Netflix and Alphabet: What’s New?

Netflix and Alphabet: What’s New?

In the past few months, Disney (NYSE:DIS) finally released its streaming service, and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) shook up its management team. In this week’s episode of Industry Focus: Tech, Fools Dylan Lewis and Dan Kline check in on how Alphabet and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) are doing in the wake of the changes.

First, a look at Netflix, and how much Disney+ did or didn’t shake the core of its business; how the streaming landscape has changed in the past few years; where Netflix fits today; and much more. Then, stay tuned to hear what’s changing in the Alphabet C-suite, what it means for the company’s future, and why some additional scrutiny toward the Other Bets segment will probably be great for Alphabet shareholders.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool’s free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Jan. 24, 2020.

Dylan Lewis: It’s Friday, Jan. 24, and we are talking Netflix and Alphabet. I’m your host, Dylan Lewis, and I’m joined by fool.com’s Dan Kline. Dan, what’s going on, man?

Dan Kline: Our long nightmare in South Florida is over. It’s no longer 50 degrees. We’re back up to 70. People can put their fur coats and scarves away.

Lewis: [laughs] We live different lives during the winter months, Dan. I’m actually going snowboarding tomorrow. We’re living very different lives.

Kline: I went to the hot tub on the 55-degree day. [laughs] It was a little cold getting out, but people here absolutely don’t know how to deal with any sort of weather. And I also can say, I did not see any falling iguanas.

Lewis: [laughs] Well, Florida, I think, is making you a little bit soft, Dan, I have to be honest. As somebody who grew up in the Northeast, I think you’ve got to work on that.

Kline: I think there’s a reason I’m doing this show from home and not in studio today.

Lewis: [laughs] Well, I’m having you on because we’re talking about Netflix and Alphabet. We’re going to be talking about the streaming space, and you are one of my favorite people to talk to when it comes to streaming. And I think, if you look over the last couple years, there’s a lot of debate about when the golden age of television was. I would say right now might be the golden age of television for consumers. In terms of options and great deals for creators, especially people that maybe haven’t had voices before, it’s a pretty awesome time to be a viewer. There’s so much excellent content coming out there because all these companies are hopping into the space. Now, that means that the space is also getting a little bit more competitive if you’re a streaming company.

Kline: Yeah. And we’ve also had the end of — maybe not the full end, but the stigma of doing television. When you see major name actresses like Nicole Kidman doing a limited-edition series on HBO, that’s a big change. And maybe movies have lost a little bit of luster. It’s hard to make a mid-price movie now. But that’s very much been TV and streaming’s game.

Lewis: Yeah, there’s a lot of cachet being thrown around. I mean, you think about the HBO series True Detective and what that did for Matthew McConaughey, and you look at what he did as a movie actor, we kind of have the McConaissance because of TV. I think we can all thank streaming TV for that one, Dan.

Kline: Yeah, and there’s just more work. If you’re an actor and you no longer have to commit to a grueling 22-episode, eight-months-of-the-year shoot, and instead could do — The Mandalorian was eight episodes. You can put more time and care into a short-run show. And sometimes, you can tell a show in the amount of time it takes. A certain story maybe doesn’t need 22 episodes. I recently finished the third season of Daredevil on Netflix. And it didn’t need to be any longer. It was really good, but it got the story out there in this non-traditional timeframe.

Lewis: You mentioned The Mandalorian. Of course, this is a show from Disney+, part of that Disney IP library. And the launch of Disney+ was really one of the biggest stories in streaming for 2019. We are talking about streaming and Netflix today because we have some updated earnings numbers from Netflix and some commentary from management. And what it seems like is, as people might expect, the entrant of a big, deep-pocketed player like Disney is starting to have some effect on Netflix.

