The 11th Hour Dispatch – Tuesday, April 3, 2018

| April 3, 2018

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BINGE WATCH

Pluto TV has hired former Turner Sports VP of sales and Bleacher Report chief revenue officer Rich Calacci as its first CRO. The free TV service has also hired Harold Morgenstern as head of national ad sales and Matt Katrosar as head of West Coast advertising sales. The company plans to open national ad sales offices in Detroit and Chicago and has been working to bulk out its executive lineup. These hires follow the January addition of Mike Drath as COO and CFO and Jeff Shultz as CBO. To date, the company has raised more than $51 million, $5 million of which came from an investment from Samsung Ventures in 2017. 

YOUNG MONEY

Spotify’s long-awaited debut on the NYSE took place today, and the company started trading at $165.90. This values the popular music streaming company at $29.5 billion, which is quite a bit higher than its recent $19 billion valuation. Just yesterday, the NYSE issued a reference per share price of $132, which is intended to guide pricing ahead of a new stock’s debut. As you can see, Spotify soared through that number, which would have valued the company at $23.5 billion. Spotify, which has been losing money but gaining user numbers at an astonishing rate, better hope that its IPO gives it a boost, as competitors are hungry to give it a run for its money — literally. Just yesterday, The Weeknd’s new single was streamed almost twice as much on Apple Music (Spotify’s largest competitor) despite a considerably smaller user base, which has many speculating that Apple Music’s subscribers are much more engaged than your regular ole man on the street getting carpal tunnel as he scrolls through his mostly mediocre Spotify Discover Weekly playlist.  

BIG BUSINESS

Adobe has found that 28% of its website traffic comes from non-human sources like bots, clickfarms, and Sophia the Devil Robot (not really, but not disproved either; also not her legal name but definitely should be). The company is now working with clients in the travel, retail, and publishing industries to figure out exactly how much of their site traffic doesn’t have a heartbeat. User fraud such as this prevents brands from fully understanding their audiences for advertising purposes, and it’s a growing problem. Adobe is hardly the first to face the issue, but it is presenting a large number of falsified visits and puts a magnifying glass on how bad this issue can be.

WHAT GOES AROUND

Hershey’s is spending $500 million on production of sustainable chocolate by enacting practices to eliminate child exploitation and increase the amount of cocoa plants in shade-heavy areas, which allows plants be productive for up to 15 years longer than plants grown in constant sun. The Cocoa for Good program will focus on “nourishing children, empowering youth, building prosperous communities, and preserving natural ecosystems.” The global cocoa supply has been fairly volatile over the last few years. Its price shot up 39% this year after it fell 41% the two years prior. Hershey has boosted its purchases of certified and sustainable cocoa as of late. In fact, it made up 75% of its total cocoa purchases in 2017. This newly announced effort might help it reach its 100% sustainable cocoa goal by 2020. 

NOTHIN’ BUT ‘NET

Someone must have gotten ahold of my dream journal because Cardi B is co-hostingThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday.

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