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Business Wars

Business Wars

Author: Wondery

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Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. 

Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.

326 Episodes
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Netflix-HBO. Nike-Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet. Sometimes your attention. Sometimes just the fun of beating the other guy. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.
Host David Brown interviews Steven Johnson, the host of the new podcast American Innovations.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
COVID-19 has flipped the economy on its head. But the pandemic’s new normal has also created new opportunities. Against all odds, some businesses are actually thriving -- and we’re not just talking about streaming companies. Today we bring you a roundup of some of our favorite recent stories from our weekday news podcast, Business Wars Daily. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ hereSupport us by supporting our sponsors!
Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, will break the mold this year, as the pandemic sends retailers scrambling for new ways to bring in customers while minimizing large crowds. But the changes to American shopping habits predate the pandemic. Host David Brown talks with Business Insider retail correspondent Madeline Stone about what to expect from a COVID Christmas and which changes to our spending habits are likely to stick. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here
oo often in business, taking two positions is the same as taking none. You can only carve out one at a time — so choose wisely. To read more lessons from The Art of Business Wars and to order your copy, visit wondery.com/the-art-of-business-wars. 
Our new book, The Art of Business Wars, takes fans through stories they've heard on Business Wars and some that are completely new. Host David Brown is joined by Next Big Idea's Rufus Griscom to discuss how the book came together, what makes a great Business Wars story, and preview some of the never-before-seen rivalries sure to thrill long-time listeners. The Art of Business Wars is available now from all major booksellers.https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-next-big-idea/id1482067226
Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what can be done to protect teenagers and is it too late? From Laura Beil, the reporter behind Dr Death and Bad Batch, comes The Vaping Fix, the inside story of the rise of Juul and the making of a crisis.Listen to the Vaping Fix: wondery.fm/VF_BusinessWars
This is Episode 1 of an 8-part series on the brutal business battle between Netflix and Blockbuster, and later HBO.It all started around 1997, with a guy named Marc Randolph and his mathematician friend Reed Hastings. Randolph and Hastings knew they’d have to take on Blockbuster, but what they didn’t anticipate was that their business model would take on network television and eventually change the entire movie industry.This was an 8-year total war that left innumerable casualties in its wake: thousands of hollowed out buildings and economic losses in the billions.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
After Hastings pleaded with Antioco to buy Blockbuster Online, Antioco agreed to present Hasting’s proposal to the board. What he didn’t tell him was that he was pushing the board to reject the offer so Netflix would wither and die. Meanwhile, Netflix was struggling to gain legitimacy in Hollywood. Netflix quickly realized that before it could take on the Hollywood gods, it would have to slay Blockbuster.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Thinking like your enemy is the best way to beat them, and during the war, Blockbuster tried every trick in the books to get inside Netflix. Sometimes they succeeded - sending “housewives” into warehouses as spies, and sometimes things didn’t go as planned. But when Blockbuster did deliver, they delivered big. They threw everything they had at Netflix, but the war raged on.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
You know that expression “content is king”? Well it turns out, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s a hard-working algorithm that burrows into customer habits and viewing patterns. With that, Netflix had a clear upper hand on Blockbuster.That, and the fact that Netflix targeted this new “streaming” technology that in 2007, no one really believed in. Soon they were on top of the world.But it’s dangerous being on top. If you trip, you have a long way to fall.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
We take a step back to explore how a little company called Home Box Office went from serving B-movies to 325 homes in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania to become the juggernaut that we know as HBO. In the process, HBO, become the standard by which all other cable companies would have to measure themselves - after all, it's not TV. It's HBO.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Hollywood execs thought Netflix was crazy to give up advertising and spin off opportunities by letting viewers flop on a couch and watch a whole season of a show all at once. But Netflix knew it was on to something. All of their studies and focus groups revealed something new: viewers who binged content formed an emotional attachment to Netflix. Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Netflix goes from being a streaming company to a movement in which consumers all over the world decide what show to watch -- and when and how they watch them. The future that Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph envisioned two decades earlier has arrived. The unfettered reign of cable television has ended. The war for streaming viewers will become richer. And more cutthroat.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Rich Greenfield is a tech and media analyst with BTIG who’s been covering this battle in some capacity for decades. We had the chance to talk to him in depth on today’s episode.Follow Rich on Twitter @RichBTIGSupport us by supporting our sponsors!
In 2015, Kanye West turned his back on Nike, an all out battle in the ongoing war for sneaker supremacy. Nike and Adidas are two multinational companies worth billions in an industry estimated to be valued at $220 Billion by 2020 (which is double the GDP of Ukraine) but that begs the question - Why are companies sinking so much money into mesh and rubber for your feet?In this series of Business Wars, we'll find out. This is Episode 1 of a 7-part series on the brutal business battle between Nike and Adidas.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Rudi and Adi Dassler started the “Dassler Business” in the 1920s in their parent’s garage, recycling materials from WWI military gear and uniforms. They got a pair of their track spikes on an athlete named Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics and the company took off… until WWII.The war may have been over for Germany, but the rivalry between Adi and Rudi was just heating up.Rudi left to start his own company, Puma, and Adi created Adidas.50 years later, with a waffle iron and inventory from Onitsuka Tiger, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman start tinkering with some shoes in Bowerman’s kitchen. The waffle iron didn’t last long, but the shoes did.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
As long as there have been professional sports, there have been professional athletes, willing to accept money to wear certain brands, but the biggest endorsement deals were only made possible by a mid-20th century invention: the television. Fans realized they could tune in to see their favorite athletes almost any day of the week. Brands realized they just got hundreds of walking billboards showing the capabilities of their athletic gear in action… and it’s a race to see who can reach the world’s best athletes first.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Every new Nike employee gets a list of principles that serves as the company’s philosophy. One: Our business is change. Two: We’re on offense, all the time.With those principles Nike sprinted from $29 million in revenue in 1973 to more than $850 million by 1983. But the biggest boost for Nike was an up and coming athlete. Like Jesse Owens fifty years before, a young Michael Jordan would carry a fledgling shoe brand to new heights.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Nike, the late starter struck gold with its “Just Do It” campaign. Launched in 1988, the shoe giant finally had a tagline as good as its shoes. Meanwhile, Adidas, the brand that started and found success long before Nike was even a dream, finds itself as the underdog. The American offices feel like a startup, and is passed between the hands of former Nike execs and European businessmen. What does it take to go from a million-dollar company to a billion-dollar company? Adidas has to find out, and fast. Support us by supporting our sponsors!
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Comments (398)