Kline: It’s having a very mild effect. The reality is, Netflix posted 8.76 million new subscribers. It caused an uproar because it missed slightly on its U.S. subscriber prediction. So, of course, people flip out. “Are people dropping Netflix and getting Disney+?” The reality is, as people cut the cord, there’s going to be multiple tiers of streaming. Netflix and Disney+ are both, for most people, going to be in the you-have-to-have-them tier. If you have a family, you pretty much need Disney+. If you want a depth of content, then Netflix is probably going to be what you have. So, I don’t put a lot of stock in — there’s more competition. CBS didn’t go out of business — I read this somewhere. I apologize for whoever I’m taking this from. CBS didn’t go out of business when Fox launched. There’s an endless demand, the universe keeps getting smaller and more niche-y, and that’s bad for water cooler discussion, but it’s probably good for people who like TV that doesn’t have to attract 12 million viewers.

Lewis: It’s funny, on the walk to the studio today, Austin said, after he goes through the Marvel Universe of movies, he is done with Disney+, he’ll be taking a break. I’d be curious to see. I want to check in on that in a couple of months, because there are a lot of people, I think, who look at all these streaming options and they say, “OK, there’s a lot of stuff in this catalog I want to watch, but then it’s not going to come out again, we’re not going to get that update for another year or so. So, I don’t need it.” Those are really good-intentioned ideas, but the reality is, people are lazy and they’re not so great canceling services.

Kline: Austin, if I remember correctly, has a fiancée but not a family.

Lewis: Yes, that’s correct.

Kline: And you have a girlfriend, but not kids. I have a 15-year-old and a wife. So, I’m mostly done with Netflix. There’s really nothing, except the occasional comedy special, that I’m super eager to watch. And I’m in the midst of catching up on the Arrowverse, which I’ve been watching on The CW app, because I’m ahead of where Netflix has. So, I could drop Netflix. But the reality is, one, T-Mobile pays for the vast majority of my Netflix. Two, my wife loves Netflix and watches hours and hours of it when I’m not there. So, it’s become a bigger decision. And Disney+, for an adult, you could argue, you could come in and out. Watch the movies you want to watch. When a big series comes out, maybe Austin really wants to watch the Loki series, so maybe wait until all six episodes of that are out and sign up for a month and watch them and a couple other things. You can pick and choose. But honestly, for most people, $6.99 a month isn’t that much money, especially if you dropped a cable subscription where you were paying $140 or $150. So, I don’t think budget is going to be a factor. And the average single person might be able to hop from services. People who are sharing these services with other people in the house — I probably can’t get rid of Disney+ because my son’s watching Clone Wars, and maybe he wants to catch up on that, and then something will come up that I like. I think the lesser services are going to suffer, but the biggest services will probably just become perennials for most people.

Lewis: Dan, you’re not in the studio, so you couldn’t see Austin’s reaction to you saying that Netflix is something that you don’t love, you don’t need in the same way. He was visibly disgusted. I am a Netflix subscriber, as is Austin. I think, to your point, we don’t have families, so we don’t see the same value in Disney+. And I agree with you, some of the blowback with Netflix’s earnings and these numbers, it’s a little overblown. The fact that they added over 8 million new streaming subscribers, and they crushed expectations — it was 7.8 million for expectations, 8.7 in actual additions — it shows that there’s still runway and a lot of resonance with what Netflix is offering people.

Kline: Yeah, and average revenue per user is up 9%, which is basically due to the price increase. They raised prices, which is not a well they’re going to be able to go to all that often, because they’re already high in the space they’re in. But if they’re on a Costco-like, every-few-year’s schedule, they’ve shown they can do that. And to give people perspective, there are 84 million cable customers, cable and satellite, that includes streaming, in the U.S. Netflix has 61 million subscribers just in the United States. So, 75% of the audience of every cable channel, Netflix has already reached. So, it makes sense that their U.S. growth is going to slow down. And I think they have been hurt. It’s not Disney+ specifically that hurt them with new subscribers. It’s The Mandalorian. Netflix has not had a buzzy show that everyone was talking about. And you and I have talked about this. Personally, I think Netflix hurts itself by releasing every episode at once, because The Mandalorian was an eight-week story. It was part of the zeitgeist. People talked about it. Stranger Things was like a 72-hour story.

