In this episode of Industry Focus: Tech, Dylan Lewis and Motley Fool contributor Brian Feroldi bring you the latest tech news roundup. They dive into the Prime Day event to understand the trends driving consumer spending. Next, they go through the latest iPhone lineup and other tech products unveiled recently. They look at a K-Pop IPO making the headlines and much more.
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This video was recorded on October 16, 2020.
Dylan Lewis: It's Friday, October 16th, and we're doing a tech news roundup. I'm your host Dylan Lewis, and I'm joined by Fool.com's non-noble newbie newsman, Brian Feroldi. Brian, how's it going?
Brian Feroldi: Dylan, it's good to be doing a news roundup; we haven't done one of these in months.
Lewis: It's been a while. You know, we have decided to go deep, I think, recently [laughs] with our episodes, we've done a lot of single focused company shows. That's always super-fun, because it lets us get beyond some of the headline stuff. Of course, what it also means is that we leave a lot of other news items and headlines unattended; we're going to try to catch up on today's show.
Feroldi: Fear not, listeners, we still have Airbnb's IPO to look forward to. I just learned today that Bumble will be coming public soon. So, I'm sure there'll be plenty more S-1 shows to get into down the road.
Lewis: Yeah, for anyone who likes those 20- to 30-minute single company focused, don't worry, they'll be back soon, but we got to mix it up every now-and-then, especially when we have so much news this week. On this episode we're going to be talking about Amazon (AMZN 3.04%) Prime Day, we're going to talk about the Apple (AAPL 1.37%) event, and we're going to be talking about a K-Pop IPO; we're going to save that fun story for last, because I think it's there's a little bit of intrigue to that one, Brian. But why don't we start out with Amazon Prime Day, which I think is maybe the most successful corporate holiday of all time.
Feroldi: Well, I would say it's the second most successful, I think the most successful would be Singles Day, which was invented [laughs] by Alibaba, but no doubt, it takes a special company to invent their own holiday and convince [laughs] millions upon millions of people to spend more on that day for no reason. Apple should copy this; I don't know why we don't have "Apple Day" already. But Amazon Prime Day was hugely successful, there are over 150 million Prime members globally; I am certainly one of them.
Normally, this event is held in mid-July. I think it was invented to, kind of, boost sales in what is seasonably a weak quarter, this year that couldn't happen. It was postponed 'till earlier this week and it was a two-day event. We don't get a ton of information about how sales were at the overall company, but we did get some. And we found out that third-party sellers grew their sales 60% year-over-year to surpass $3.5 billion in one day. Wow!
Lewis: Wow! And a pretty big hop from [laughs] where things were just in general. I mean, this is a part of Amazon's operations that were growing significantly, but this is a surge even with how successful that segment has been so far.
Feroldi: Yeah, and I think that Amazon is right to tout this information. There's been so much noise in the government about monopolies, and one of Amazon's defenses is that we empower millions of small- and medium-sized businesses to sell through our platform. By coming out and saying, third parties grew their sales 60% to $3.5 billion that really helps to further their argument.
And these are not inconsequential sales to Amazon's topline. For perspective, in the second quarter of this year, which was a blowout in every regard, third-party sales grew 52%, so Prime Day appears to be an acceleration of what happened in the second quarter. And third-party sales comprised about 25% of total sales. Amazon definitely wants to get this number to go higher.
Lewis: I'm curious, Brian, with this timing being a little bit different than it has been in the past, we're creeping a little bit closer to the holiday season. Do you think that this is pulling forward anything that would have happened naturally in, like, November, maybe December?
Feroldi: I think that it probably will. I know that I did some shopping for Christmas on Prime Day, when I normally would not have done that, but there's nothing, really, Amazon can do about that, that's just the nature of what's happening this year. And it is worth saying that, literally today, two days after Prime Day ended, [laughs] they've already started to push Christmas sales. So, Amazon is wasting no time saying, we know you just spent a bunch, how about you spend some more? [laughs]
Lewis: [laughs] Yeah, I guess, if you can create two huge shopping peaks, why not? Even if they're slightly smaller than they would have normally been when they were timed if you had your way with the calendar. Yeah, people are going to spend money no matter what; I think that's basically [laughs] the takeaway with this.
