, wait a second. And they banned Universal movies from their screens until they struck that deal and said, okay, and then then Universal walked it back a little bit. But, you know, in the back of their minds, maybe the forefront of their minds, they say, maybe we don’t need them as much as we thought they did. So that could be bad. But no, yeah, a little sad.
Daniel Kline 8:23
And I think that’s going to come back to bite them because Trolls World Tour, I think is actually going to prove to be an anomaly. So that was a movie that, you know, the first one wasn’t that big a hit. It was more famous for the Justin Timberlake song than the actual movie. But that said, when that movie came out, we’d all been stuck in our homes for I don’t know, six weeks, eight weeks, it was like the height of the lockdown. I had to run out of things to do and watch. And that movie came out and I’m telling you the youngest person in my house is 16. And we seriously debated watching Trolls World Tour. And we didn’t because my I said to my son, we could watch Trolls World Tour if you sit down and watch Trolls and he wouldn’t do it. So I’m like, if you’re not gonna watch the free one, I’m not gonna watch I’m not gonna have you watch the paid one. But I do think that movie was the right thing at the right time. Now if the next Fast and the Furious came out direct to your house, would people pay for it? They would, but I don’t think it would do a billion dollars in box office. Now we don’t know where the delta is where if it did 600 million but they don’t have to share with the theaters. They actually think the model doesn’t work as well as you think that it’s going to be decent for like a well known property that might play in some theaters but also have some some streaming video. There might be some premium pricing. I don’t think anyone knows how this is gonna work. But I would say when I watch something that’s part of my streaming service, unless it’s somehow you know, something like the Irishman which like, was made like a theatrical movie and happen to sell to Netflix. That’s the only time I feel like this is a movie. When I’m watching something on Netflix that’s a movie, it’s like the Will Smith one with the orcs and the swords and everybody like there’s no stakes, whatever, like it kills two hours of my time. It wasn’t that good. But what do I care? I didn’t shell out $25 for tickets see it. I didn’t buy $6 popcorn and a $4.50 bottle of water. And there’s some pluses to that. But you know, like, people love the Adam Sandler movies on Netflix, not a single person. Well, maybe not a single person, maybe like his mom and a couple of his friends. Yeah, nobody’s paying the see those movies. If they were in theaters, like even if you’re a fan of his, you’re like, yeah, that’s not that great. So I do think we’re sort of struggling with what a movie is what a movie looks like. And let’s talk about movie theaters. So you mentioned the dine in, and we have one near us in our second house, at our Orlando house. That’s like a cinema grill. And it’s a real like restaurant experience. There’s all app based ways you can order drinks and food, which to me seems a little annoying. Like I’m not sure I need waiters walking around while I’m watching a movie, but they do it pretty well. And I see that working. I also see like theaters, maybe they could be used for corporate meetings when you’re having more companies be spread out. Now that’s not relevant where you live. But I live in southern Florida, there’s probably a decent combination of tech people that are living here and other companies. And maybe they rent a theater in Miami to bring people in for their corporate meeting. because more people are working remote. There’s obviously some ability to show sporting events. You know, they televised Red Sox games here at the local AMC because there’s a big population of ex Boston, people in Florida. Same thing with Yankees games, UFC fights. But to do that, you need to have drinks, you need to have decent food, you need to really pivot. The biggest thing the movie industry has going for it. I make this joke about about cruise lines all the time. In a bankruptcy, the the debt holders aren’t like, hey, Carnival Cruise Lines. Yeah, we’ll take one of your ships like we’ll take that back. What are they gonna do with it? Like there’s no value to it? If you’re the landlord for a movie theater, which is usually Simon Property Group, or Brookfield, that’s a lot of them. If you’re the landlord, you don’t want the movie theater to close, you’re going to work with them. Because what are you going to do with it, you’re going to have to knock it down. And it’s a really big space. So I think you’re probably going to see some bankruptcies in this space.
Steve Symington 10:26
Daniel Kline 10:51
And I think you’re probably going to see some reorganizations. And it wouldn’t shock me if you saw the movie studios take an interest or maybe even a Hulu style consortium where they control them. Because that used to be illegal, a judge and said that’s no longer illegal. Because I do think if you’re the big companies that make movies, yeah, you are sitting there and you want theaters to survive. Am I missing something there? Steve?