Lewis: Yeah, I think that’s 100% right, Dan. One thing that I am noting a little bit with this quarter and want to continue to watch with Netflix going forward is what churn looks like. We’ve taken for granted that there’s a certain stickiness to Netflix, and that people are generally super satisfied with the platform. Netflix is one of those companies like Apple where the people who have it seem to absolutely love it, and it’s part of their routine. But as more people come into the space, you need to be aware of the people that are leaving, particularly because if they are making that decision between paying $12 for Netflix and $7 for Disney+, they only want one, they might go cheaper; or, if they’re a family, they might go with the Disney+ option instead.

Kline: Netflix has a predictable churn pattern. They addressed this in the earnings call. Basically, in the second quarter, they released a whole bunch of highly anticipated shows. Sequels to things that had done well, a couple of big-name Hollywood movies, one with Ryan Reynolds, one with Will Smith. I might be getting the timing wrong on that. And sometimes, people will join for a quarter, watch a bunch of stuff and leave, and wait until a new show is released that they want. So, there’s always going to be some churn. But we’ve not seen any significant amount of pattern of, I’m only getting Netflix one month a year, or I’m going to be on for six months off for six months. Their numbers have steadily moved up. And the churn number, it did inch up a tiny bit in the quarter. And it’s something we should keep an eye on. But I think as long as Netflix can put out content people want, people will keep it.

Now, the problem is, they released a stunning 802 hours of content in the fourth quarter, which is a record, and 38% higher than the same period last year. Dylan, let me ask you, can you name three Netflix shows that were released in the last quarter?

Lewis: I don’t think I can, not as a consumer. I realized as you asked me that, a lot of the stuff that I’ve been streaming recently is old stuff on Hulu. I haven’t been watching Netflix all that much. That’s because, I think, you get really into a series, and that’s what you start watching for a while. But to your point, Dan, no, I can’t.

Kline: Yeah. I could name three comedy specials, because those seem to feature prominently in my feed. Comedy specials are also generally downloadable, whereas some of the series are not. And you know I’m on a plane a fair amount. So, to watch some mindless comedy special is easier than to decide I’m going to take on The Witcher or a very serious, heavy show. So, I do think Netflix has to focus a little better. Also, there was a long time where if Netflix produced a show, you could be pretty confident you were going to get a few seasons and a logical conclusion. They’ve been much more willing to cancel a series, which has made me much less likely to watch a show. I generally have a rule that I don’t watch season one until I know there’s going to be a season two. And some series, they’ve eliminated that by telling you there’s going to be a season two before season airs. But in a lot of cases, something might look promising, and I’m not going to invest that time if it’s not going to be a satisfying experience because it ends abruptly.

Lewis: There’s an emotional investment that comes with watching TV, Dan. I 100% hear you on that one. You don’t want to get invested in these characters, invested in these plot lines, and then have the rug pulled out from underneath you.

Kline: Yeah. And I think it’s OK if something airs for one [season], and toward the end of it, they realize it’s not going to make it, and they just conclude it, and it becomes a one-season show. I think that’s fine. But if you start watching something from the beginning, and then eight months later, you can’t wait to find out what happens, and they don’t even put out a press release telling you, “Hey, this is what would have happened if the show went on,” it’s very upsetting. And, frankly, it’s a waste of my time, and time is valuable.

Lewis: [laughs] So, you’re not enjoying the journey. You want to know the full arc, Dan.

Kline: I’ve always been a person who reads the last page of the book first. [laughs] I want to know how it unfolds. The example I’ll give is, I’ve seen the latest Star Wars movie. And for the two people who haven’t seen it, I won’t give any spoilers. But, I can’t wait until the book comes out, because now I know what happens, but I want all the details filled in. That’s always more interesting to me than necessarily exactly what happens.