Feroldi: Yep. And Amazon did give us some hints about what were some of the top-selling items. We did see that the Echo Dot was once again the best selling product; that certainly bodes well for more people having Jeff Bezos "A-word" voice assistant in their house. [laughs] Don't want to say it.
Lewis: We won't trigger it. We don't want to create any problems for the people at home. [laughs]
Feroldi: That's right. They also sold millions of their Fire TV sticks with the 4K. Some other notable products that I was intrigued by, iRobot, their Roomba was apparently one of the top-selling items. That's got to bode well for their holiday quarter. We also saw LEGOs were strong. Something called the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter was strong. And a game called Kids Against Maturity, which is the kid and family version of Cards Against Humanity, apparently a top seller. And, Dylan, I helped out there; this is a game that I bought.
Lewis: Brian Feroldi, boosting the category sales. [laughs]
Feroldi: And we've already played with my kids, and if you have kids, give it a try, it's fun.
Lewis: Yeah, would you recommend it? Because you are, I think, a pretty discerning game player; you like good games.
Feroldi: Yes. It's not as fun as Cards Against Humanity, but that's not a game you want to play with your family, [laughs] but this looks, from what I've seen, we've played just with my family, I look forward to playing with friends, it seems like a great way to have a couple of laughs with some people.
Lewis: And I look at that top list of best-sellers, Brian, no surprises with the Amazon products. They are almost always on the top of some of the products that are moving on Prime Day. I think it's interesting to look at some of the other stuff that's on this list, though, maybe some signs of stay-at-home with [laughs] the iRobot Roomba and the Personal Water Filter. I know iRobot products tend to sell well with Prime Day in general, we usually see them at the top of the list, but there's probably a little bit of an extra reason for people to be buying that kind of stuff this year.
Feroldi: Definitely. I mean, if you can't have somebody come into your house and clean it, why not do the next best thing and have a robot do it for you. And I polled my Twitter users for what's a product that you really liked, that you've bought in the last year that you've got a ton of use out of? iRobot was actually, the Roomba, was one consistently one of the things that people bought and loved the most. To be honest, I'm thinking about buying one.
Lewis: [laughs] Might that be under the tree this Feroldi Christmas?
Feroldi: It could be; we'll have to see, Dylan.
Lewis: [laughs] And for as much as people spent, they also saved. Amazon likes to tout the fact that Prime members saved $1.4 billion during Prime Day, which is just a baffling number, it really makes you wonder how much they spent? [laughs]
Feroldi: Got to love this retailer math, though, right? It's like when my wife goes to Kohl's and says, you're not going to believe how much money I saved us today. [laughs] I love them throwing that number out there.
Lewis: [laughs] Yeah, it's a little flip, it's a little glib, but that's fine. I think all-in-all, a pretty successful Prime Day. And what points to, probably, a pretty successful holiday season for Amazon, in general. This has been a company that has not struggled, and I think has been very well equipped for everything that we're currently dealing with, all signs point to that continuing.
Feroldi: No doubt about it. But, Dylan, the listeners want to know, did you buy anything on Prime Day?
Lewis: You know, Brian, I'm kind of anti-consumption right now with my mindset. There's a subreddit that I follow, and it's an anti-consumption subreddit. And there's this thing that gets circulated there often, and it says, I don't know who needs to hear this, but you don't need to buy anything on Amazon today. [laughs] And I think, for me, the pandemic and staying at home has forced me more to, kind of, Marie Kondo and strip down what I have and really, kind of, focus on what I need and try to get rid of some clutter. It's been nice, it's been kind of cathartic to do that.
