Morning Brew - ☕ Concert fatigue

Why artists are canceling summer shows...
June 03, 2024 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Miso Robotics

Good morning. Here’s your LinkedIn #thoughtleadership for the week: Always be ready to step up, even when you’re least expected to.

When golfer C.T. Pan’s caddy went down with an injury on the third hole of the RBC Canadian Open yesterday, a random fan volunteered to carry his bag, and did so valiantly for one hole. Over the entire round, Pan enlisted four different caddies.

Pretty sure that’s where “secure the bag” comes from.

Dave Lozo, Neal Freyman














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*Stock data as of market close. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Software is no longer eating the world. For the first time, chip stocks now account for the heaviest weighting in the S&P 500, taking the top spot away from software companies last week. Salesforce and other enterprise software giants are getting crushed as companies prioritize generative AI investments (chips and servers) over SaaS products.


Media companies are warming up to OpenAI

Meme of two muscular guys grasping hands ImgFlip

One way or another, OpenAI and media outlets appear destined to get together.

Several content companies have recently inked licensing deals with OpenAI to train the large language models that power ChatGPT. Last week, Vox Media and The Atlantic joined Wall Street Journal-owner News Corp, the Financial Times, the Associated Press, Axel Springer*, Reddit, and more in partnering with OpenAI.

Whats in it for OpenAI? News articles provide excellent training data for its AI systems, but OpenAI has been accused of using them without permission. In response, news companies have taken two approaches: Try to get paid for their work upfront or sue for the work they say was stolen.

The Old Gray Lady is ready to square up

Unlike its peers that have signed licensing deals, the New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement in December 2023, seeking billions in damages for the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” An OpenAI spokesperson responded that the company was “moving forward constructively” on a deal with the NYT before the lawsuit was filed.

Based on this whirlwind of licensing agreements, OpenAI could be getting ahead of more potential legal threats by paying out millions now instead of billions later, should the NYT win its lawsuit.

Journalism has reasons for distrusting Big Tech

You can almost hear Brad Pitt as Billy Beane in Moneyball saying, “Adapt or die.” But this wouldn’t be the first time news outlets have taken cash from tech companies only to be burned shortly thereafter. One example:

  • Facebook Live was pitched to media outlets, including BuzzFeed and the NYT, in 2016 as a way to pay them directly for video content.
  • But the social media platform eventually ditched the partnerships and left those outlets high and dry.

Big picture: Like it or not (and many journalists do not), this looks like the future. The Washington Post, one of the largest news outlets yet to reach a deal with an AI company, has said it is in the market for a partnership.—DL

*Axel Springer is the parent company of Morning Brew.



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Tour de headlines

Claudia Sheinbaum Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images

Mexico elects its first female president. Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and the former mayor of Mexico City, will become the first woman to lead Mexico in its 200-year history as a republic following a landslide victory in elections yesterday. She’s also the first woman to win a general election in the US, Mexico, or Canada. During her presidency, Sheinbaum will aim to expand upon the social welfare policies of her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, while tackling the surging problem of organized crime. Thirty-eight candidates were murdered during this election cycle, making it the most violent in Mexico’s modern history.

Boeing halts Starliner launch…again. With less than four minutes before blastoff for its rocket, Boeing was forced to scrub its latest attempt at a first crewed mission when an automated computer system was slow to come online. Last month, a previously scheduled mission was also canceled due to technical issues. The next attempt could happen this week, possibly Wednesday or Thursday. But it wasn’t all bad news in the space industry this weekend: China landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon in an attempt to be the first to collect samples from the area and bring them back to Earth.

Ticketmaster was hacked. Live Nation confirmed in an SEC filing that it was investigating a data breach that affected 560 million Ticketmaster customers. According to Cyber Daily, the hacking group ShinyHunters claimed responsibility and is selling the data for $500,000 (no word on if this includes additional fees and surcharges). The information for sale contains credit card numbers and ticket purchase history but likely does not include passwords, per the NYT. Security experts are investigating whether the Ticketmaster hack and another recent data breach against the bank Santander are linked to Snowflake, the cloud hosting provider.


Do Americans have concert fatigue?

Jennifer Lopez Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE

More and more musicians are saying “The show must go on” doesn’t apply to them.

Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and The Black Keys are among the major musical artists who have canceled summer concert dates or, in JLo’s case, an entire tour.

On Friday, JLo shut down her This Is Me…Live Tour of North America slated for this summer, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family (rumors have run rampant of marital strife with husband Ben Affleck). But also, her shows had been struggling to sell tickets as far back as March.

That’s been a theme this summer.

  • Screenshots of mostly unbought seats on ticket sales websites have gone viral.
  • Poor Minneapolis: After The Black Keys scrapped a concert last week scheduled for November, the city’s Target Center has now been flaked on by four different shows this year.