Lewis: Well, I’m one of the two people that haven’t seen it yet, so please don’t spoil it for me.

Austin Morgan: I’m the other one.

Kline: It’s all about Baby Yoda.

Lewis: Who would have thought, we’re all aggregated in one studio, the two people that haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie? Dan, while we have been dogging some of the content releases from Netflix, I think it’s worth underscoring, they’ve been wildly successful with most of the stuff that they’ve released, at least in terms of the tentpole franchise that they’re trying to get out there. And they’ve been very successful when it comes to the award show circuit.

Kline: Yeah. Look, they led all studios with 24 Academy Award nominations. They put out a huge Michael Bay film, 6 Underground, starring Ryan Reynolds, that was watched by 83 million households. Now, when we say watch, let’s remember that the Netflix metrics for watch is now two minutes of a show. So, in theory, you don’t have to get very far into a movie and turn it off for them to still consider that you watched it. But obviously, they figured out a way to be both prestigious and to have lowbrow stuff like Adam Sandler movies that people are just going to watch reflexively. I’m actually talking more with the content about the other 760 hours, where you log into Netflix and you’ll see eight new series, and you won’t know what any of them are about, you didn’t see any media coverage. I’m sure some of those are designed to keep 400,000 or 500,000 Netflix subscribers very happy, and it’s very specific programming. But I do think they probably need to get their batting average a little bit higher to control their costs more.

Lewis: So, for folks that may be a little concerned about some of this competitive stuff that we’re talking about, especially if you’re a Netflix shareholder, it’s important to realize, the stock took a little bit of a hit, it is right back up to where it was. So, this is not a long-term, ongoing thing. This was some short-term reaction from the market. And the key quote in looking at the letter from shareholders came from executives and said, “Our low membership growth in the U.S. and Canada is probably due to our recent price changes and to U.S. competitive launches.” I think going forward, anytime you see management talking about the competitive landscape in streaming, there’s going to be some concern, just because this is a pure-play company, they don’t have some of the benefits that a Disney does with a massive IP library and all these other ancillary businesses. They are going it alone, and it’s going to be a little harder for them.

Kline: It is. And I think it’s very important — just like I don’t think you should look at any retail store one quarter of same-store sales to make a decision, most of the time, historically, when Netflix has missed on a subscriber count number, their timing is just a little off. A couple of quarters ago, they were, I think, almost 2 million off on the total number. And then the next quarter, they made that up and then some. So, Netflix is not magic, they can’t exactly predict just because they’re releasing a new movie or show that people want to watch if they’re going to sign up on November 1st or December 15th. So, I think you do want to look at the long-term trends, and make sure that they’re hitting roughly what they say they’re going to hit on an annual basis. But I don’t think you should put a lot of stock in their 200,000 down here, a million up there. That’s just not the most important metrics. It’s, are they engaging people? Do they continue to drive forward? And, are they growing in countries where they don’t have the same programming base, at least in the native language, that they do in the U.S.? And they’re checking off all of those boxes.

Lewis: Yeah. I would add to that, too, if they’re able to continue to raise prices without creating huge hikes in churn, that shows that they have pricing power, it shows that they have the ability to put out great content that people feel is worth paying for. And that’s another sign that they have a resilient business.

Kline: Yeah. I question whether they’ll hit a pricing wall — $19.99 is a commonly used price for a reason. Once you go over that, people start to think about the cost of things. But it would not be crazy to think that the Netflix of the future — I’m talking seven, eight years from now — might have a sports tier, it might have a pay $1.99 extra and you get all sorts of Japanese anime, or who knows what it is. It doesn’t have to look exactly like it looks now. And you’re seeing that with the Comcast Peacock launch. They have multiple tiers and multiple offers and different deals if you’re a Comcast customer. Netflix could do that. They also could continue to do things like their T-Mobile partnership that defray the cost. So, maybe five years from now, Netflix costs $24.99, but every ISP in the country is paying for half of that for you because you’re using your internet to watch Netflix primarily.