I've been buying a lot of food, and I'd say I have been supporting the local craft breweries, but I have not been supporting Amazon too much as a consumer; I am still a shareholder, though, and happy to be one. [laughs]
Feroldi: As your friend, I'm glad to hear that; as an Amazon shareholder, shame on you, Dylan. [laughs]
Lewis: I'll buy 10 Roombas, how about that? [laughs]
Feroldi: Sounds great; as long as I get one. [laughs]
Lewis: [laughs] And, of course, while we're talking about corporate events, why don't we talk about Apple too. That's another company that has mastered the ability to create hype around their major releases. This time the hotly anticipated debut of the new iPhone.
Feroldi: Yeah, as a reminder, Apple held another event just a month ago, but they forgot to announce the iPhone 12. Well, they fixed that this week and they announced it. We did see that the iPhone 12 did come out as expected, and it was all the usual specs. The screen is a little bit better, it's got better drop protection, the camera is better, it's much faster. The big headline thing here, though, was that it supports 5G; that is the thing that Apple has been widely expected to introduce. And Apple is going to introduce four phone models that have this 5G, starting with the iPhone 12 Mini, which is their cheapest iPhone 12 starting at $699. You only get a 5.4-inch screen for that, and that goes all the way up to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which starts at $1,100, Dylan, but you get LiDAR, [Light Detection and Ranging] which is going to be useful for augmented reality products. So, there's a whole bunch of price points in there that I think, if you're in the market for a new iPhone, I think this is a compelling offering.
Lewis: Anyone that's followed Apple over the last couple of years has noticed that the iPhone line has gotten more and more complicated as the numbers have gone up. And I think there are a couple of different reasons for that. They have realized that there is a very high-end market for smartphones and they continue to push the envelope on what that pricing is. And so, you know, when you see an iPhone 12 Mini, an iPhone 12, an iPhone 12 Pro, an iPhone 12 Pro Max -- it's almost hard to get all that out in one breath -- you see them catering to a bunch of different buyers, a bunch of different desires in terms of feature sets. There are a lot of people who don't need LiDAR on their phone and are probably pretty happy to have an up-to-date iPhone product that's only $700 instead of $1,100.
Feroldi: Yeah. But by giving people a whole bunch of price points, they can choose based on their needs, it's the same thing they've done with, like, the iMacs, for example. And when you count in the iPhone SE, which is their entry-level phone that starts at $399, they really have a plethora of phones that are available at a wide number of price points.
Lewis: Yeah. What I think is interesting too is, with this move, there's one data point that I'd really like to see more of with iPhones. We used to get some really steady reporting on the units and average selling price with iPhones. As they've moved to this tier model, they've moved away from that reporting system, and instead, kind of, focused on the overall segment. I would love to know the nuts-and-bolts of what's going into that number, particularly because this is a little bit of a strategy shift for them as they try to cater to all iPhone consumers. But you know, we can dream, Brian. [laughs]
Feroldi: Yeah. It's never a good sign when a company stops reporting a number that they've been reporting for years. Here's a hint, when that happens, it's not going in the right direction, [laughs] so no surprise to see that Apple did that, because a few years ago, when they came out with their bigger iPhone line, that really juiced average selling prices on the phone. I'm sure it's been, at best, holding steady since there, and more likely heading down. So, I wasn't surprised to see that they pulled back, but I agree, I would also like to see that number.
Lewis: I think it's kind of illustrative of where they are as a company at this point. They realize that they have a killer hardware product that people want every two to three years, and they know that there is a lot of value in the ecosystem that comes with that product. They've proven that they're able to make a lot of money on their services segment that way. But there's only so many times people are going to buy these things. And there's only, really, so much stretch in terms of what people are willing to pay for them. By getting people to focus on the services segment, by moving away from that reporting, they're highlighting the good stuff. [laughs] And they're just like, don't worry, we're still selling the iPhones, you don't need to know how many, you don't need to how much people are paying for them; which I kind of get, but it fits into the overall narrative they are trying to pitch people, just wish that we could get the nuts-and-bolts.
Feroldi: Yeah, I understand why they're doing it, because there's people like me that still have an iPhone 6S and are reluctant to upgrade. Dylan, I know that you're, sort of, with me on this. What kind of phone do you have?