Steve Symington 12:27
No, I think you’re kind of on base there needs to be, I think for them to survive, there needs to be maybe a way to branch out that way in terms of how they collect revenue, but also, they’re going to really need to differentiate themselves in terms of the experience like that AMC dine in model helps. I mean, that’s to be honest, like, don’t even go we don’t go to any other theater anymore. Because it’s like, why would you? The ticket cost isn’t that much different, and it’s like, well, we could go, you know, two birds one stone, and they do it really well. You know, they’re not kind of up in your grill while you’re watching the movie. You’re not trying to look around, and there’s a ton of space, and the kids are happy because they’re eating and you know, and, you know, unless we had one time when they didn’t bring our food at all, and then brought us a bill. So that was fun. But is to get to the end of the movie. And here comes your tab and like I’m like no, we literally got nothing. Kids are bawling. And we go to Red Robin afterward, and I’m like, oh, this stunk. But you know, you’ll have flubs like that. But I think in order to surviv,e you, they’re going to really need to get people to have a reason to come out and and enjoy that experience. So I agree with that fully.
Daniel Kline 13:33
So let’s talk a little bit about the investment angle, and we’ll close up with concerts and a little bit, but the investment angle here, I think it’s really important. People ask us all the time, wow, this business is really beaten down AMC stocks like $4, it has to make a comeback, right? The answer is absolutely no, like, I would not touch any of these stocks. I mean, Steve, make an arg..can you make any argument for investing? These weren’t great businesses before this. Imagine during the pandemic taking on debt with an uncertainty about the product availability to be viable? I wouldn’t touch this in a million years
Steve Symington 14:10
I mean, there’s there’s a possibility that you get some sort of Hertz-esque like rebound when it’s skirting on bankruptcy. But that’s so risky. And so just but it’s not a, it’s not the way to invest. I mean, yeah. And you saw you I think AMC shares fell 10% yesterday when Regal announced that they were closing all those screens, because people are like, well, who’s next? And yeah, how’s this sustainable?
Daniel Kline 14:36
And I want to stress the investing lesson of you don’t buy something because it might have a pop. Like it might, there could be a dead cat bounce here, there, they might avoid bankruptcy. But that being said, when they come out of this, let’s pretend it’s a February of next year. Movies are starting to come out. We’ve got you know, James Bond, Wonder Woman, whatever it is, they’re all going to come out. When we start saying “okay, people, there’s pent up demand. We really want to go to the movies because it’s safe now. We miss eating dots and having to have dots in our teeth for the next nine months.” Like all that experience we’re excited about, and you look and you go, Okay, well, AMC is going to go back to being a slightly profitable business, you’re gonna be a slightly profitable business with billions of dollars in debt. So if you’re going to invest in entertainment, I would invest in the content creators, I think, yeah, look at the ones that control the pipeline. Now, if some of those creators come in, and they end up investing in theaters, that makes those a better business because they control the full supply chain.
Daniel Kline 15:36
And they can say, “hey, this isn’t doing well, let’s pull it in 8 days instead of 17 days.” Steve, what are your thoughts on investing in entertainment? Besides maybe like, you know, taking me to a Springsteen concert?
Steve Symington 15:47
Yeah, well, the thought about them coming out of this, basically, as a more indebted business that’s slightly profitable kind of rings pretty accurate to me. That makes me think of the reason Warren Buffett sold his airline holdings earlier this year. And he basically said, you know, now, we’re gonna have airlines that well, at that time, it was like, they’re gonna borrow 14 billion to stay afloat. And as an investor, that’s a 14 billion net negative, that’s going to come out of earnings eventually, when they have to repay it. So I am 14 billion worse off, and who knows how it’s going to be for theatres specifically. But that’s, that’s a really tough position to be put in as an investor, who doesn’t count on near term swings and momentum and that kind of stuff, like I’m looking for solid businesses that have room to grow over the long term into significant total addressable markets. And for me, theaters don’t match that bill. It just doesn’t line up for me. So that’s, that’s really tough. I mean, you could end up having you know, something that’s, that’s distressed in a situation like Amazon’s buying old Sears locations for, you know, warehousing and maybe some of their own physical stores and stuff like that. But at that term, at that point, it’s, you’re grasping at straws to try and stay stay where you are, so I can’t see it.
Daniel Kline 17:12
And look, I’m not in favor of making a play for the recovery of theatres. I was gonna make that bet I actually buy Simon Property Group, like, I, I think they could come in and and end up owning some theaters maybe, you know, taking some of them and transforming them into, you know, some of the space into a restaurant, some of the space into a comedy club, like, I don’t think we need as many screens as we have. But there’s one more area where I think movie theaters are going to be useful, and that’s live concerts. So I’m a big live concert guy. But last year, The Rolling Stones were touring, my brother was actually pretty instrumental in bringing a date to for the Washington Football Teams Stadium, he used to work for them as a Chief Business Officer. And there were 12 dates on that tour. And that’s an AEG tour where he used to work. And he called up and he said, ah, now there’s 13 dates on this tour. That’s not exactly what happened. But I was very excited, I was going to get to go see the Rolling Stones in a suite. And that concert never happened. My brother stopped working there, lots of reasons. But it always seemed odd to me, that they’d only be doing 13 shows, why wouldn’t they in markets they’re not going to sell tickets at a movie theater for all 13 of those shows. Yeah, that just makes sense. Right?