Lewis: You know, it’s not just the golden age as a viewer. It might also be the golden age as a bundler, Dan. There are a lot of really good deals out there. And that’s a great point.

Kline: It’s very tricky. The next one we’re going to be talking about is NBC’s Peacock. I don’t mean on the show, I mean the next time we talk about these things. They’re basically giving it away. There’s an ad-supported tier, there’s free offers for their customers. So, is their product inferior to Netflix and Disney+? I would argue that for most people, yes, it is. It doesn’t have the content. But if it’s free, it becomes like Amazon Prime. Maybe when you’re bored, you decide to watch The Tick and see if it’s good, or Man In The High Castle, or whatever it is. And it doesn’t have to be the driver. And then, all of a sudden, you have it. And Comcast has the ability — and so does Apple — to disguise how you pay for it. If you’re getting Apple+ for free, and they raise the price of the iPhone by $30 accordingly, or a Mac, you don’t really know that they’ve done that. Comcast can kind of do the same thing with internet pricing or cable pricing. It’s not going to be a straightforward market. And there’s going to be an awful lot of winners. The only real losers are going to be the very small players.

Lewis: Alright, Dan, we have our newest entrant to the $1 trillion club, Alphabet. This is the parent company of Google. They finally hopped into the four-comma club, as Russ Hanneman from Silicon Valley might put it. And I think that this company has flown under the radar for a little while. There’s been so much going on in the world of big tech, and they’ve just kind of been chugging along. But thanks to this $1 trillion valuation, them peeking past that number, and some shakeups in management, I think it’s worth checking in on them, because there’s a lot going on.

Kline: First of all, do you think they get a plaque or a jacket or like some $1 trillion club notification? [laughs]

Lewis: [laughs] I think it’s probably like when we passed 100,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. YouTube sends you a little plaque when you pass 100,000 and a million. We have to work a little bit more to get to the million, but I’d like to think that the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq reaches out.

Kline: Sending my son a picture of myself with that plaque might be the only thing that ever impressed him. [laughs] And I’ll point out, that plaque is just sitting haphazardly on a table in the office. It’s not displayed anywhere. [laughs] But, to a 15-year-old, that kind of meant dad was famous, in an indirect way.

Lewis: [laughs] I’m happy to help you with your kids, Dan. And I’m happy to help folks on YouTube, too. I love working on that side of our business. YouTube, of course, a Google property.

So, to get people up to speed quickly on what is going on with this company, we have some major news items. We have founder Larry Page stepping down as CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google; and the former Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, is now running both Google and Alphabet. And I think we need to have a brief history lesson the movement from Google being the name of the company to now Alphabet being the name of the company. This happened back in 2015. They moved to this holding company structure because they felt like it would allow them to better break out their financials in a way that represented the business, but it also put them in a position where they would have all these discrete business segments that would allow for individual executive teams. Sundar Pichai was the person who ran Google as it was shelved off and identified as its own internet property unit. And it seems to me like with this move, it was probably done with the intent to eventually groom him to become CEO.

Kline: Yeah, I think that’s fully accurate. And it was done for shareholder transparency. And this is actually somewhat rare in the technology world. They didn’t want the success of Google and YouTube and search and paid ads and all the company’s successes to disguise how much they were investing in its big bets, its moonshots business. They wanted you to be able to look at something like Waymo, its driverless car company, and say, “OK, this is what we’re putting in, and this is what we’re getting out of it.” This structure also allows for some of those businesses that are heavy investment and could pay off well to take on outside investment or have different boards of directors and different structures. And that’s happened in one or two cases. But basically, this was all about showing people what they’re doing with their money in a way, that’s, I think, very refreshing.