Lewis: I'm on an [iPhone] XR, and you know, I was thinking about this, like, am I going to upgrade? And you know, your phone is something, it's basically a computer you use dozens, hundreds of times a day. I understand paying a lot for it. I dropped mine the other day and have a crack on it. So, my upgrade is going to be upgrading my screen back to a normally functioning one, I will not be buying the new releases. But I think there are a lot of really compelling elements in these phones. I think that the LiDAR and the AR functionality is a particularly interesting thing. And we kind of buried this part of it, but, you know, the 5G capability is probably going to sell a lot of phones. I mean, for a lot of people I don't know that 5G is going to be as game-changing as the telecom companies have made it out to be, but I think it's going to create a lot of pull demand for these devices.
Feroldi: I think it will too, just having that name in there. I mean, we've seen tremendous demand from Fools saying, talking about 5G and how excited they are about it. Apple had to walk a pretty fine line of saying, it's got 5G capabilities, even though people won't necessarily be able to access 5G capabilities. I think they did a pretty good job there. But I agree, I've seen analysts come out and say that this is going to be the best selling iPhone of all time, it's going to kick-off a super-cycle. I could see that happening.
Lewis: I could totally see that happening. And one of the things that's kind of hard with the smartphone market is, ever since we've moved away from the subsidy model where you have whoever your wireless carrier is, effectively subsidizing your phone and you're not really paying the sticker price for that phone, it's been a lot harder to pin down what upgrade cycles and what the natural usage life for phones looks like. We were really anchored to that two-year model with the subsidy, I think the industry is still, kind of, feeling out how long people want to have their phones. It seems like it's somewhere between two and three years, but they're going to continue to roll out phones that have really killer functionality to try to move that up and bring that number down.
Feroldi: Yeah. And I think that a future like 5G will entice a whole bunch of people to do that and accelerate their plans. I mean, 10 years ago, when the iPhone first came out, every new model was exponentially better than the one previously, it's been far more incremental in the last, say, five years, which is why people like me have been far more reluctant to upgrade. But to your point, Dylan, I use my phone, I mean, 100 times per day. So, paying up [laughs] to get a new one that does work probably makes sense.
Lewis: As an Apple shareholder, Brian, please buy a new phone. [laughs]
Feroldi: [laughs] Just for you, Dylan, I will.
Lewis: [laughs] I appreciate it. You get a Roomba; I get an iPhone. [laughs]
Lewis: This is not the only stuff [laughs] that they unveiled with this event, though, they also gave us some updates on a couple of other product categories.
Feroldi: Yeah, they also introduced some new Beats products today. So, the Beats Flex wireless earphones, an upgrade to their -- those start at just $50, so pretty attractive price point. The thing that I was most interested in was the HomePod Mini, which is a $99 version of their HomePod. They launched the HomePod a few years ago, and it sounded like a great product but they priced it at $349 at a time when Amazon and Google [Alphabet] had products on the market that were similar, that were $50, $60, I mean it was just not even close to being competitive price wise. I think this product will sell pretty well and be exciting to people that haven't yet made a purchase of this nature, I certainly haven't, and we are an Apple family. This is actually a pretty compelling idea.
Lewis: Yeah. I think that the way that all those companies have approached the smart speaker market really highlights their business models in a really invisible way for people. Because Apple is one of the few companies that has been able to make margins on hardware, it has been their bread-and-butter, it's something that they've been able to do, maybe Samsung a little bit, but most of the smartphone market [laughs] profits are made by Apple, and that's because they have, you know, pretty nice margins on the stuff they put out there, they're able to, because this is a premium product.
Google and Amazon aren't looking to really make money on the hardware they ship. They're looking to getting to people's homes, be a crucial part of how they interact with the web, you know, whether it's that "A-word" that we won't mention, [laughs] or the Google assistant, and really just creating dependency on their technology, because it leads into all these other things with their platform. I think Apple really thought that they were going to be able to compete with the premium product, and are realizing over time that that's just not the case. I mean, if someone is basically giving away smart speakers at cost, that's a pretty hard thing to compete with.