So, what’s going on? There might be too many mid acts attempting to tour at once, creating an oversupply of shows. And on the demand side, the post-pandemic attitude of “We NEED to go to this concert” might have run its course, especially after Taylor Swift’s and Beyoncé’s megatours ruled the world last year.

Not everyone is being hurt by concert fatigue. Olivia Rodrigo and Morgan Wallen are having no problem selling tickets. And bands including Hootie & the Blowfish and Dave Matthews Band are all-systems-go for their summer tours.—DL



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The week ahead

European Union flags. Goodlifestudio/Getty Images

Europe heads to the polls: People in the 27 EU countries will decide who they want to represent them in the European Parliament starting on Thursday. It’s a once-every-five-years election that will set the bloc’s agenda on topics ranging from climate change to migration, the BBC reports. This year, right-wing parties are expected to make big gains. In France, for example, the far-right group National Rally is polling at 32%, more than twice as much as the next-closest party.

Thursday is the 80th anniversary of D-Day: More than 60 World War II veterans flew to Paris over the weekend to take part in what organizers believe could be the final major WWII commemoration involving living veterans. American veterans will be joined by President Joe Biden and other heads of state in Normandy on June 6.

The May jobs report will drop on Friday: Little change is expected from April, when the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9% and fewer jobs were added than expected (175,000). This jobs report will be one of the final pieces of economic data to drop before the Fed meets on June 11 and 12. The central bank is unlikely to announce an interest rate cut.

Everything else…

  • The Women’s College World Series begins Wednesday. Oklahoma is looking for its fourth straight championship.
  • The NBA Finals get underway on Thursday with the Boston Celtics hosting the Dallas Mavericks. In the NHL’s Stanley Cup finals, the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers will face off in a series beginning on Saturday.
  • The Belmont Stakes will be held on Saturday. No horse has a shot at winning the Triple Crown, although the horses don’t really know that either way.


Prime number

Dr Pepper bottle Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It took a long time, but Dr Pepper’s medical degree is finally paying off. The soft drink created by a pharmacist in 1885 is now tied with Pepsi as the second largest soda brand in the US by market share, with a little over 8%, according to the WSJ. Pepsi has consistently held the second spot for four decades, but Forrest Gump’s favorite drink has gotten a spike in popularity from its heavy investment in marketing (like the unrelenting Fansville commercials during college football season), unique flavors, and popularity on TikTok. Still, no one is close to Coke, which boasts more than 19% market share.


What else is brewing

  • The African National Congress is no longer the ruling party in South Africa. The ANC received a little more than 40% of the vote, marking the first time since apartheid ended 30 years ago that the party will not have a majority.
  • An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the government has agreed to a proposal for ending the war laid out by US President Biden, but described it as “not a good deal.”
  • Former President Trump joined TikTok and posted from a UFC fight he attended in New Jersey.
  • Real Madrid won a record 15th Champions League title by defeating Borussia Dortmund 2–0. A 16th title could be inevitable with Kylian Mbappe joining the club.
  • Media mogul Rupert Murdoch got married for the fifth time.
  • Lego released a 4,383-piece set of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the company’s first religious structure.


Monday to-do list image

Nice cube: Check out the Rubik’s Cube record set by a robot.

Illuminating: What each presidential candidate is spending on Meta ads.

Read about hobbits: A deep dive into the political economy of the Shire.

Fungi fumigation: Yes, you need to wash your fresh mushrooms.

Up to 90% off every flight, forever: Think Italy from $291 or Hawaii from $161 round-trip. For 12 hours, get 93% off lifetime access to Dollar Flight Club for $129 (was $1,690). Start traveling.*

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The puzzle section

Turntable: Give a warm welcome to our new puzzle creator, Jack Murtagh! Lots more to come from Jack, but for now, here’s the first Turntable he’s spun up.

Spelling bee

If you watched last week’s spelling bee and thought “I could do that,” then here’s your chance.

Below is a list of seven words. Some are spelled correctly, and others are misspelled. Can you identify which ones are the mistakes?

  1. Febuary
  2. Definitley
  3. Renaissance
  4. Bycicle
  5. Bureaucracy
  6. Neccessary
  7. Vaccuum


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  1. Wrong. It should be “February.”
  2. Wrong. It should be “definitely.”
  3. This is correct.
  4. Wrong. It’s “bicycle.”
  5. This is correct.
  6. Wrong. There’s an extra “C”.
  7. Wrong—one too many “C”s again.

Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day is: strife, meaning “vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism.” Thanks to Amanda Martinez of Aurora, CO, for the uncontentiously good suggestion. Submit another Word of the Day here.

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