Steve Symington 18:25
Yeah, it would seem to, you know, it might take a little bit of reorganization to have you know, sort of a stage that you can play with. And you know, it’s funny sort of wondering reverse. In the town, I grew up in Kalispell, Montana, they had a couple of the Liberty in the Strand theater. And they both had stages, because that’s what they started as was plays. And I remember my mom used to she had a part time job cleaning theaters when we were really little and my sister and I used to stand up and be like, ladies and gentlemen, and you know, up on the stage, because it was so fun. And they you know, it was neat. But that’s it. That’d be an interesting little value add, it wouldn’t convince me to buy movie theaters, you know, their stocks, but it could be you know, potentially a way to to maximize it.
Daniel Kline 19:05
I think movie theaters could be used like that for small live venues, a lot of markets have a shortage of in between the club, and the theater, and the movie theater, especially if you do things like the ability to like change the size of it, where there’s walls that could come down, and you know, it’s a 300 seat, but but I think for the big concerts if you had okay, it’s the Rolling Stones. Well, we sold out 300 tickets. Okay, put it on another screen now. It’s yeah, I think there’s a lot of optionality there. I also think some of the smaller bands that I like, like my favorite bands aren’t full time bands anymore. And when they put out an album, they do like 6 to 10 dates. So I think there’s a lot of options to say, okay, we’re playing our home show in Boston. Let’s make that available at movie theaters and at home for 10 bucks. Like I do think that will work. None of the concert models I’ve seen, and tell me if I’m wrong, Steve, but like Garth Brooks can do 500 cars in a parking lot and charged $300 a car. There’s not a lot of people who can make that model work viably?
Steve Symington 20:04
No. And I guess the question for me becomes whether it works at scale on a, on a scale that is meaningful to their top and bottom lines. So, you know, does that actually happen and you know, you’ve got, you’ve got companies out there that work on, on actually securing these sorts of live events. But I’m not entirely convinced that venues are a big issue for a lot of those a lot of those live events, you know. It could be something where the capital required to support a program like that may not be worth it for them. So it’s hard for me, but there is a reason, you know, we’ve got an old historical theater here in town called the Wilma. And it holds concerts and shows movies. And there’s a reason it does that is because it, you know, it sort of makes the whole system viable for them. But can they do that with a company like, you know, AMC or Regal where you have thousands and thousands of screens that you’re trying to just kind of put up for rent is like, I don’t know, you know,
Daniel Kline 21:05
I think you’ve seen some of it with like, one off operas and things like that, you know, and, and I think you’ll see more of that. I think the concert business, essentially, is going to be a tiny niche, let’s do it for fun business until the pandemic is cured. I don’t think there’s any way to run like, look, you can’t run an arena show with 25% capacity, because just the union cost of doing that, in most markets makes it not viable. That being said, when the concert business comes back, like let’s say it is February of next year, where it’s totally safe to sell out Madison Square Garden, the artists are going to have to be more flexible. I talked to someone inside the industry. And he said previously, if let’s say like a pop star, like an Ariana Grande said, “well, I want $2 million dollars guaranteed for this deal” and some upside, they could make that deal because they knew how the tickets were going to sell, they knew how everything was going to work, at least in the first couple years of this post pandemic world, unless you’re the biggest artists on the planet, you’re going to need to deal with flexible deals, where you’re not getting a giant guarantee, where you’re getting a cut of it, I think you’re gonna see a lot more innovation, in terms of you know, how tickets are sold. And we’ve seen this in sports with the secondary markets where I’m a big New York Rangers fan, my college roommate season tickets, you can sell those season tickets, but it’s through their ticket partner, it’s not on StubHub. And that makes it which their ticket partner might be Step Up, but it makes it easier to transfer those. I don’t know Steve, when’s the next time you see yourself going to a concert?
Steve Symington 22:33
I hope soon enough, it kills me because I’m thirsty for that kind of live entertainment. I miss concerts. And you know, I’ve had memories pop up on Facebook that make me kind of sigh and go, “ah, I remember that. That was so much fun.” And we you know, we had one, two concerts actually, that were delayed because of the pandemic, and one of them was canceled altogether. And the other one was pushed back until TBD next year. And so I can’t wait. You know, I don’t think they’ll they’ll go away. But yeah, it’s it’s, it’s hard for me.