Feroldi: Especially since their essential selling point was premium quality sound, that's something that's hard to demo and hard to go for. I have no doubt that these products do sound better, the problem is it's also tied to Siri, [laughs] and as an Apple user, Siri is still terrible, it doesn't come close to what I've seen from some of the other products. So, that might hold the company back, but I still think this product will probably do pretty well. The good news here is, Apple doesn't need this product to do well at all. I view products like the HomePod Mini and Apple TV as things that just further enforce the ecosystem and convince you to buy an iPhone and an iPad and iMac, they're not really going to make too much money off of this.
Lewis: No, they're nice-to-haves. I mean, individually, if you were to put this business segment on any other company, they'd be thrilled, they'd be like, [laughs] this is a great release, we've dramatically increased our topline; and Apple, you know, it's a drop in the bucket. And that's, both, a good and a bad problem to have. We're seeing them try to steer the ship away from being so reliant on iPhones, they haven't found the product category yet, but what we're seeing time and time again is the strength of the ecosystem keeps people there.
Feroldi: That's right. So, Dylan, what were your big takeaways from this event, were you excited, did it meet your expectation?
Lewis: You know, I'm kind of curious to see what people do with 5G, like, whether it's one of those really deflating technology trends. And once it's there, and once it's in people's hands and they have devices that are capable of really making use of it, it is pretty underwhelming. Because we've been seeing ads for 5G networks for years now, and the telecom industry has really created a lot of buzz around this thing. And I think it's going to be relatively underwhelming for a lot of people out there, especially if you're in relatively densely populated areas where you already have pretty good connectivity.
Feroldi: I could very much see this going through the hype cycle that we see with all kinds of new technologies, where people get super-excited about it, and then it fails to even come close to living up to expectations, but then slowly, gradually it improves. So, to me, 5G is an exciting technology and what it could do to society in, say, three or five years is really, really compelling. What it's going to do right now, eh, who knows.
Lewis: Yeah, I think the Apple shareholder in me looks at what they released and say, you know what, I love the fact that they are catering to people that have different price points and really have different willingness to spend when it comes to their phone, because the crucial element of this company going forward is maintaining their installed base, keeping a lot of people on iPhones and in their ecosystem, because there are so many other ways for them to make money once they have those installed users. And so, if they're flexible, if they're willing to work in some of the lower-end portions of the market, that's going to bode well for that thesis.
You know, they're still able to make plenty of money on an $1,000 iPhone 12 Pro, [laughs] you know. So, there's money to be made. I think that they're doing all the right things, and I think there's some cool tech in here. I'm curious to see what Apple's developers wind up doing with LiDAR and more AR capabilities, I think we're just starting to scratch the surface of what people can do. We're seeing it in a lot of goofy ways, with filters and lenses and that kind of stuff, but I think the functionality is only going to get better over the next couple years and the use cases are probably going to become a lot more impressive.
Feroldi: Yeah, with the iPhone 12+, Max, or whatever it's called, the one with the LiDAR, that getting out into people's hands, especially developers that can start to create technology based on augmented reality, now that they have an input from a common device, that's really exciting. And that should, or could, go a long way to kick-start the AR growth that is forecasted out there. So, I think that that's a really exciting part of this announcement.
Lewis: All right, Brian, our last story for the news roundup, we teased this at the beginning, a K-Pop IPO. And I'm sure there are some folks out there that are totally unfamiliar with K-Pop, and we are about to open their eyes to a pop culture world that [laughs] they didn't even know existed. For people that are familiar, K-Pop has taken over, especially the internet, over the last couple of years. Brian, was this a space that you're familiar with at all?
Feroldi: I had never heard of K-Pop until you sent me the message about this. So, no, I am a complete newbie [laughs] when it comes to K-Pop.