Lewis: I was a huge fan of it when they decided to do it. I knew that were going to be getting some more details down the line. We have them now. But if you want a quick 10,000-foot view of what goes on with their financials, the internet property business, like you mentioned before, Google, YouTube, all the things that you think of when you think Google for the most part as a consumer, that’s like 99.5% of how they make their money. They have their Other Bets segment where they have all these moonshot projects, like you mentioned before, about 0.5% of their revenue coming from there. So, this was really a move toward more financial transparency. It gave us a much better lens into the core business, and then also how much they were investing in this other stuff. Now, what we’re seeing is, over the last couple years, there’s been a lot of management at Alphabet deciding, “We need to be thinking a little bit more critically about some of these projects.”

Kline: Yeah. It’s sort of all fun and games to say, “We’re going to change the world, we’re going to do all these things,” but when you realize you’ve spent $8 billion what they call Other Bets, and you’ve only brought $1.5 billion back, maybe there is a need to be more responsible. And the reality is, Google doesn’t have to change the world itself. It can take a project to a certain point and then it’s investable, and you can bring other people in. And there’s obviously a lot of money out there that wants to work with Google that can partner and take risk away from shareholders. As a business, Google has been a growth story all year. Up 17% in the first quarter, 19% in the second, it was 20% in the third. $40.5 billion in the third quarter. The numbers are great. But you haven’t seen those new hits. None of those projects have moved into the real world. And we’ve seen some failures. Google Glasses was largely a failure. Again, this is about accountability, and setting up structures for these businesses where they might have a chance to win and become successful companies in their own right.

Lewis: Yeah, absolutely. And I think they are in a pretty privileged position as a company, because they have this legacy — it’s crazy to call Google Search legacy, but it is legacy in the eyes of the Alphabet holding company. They have this business that creates a ton of money. It’s very high-margin, and it’s still growing at, like you said, high teens, 20%. That gives them so much cash to do stuff with. And Sergey Brin and Larry Page have really wanted people to think outside the box and have these really innovative ideas. To give you a sense of what some of these Other Bets look like — there’s Waymo, which was formerly known as The Self-Driving Car Project. There’s Sidewalk Labs, which is a smart city technology start-up. There’s Verily, which is in life sciences. Calico, Project X, CapitalG. There are a ton of these. You can only get to the position where you’re funding all of these little bets because you have so much money on hand.

Kline: Yeah. And what they also don’t talk a lot about is, there’s a tremendous amount of money invested in evolving search and YouTube and the other successful Google products. That’s a very competitive landscape. But these are all theoretically huge ideas. If you could become the lead company in self-driving cars, that’s obviously something that’s going to be, at least in certain markets, a very big area. And this is giving accountability to that, and making it so, maybe some of these companies will be shut down, maybe some of them will be acquired, maybe they’ll partner. There’s all different ways to do it. And by putting it all in this one system, and sort of taking the emotion of the founders out of it, it gives Google a better position. It’s better for shareholders. I mean, if I was an investor, I’m not sure how much of my money I want put into 10 projects that are all very risky. This isn’t YouTube launching a new show, this is billions of dollars of investment for things that may not pan out that others are also trying to do, so there’s no guarantee you win.

Lewis: I am an Alphabet shareholder, Dan, and I would say, I will look at this business as something where they have a monopoly in one of the greatest pieces of real estate you can possibly have. Their webpage is the homepage for a lot of people who have Google Chrome, and it is the default search engine if you’re in the United States, for sure. So, they have a business that’s not going anywhere, and it’s pretty much a monopoly. And all these Other Bets are basically lottery-ticket-type investments. They’re putting money in, and it feels like a lot, because yeah, it starts with a B, it’s billions. But these are businesses that could wind up being really, really big down the road. And maybe they start to lessen their exposure to them. Sundar Pichai has talked about how they may follow a model very similar to what they’ve done with Verily, where they’ve gotten some outside investors, they’ve created an independent board. But I look at those and I say, even if they wind up getting some other folks to help fund some of this stuff, they’re still going to have pretty big exposure. And if any of these ideas take off, then boom, that’s another great business for this company.