WebPros

Unusual presentation of information, I like it.

Jun 17th
Reply

Cristina Corales

Jesus! Those ads! They've been repeated 100 times. So boring.

May 6th
Reply

Cristina Corales

Too many adverts. All the same every episodes. Drives me crazy.

May 2nd
Reply

Cristina Corales

Don't try to do an Australian accent. You sound ridiculous. We don't speak like that.

Apr 14th
Reply

David Haddad

Test

Apr 13th
Reply

David Haddad

Test

Apr 13th
Reply

David Haddad

Test comment.

Apr 13th
Reply

Cristina Corales

Starbucks: terrible coffee.

Apr 6th
Reply

Clayton Carter

s*** real

Mar 30th
Reply

Jesus Coria

cap, no modern teenager says "the good stuff"

Mar 29th
Reply

Ahmad Hamad

I never known anything about @chickfila before this episode.

Mar 25th
Reply

Ladaryl

Why can I not preorder The Art of Business Wars on Audible?

Mar 25th
Reply

mahdis garshasbi

Hey thanks for your lovely podcast, where can I find the texts of each podcast?

Mar 14th
Reply

andrew davies

Despite some nagative reviews for this podcast I personally thought it was clear, gave me the facts about each subject that it was covering and not over the top with technical rubbish the average Joe doesn't need or want to know ! On average 30 mins was not that bad for each episode !

Mar 5th
Reply

Cristina Corales

I am very surprised at the utter rubbish people of USA eat. This stuff isn't food. It's garbage and it makes people fat.

Mar 3rd
Reply

Nathan Miller

Extremely good fun. If you want super concise facts and no dramatisation then this isn't for you. But if you want great stories brought to life in a gripping way then I'd highly reccomend it!

Feb 22nd
Reply

ID18295639

You idiots and your ads

Feb 22nd
Reply

Ruslan Lomaka

Android vs iOS

Feb 18th
Reply

Shawn Durand

the first series feels like it was read for the first time on air. thankfully the subsequent series sound more refined

Feb 16th
Reply

Ahmad Hamad

I liked the different voices of each character.

Feb 10th
Reply
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