Lewis: [laughs] For the unacquainted, K-Pop is, it's Korean pop, and it is a culture and a music genre, but I think kind of a culture; I think that's maybe one of the best ways to put it. Think boy bands from the '90s in the U.S. with ultra-devout fans and incredible online presences. And it is unreal the following that these bands have. The biggest one, and the company that we're talking about that's attached to them, is BTS, and the business behind it, Big Hit Entertainment, recently made their market debut in South Korea on Thursday. And as you might expect with an IPO with a lot of hype behind it, Brian, shares did pretty well.
Feroldi: It seems like, when they IPO'd their shares popped 90% in a single day to the equivalent of $236/share in the U.S. Sounds like there's some hype behind this company, and good for them. But once again, Dylan, seeing a huge one-day pop, not necessarily a great thing, it means you left a whole bunch of money on the table.
Lewis: Money on the table. And I think, you know, we can make that criticism, and sometimes it's 30%, and we're like, OK, but you can only price it so well, it's natural for some of that to happen. I think at 90%, you could make the point that they probably made some significant cash on the table. [laughs]
Feroldi: Yeah, I'm sure they did too. And from the article that you sent me, apparently BTS is 90% of this company's revenue. [laughs] Wow! Wow! Are they really tied to one artist.
Lewis: They are. And I mean, it's hard to emphasize how big BTS is in this world. It's a seven-member boyband. They have sold more physical albums in the U.S. this year than Harry Styles from One Direction; that might be another name that a lot [laughs] of our listeners are not familiar with, but huge popstar; Billie Eilish, another popstar; or a name that people are more familiar with, Justin Bieber. And they are the first group from South Korea to sell out U.S. arenas and win a Billboard Music Award. So, they are huge.
And they have also mobilized their fans in really impressive ways online. They have a very devout group of fans. And I think I'm just amazed culturally at how different this is than what a lot of people are used to, and kind of what this might mean for the way that the music industry is going, because Big Hit Entertainment is basically their management company, and they did about $500 million in revenue last year. You mentioned before, BTS is about 90% of that topline, which is incredible for a single band to be responsible for.
Now, they are in a way, kind of, like a pop culture incubator; that's the way that a lot of this world kind of works. They're trying to engineer bands that are relatable, these personalities and you kind of have all these different fan attachments. We've thought a lot about how the music industry is moving, we've talked a lot about music streaming, Brian. I think that this is such a fascinating story, because in a world where concerts aren't happening, they are still doing quite well. Concert revenue plunged nearly 99% [laughs] for this business in the first-half of 2020, album sales shot up 80%, so overall, revenue fell just 8% during this period. I don't think that most businesses operate that way in the event space.
Feroldi: That's incredible. I mean, those are some incredible numbers. And as someone that just reviewed Live Nation's quarterly results, I can confirm Live Nation reported a 99% [laughs] drop in revenue, so that has become the primary way that artists make money nowadays, is through live concerts. So, it's amazing that this band, BTS, has been able to not only counteract some of that enormous decline, this is a pretty incredible story.
Lewis: It's an incredible story, and probably not an investable idea for a lot of people, [laughs] you know, it's on a Korean exchange, so there are going to be some obstacles there if you're not someone who has access to international brokerages. But I just think it's kind of a fun story to follow, because this business has proven to continue to make money in a period where music industry profits are, kind of, having a hard time. Live concert venue profits are having a hard time. And they've really never been more relevant.
Feroldi: It just goes to show you that if you have a good brand behind you or something that people really want, there are ways to monetize it, if you're willing to adapt your business model.
Lewis: Yeah. And, Brian, one of the other things I like about the story is, we talk about skin in the game all the time. The Founder of Big Hit Entertainment, Bang Si-Hyuk, owns a huge chunk of shares, owns 43% of the business, and gave each of the members of BTS almost 70,000 shares. So, I'm sure that they were doing just fine, [laughs] before the IPO being, you know, international pop stars, but they are, clearly, multi-millionaires now at this point. So, you know, they are the preeminent act for this entertainment business, they clearly have some skin in the game, and I think it's smart from the Founder of Big Hit Entertainment to keep them roped-in and keep them incentivized.
Feroldi: Yeah, that's a great idea, you have to make these guys [laughs] into long-term investors in themselves; I think that's a brilliant move.