Daniel Kline 23:06
I agree. I, I also think it’s another area that just not investable. Yeah, these live event companies and the ticket companies, it’s gonna be a long time without business that’s gonna pile up debt. That’s, you know, look, even some of the people that are laying off when the businesses get good, they’re going to have to replace them. So I’m not encouraged and, and I agree, like, I’m happy to get back I had tickets like I missed it by just a couple of days like something, of course, I probably would have gotten infected had had it happened. Yeah, I was supposed to see Dashboard Confessional in a fairly historic venue in Washington, DC. And it wasn’t so much that I was excited about the band is that I’d never been to this venue that like all my favorite like alternative bands and played in. I’m looking forward to getting back there. But hey, some of these venues have gone away. Some of it has changed. Folks, 7investors, I would say, the future of entertainment is to be determined. We know streaming is doing well. We know sort of what’s going to succeed. We don’t know what the movie theater business is going to look like. My final thought. I’ll give Steve a last word here is there will be movie theaters. I don’t think there will be as many, I think many movies that would have been released two years ago will not be released to theaters. I don’t think you’re going to see like a lot of arthouse films. I think there’s going to be different ways to experience that and that’s probably going to be through streaming services. But if you’re telling me like it’s a movie with like The Rock battling a dragon, we’re going to go see that in the theaters. You know, there’s probably like eight Rock movies piled up just waiting and they’re all like pretty similar, like ones thats an earthquake, one has like a firestorm. But we’ll go see those in a theater because they have spectacle. I’m not sure we’re gonna go see the small stuff. Steve, your final thoughts here?
Steve Symington 24:47
I’m passively when it comes to you know possible investable opportunities when it comes to like the comeback of live entertainment. I think maybe one company might sort of you know, if we’re not talking if we exclude all streaming options, you know, digital ads like that, I mean, there’s so many good opportunities there. But if we’re talking about something, some some company that purely is like a pure play on live entertainment, I would maybe passively watch Live Nation. LIV is that ticker. So, I mean, there’s a reason they haven’t recovered from their February highs. But they were rolling pretty well leading up to that. So it was kind of an intriguing business in that sense. Never intriguing enough for me to personally pull the trigger. And this hurt them bad. But you know, I’ll be curious to see how they, they rebound. And that might be a good kind of barometer for the industry as a whole.
Daniel Kline 25:40
Let me ask one follow up question because I have a personal philosophy on investing is I won’t invest in a company that I hate doing business with. I recognize an investor that Home Depot and Lowe’s are probably both retail companies I should own. I don’t, because my personal experience with them is absolutely terrible. Their customer service is awful. Their delivery is bad. There’s no one in the store to help you. Yeah, Live Nation is a company that tacks on fees that would you like, oh, the tickets $125. Why did I just pay $183? Oh, I want a physical ticket? That’s $10 more? This is a very unpleasant company. I put it in my Comcast pile. I am not investing in this company. Yeah, I don’t care how much money they make. Well, what’s your philosophy there?
Steve Symington 26:24
I’m right there with you. When it comes to tickets, especially when you’re like, wait, what? Why is this this much? This drives me crazy. But I think there’s an interesting cohort of people who don’t necessarily care. That’s part of the reason, you know, I’m not gonna go in and, you know, a, you almost wonder if it’s kind of ripe for disruption that way where somebody come in and, and find a platform where they could kind of undercut them in that sense. But yeah, I agree with you there. As far as as far as that goes, you there’s a certain pile where you’re like, Nno, I can’t I can’t be there. But, you know, there’s there’s a, but that doesn’t mean that, you know, because some people have bad experiences with a company that it’s not necessarily viable.
Daniel Kline 27:09
It really I mean, there’s only two players in that space, you know, so, you know, that there’s, there’s them and there’s AEG, which isn’t public. And, of course, there’s Eventbrite and there’s some other like people nipping at the edges, but I don’t see anybody, it’s ripe for disruption. But when you when you own the venue,
Steve Symington 27:26
Daniel Kline 27:27
Or you own the artist, it’s really difficult to be disrupted, because it’s all well and good. If Pearl Jam comes out and says, and they did, you know, “hey, I’m not, we’re not going to work with Ticketmaster” back in the day. And then they say, okay, but we also control all the places you could play. You want to play the county fair without us? Yeah. You want to play outside? You want to play the beach? Those are your options. Steve, this is an ongoing story. I’m sure it’s one we’re going to come back to everybody. Thank you for joining us here on the 7investing podcast.
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