Kline: Yeah. And this becomes what I think of as the Apple problem. If you look at Apple revenue, and you look at, say, the Watch, it doesn’t really feel that successful. But when you look at the overall wearables market, and the percentage of it Apple has, and the growth numbers it’s putting up, if that was a stand-alone company, we’d all be fighting to buy it. And to a lesser extent, you could say that with a lot of other things they’ve done. They’re so big that having a hit that moves the needle is very, very hard. So, in this case, for Google, they spent roughly $2.7 billion in the first three quarters of the year, and they only brought in about $500 million on that. So, they’re losing a lot of money on these. But in the bigger picture of Google, what’s a $3 billion a year investment? It’s not that much. And if one of these ideas pays off, even in a mild way, they’re playing in such a big space that it will probably work. But for something to be considered successful for Google, it has to be absolutely gigantic.

Lewis: And the reason we’re talking about the Other Bets is, Sundar Pichai gave an interview recently where he indicated that following in the footsteps of Ruth Porat, the CFO that they brought in who had more of a Wall Street background, he is going to be looking at a lot of these operations with some more discipline. So, you can expect some outside investors to be coming in. And I think you might start to see Alphabet look a little bit more critically at some of these operations. They obviously want to find that next massive growth lever for them. But I think they also want to be wary of spending too much money on those things.

Kline: Yeah. And, look, you need to be aware of where your investment is going. When anybody starts a business like this, they do a business plan, just like if you and I were starting a coffee shop. And there are milestones. And you want dreamers, but you also want numbers people to say, “Hey, you said you’d be here at this point, and you’re not,” and to make a decision, and can you get back to that? Or have you proven out that there isn’t a market for this? Or, in the case of something like Waymo, did so many people enter this space that maybe you should buy something, maybe you should partner with somebody else huge? There’s a lot of decisions to be made, and they shouldn’t necessarily be made by the idea guy. They should be made by the idea guy holding hands with a very responsible CFO type. And Sundar Pichai seems to be putting in some of that discipline.

Lewis: Alright, we are going to wrap the Netflix and Alphabet discussion there.

Before we wrap up today’s show, though, I want to kick it over to our iTunes reviews. As I mentioned on the past couple Friday episodes, if folks give us a five-star review on iTunes, I’ll read that review and answer any questions they might have in the review on the air, give them a little love. We always appreciate getting some love from our listeners. If you want something discussed on the show, just write in, industryfocus@fool.com, or you can get us @MFIndustryFocus on Twitter as well. Nightsbud writes in, “Very good podcast that’s helped me understand markets, things to look at, look into, be aware of, and best of all, helps me get my retirement portfolio in order. They do a great job of keeping things interesting and on topic, and are still able to mix in humor, real life, and break away from the topic to keep the show fun.” Dan, I think you’re particularly good at that. That’s one of the reasons I love having you on the show, you always bring the humor into it.

Kline: I appreciate that. We are called The Motley Fool. [laughs] I try to bring a little of that to every interview.

Lewis: 100%, we’ve got to have some good fun with this. MJW writes in, “I listen daily and love it. I’m also digging the new intro and the Checks and Balances track.” Austin Morgan just threw his hands up in the air. Don’t worry, MJW, we’re going to be playing today’s episode out with that Checks and Balances track as well. MJW goes on, “I’m more excited for the new Wednesday show because I typically would skip the Wednesday Healthcare episode. Keep it up, guys.” I know that we’ve had some listeners that have written into the show and said, “Healthcare was my absolute favorite, I’m bummed that you guys are getting rid of it.” The plan for us is to regularly have folks like Todd Campbell on that Wildcard Wednesday episode, and also bring Shannon Jones back for some episodes on healthcare. If you have a specific healthcare topic you want to hear us talk about, please write it in, because we’re looking for ideas. We want to make sure that we’re still scratching that itch for our listeners. But we had to make some programming decisions based on the expertise that we had with the hosts, so that’s how we wound up where we wound up.