Lewis: So, fun story to follow, kind of, an interesting way that the music industry is moving. I'm curious, Brian, if you had the opportunity to bet alongside a major entertainer at some point, you know, from the last 20, 30 years, who would it be? If you were looking at a business that said 90% of their profits are from this musician, this artist, who you're putting your money on.
Feroldi: Geesh! It has to be an evergreen artist, right? I mean, I'll cheat and say, like, The Beatles or, you know, Michael Jackson or something like that. But since you are just limited to the last 30 years, I'll go with one of my favorites of all time, Radiohead, I think that their music is going to stand the test of time. How about you, Dylan?
Lewis: I think that that's a great call. I'm sure that there's, like, a really obscure artist that winds up actually raking in money or someone who has, you know, royalties that is just absolutely fantastic. I think Dave Matthews Band probably is a pretty good bet, or the Grateful Dead, like, one of those artists that just has really, kind of, cult appeal and devout followers; I think that's the key. You know, that's what we saw with BTS and really what has made them so successful. So, I would bet on a catalog like that.
Feroldi: Yeah. So, do you think BTS is going to get there, or do you think this is the next NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears?
Lewis: Man! I think it's a little different. I don't think that we fully appreciate, culturally, how relevant they are. And I think, for anyone who's interested in this, do some reading, like, check them out on social media and check out their following on social media, because it is truly a different level of fandom and a different star-and-fan relationship than I think we're probably used to with a lot of our entertainers. But I think they're probably here to stay, because their international appeal is so massive, like, they are on the scale of Justin Bieber, of Arianna Grande, that kind of bankable pop culture celebrity.
How long does that catalog last and how long does their fame last? I mean, they're actually going to be running into issues. I don't know if you read into this, Brian, but there is mandatory military service in South Korea. And some of the older members of BTS are approaching the age that they're going to have to serve, which is kind of an interesting subplot to this story. So, there are clearly some risks [laughs] associated with this business. But I think they're here to stay, at least for the next five years.
Feroldi: I wonder if that risk was outlined in the S-1. [laughs]
Lewis: [laughs] You always love the idiosyncratic risks, and I'm sure that one was listed, 100%. Brian, thank you so much for indulging me and talking pop culture as we wrap up the news recap on Industry Focus.
Feroldi: Anytime we can talk about your favorite boy band, Dylan, count me in. [laughs]
Lewis: [laughs] I listened to some of their stuff before the show in preparation, I have to say, not for me, but I get it, I understand the appeal. And with that, I think we're going to wrap things up. Brian, for anyone who's doing a driving this weekend, any Radiohead recommendations. Say, someone has never listened to Radiohead, I doubt that's the case, but what would be your like, listen to these two songs?
Feroldi: Oh, Geesh! I mean, I'll just say anything on Kid A. Kid A might be one of my favorite albums of all-time. So, just start at song one and keep going.
Lewis: [laughs] That's the beauty of a great album like that. It's just, set it and forget it, let it go. That's how music is meant to be listened to.
Feroldi: And would you recommend Dave Matthews Band, is that what you're saying?
Lewis: You know, it wouldn't be my first thing. I mean, I would say, if you're looking for great music, just put on American Beauty by Grateful Dead, call it a day, you know, start doing whatever chores you have to do around the house. But you could say the same about Kid A, I think. [laughs]
Feroldi: [laughs] Yeah. I agree about Kid A, I'm not a deadhead, but good to know that you are, Dylan.
Lewis: [laughs] Of course. You know, I like to have a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And hopefully, our listeners enjoy a couple of recommendations heading into the weekend. Brian, thank you so much for hopping on and talking with me.
Feroldi: Any time, Dylan, have a good one.
Lewis: Listeners, that's going to do it for this episode of Industry Focus. If you have any questions or if you want to reach out, say, "Hey!" shoot us an email at [email protected] or you can tweet us @MFIndustryFocus. If you want more of our stuff, subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
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Thanks to Tim Sparks for all his work behind the glass. Thank you for listening, and Fool on!