Dan, I don’t think anybody wants you and me alone doing a Healthcare episode.

Kline: No. I mean, we could do an episode on CVS or some of the consumer-related stuff, but I don’t think they want us breaking down, like, biopharma stocks.

Lewis: [laughs] I think that’s right.

Kline: I’m not even sure if that was the right word.

Lewis: It sounds right. I could do a show like that with Todd Campbell, but I certainly couldn’t do it on my own. We’re just trying to marry people’s expertise with the content that we’re going to be covering to make sure we’re doing a good job doing that.

And we’ve got one more here. This is actually going to tee up something that’ll be coming at you guys in a couple weeks or so. Whatswhat writes in, “Love the content, love the hosts, getting used to the new intro.” Not quite as ringing an endorsement, Austin, but still pretty good. Getting used to it. “I’m 23 years old and the whole family of Motley Fool podcasts made me more excited and informed about investing. Looking forward to 2020, and a special shout out to Emily Flippen, as she hosts the CG IF show. She’s awesome to listen to. One of my favorite episodes to date was Dan Kline and Maurie Backman talking about five tips for buying a new home. I’m nowhere near ready to purchase a home, but some great insights to think over the next couple years. I would love to see an episode about tips for buying a car because that is something that I had to do recently and couldn’t find a ton of content out about it. Fool on, Dylan from Boston.”

Dylan from Boston, thank you for writing in. I appreciate that, Dylan from D.C. reading it here loves to see another Dylan out there. And, they spell it the right way, Dylan. You have to love that.

Dan, you are going to be doing this show with Emily. This is the perfect review to cue us up for an episode. You are going to be talking with Emily about the car-buying process in an episode that’s going to be going out in March?

Kline: Yeah. I think this is a perfect example of how we listen to our feedback. Emily sent me that comment and said, “Hey, you did this show. Do you want to do a car-buying show?” So, she’s got a couple of weeks of vacation, so we’re taping it next week, but it’s actually going to air in March. If listeners send us good ideas, that’s 1,000 times easier for us because we don’t have to think of ideas, we can just do the things you’ve asked us to do. So, please, tell us what you like. If you tag me, @worstideas on Twitter, there’s a decent chance I’m going to answer you, even if you say I’m not very good. [laughs] We really want to interact. We want this to be your show. So, yeah, really excited to tape that show. Also, shout out to Nick Sciple, who I think was the host of the show on house-buying.

Lewis: I think you’re right, yeah. So, listeners, put another way, let us be lazy. Come up with ideas for us, and we’ll be happy to talk about them. Dan, thank you so much for hopping on today’s show. I’m looking forward to that car-buying episode down the road.

Kline: Thanks for having me! And people should also remember, check out our YouTube channel. Dylan will not promote his own work, but he runs that stuff, and there’s really a lot of great videos there.

Lewis: Oh, thank you, Dan, that’s too kind. Listeners, as Dan mentioned, there’s some great stuff on YouTube. Not so many of the podcast episodes there anymore, but some really good investing content for beginners. You can catch it over there. Like we said before, if you’re reaching out to the show, industryfocus@fool.com is where you can send those emails, or you can tweet us @MFIndustryFocus.

As always, people on the program may own companies discussed on the show, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against stocks mentioned, so don’t buy or sell anything based solely on what you hear. Thanks to Austin Morgan for all his work behind the glass today. For Dan Kline, I’m Dylan Lewis. Thanks for listening and Fool on!


Daniel B. Kline owns shares of Apple and Walt Disney. Dylan Lewis owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Apple, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Netflix, Twitter, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends CVS Health and T-Mobile US and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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