Marketplace on RADIO IQ
Marketplace with host Kai Ryssdal produced and distributed by American Public Media focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets.
The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.
Friday, April 17, 2015 3:04pm
There was a time when trolls were just scary fairy tale creatures under bridges harassing billy goats. These days? Trolls are everywhere.
Journalist Jon Ronson documents this public shaming renaissance in his new book, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed."
He highlights the recipients of some recent high-profile, public shamings: a joke on Twitter that came out badly and went viral, a brand compelled to offer compensation to unhappy customers. He says where once there was public humiliation you actually had to show up for, now there are subtweets and anonymous YouTube comments.
"We've created this system for ourselves ... this kind of weird surveillance system, where the only way to survive is to either be bland or silent," Ronsen says.
More often than not, Ronsen says, public shaming stems from good people just trying to do good:
"It was nice people like us wanting to show that we're proper, and ethical, and empathetic and we're attacking—we're punching up, we're attacking people misusing their privilege. It's good people like us that are creating the most destruction."
Ronson himself has recently received a fair amount of Internet backlash surrounding the book release, for a (now cut) line comparing the way men feel about getting fired to the way women feel about rape.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above to hear more, including Ronson's take on Trevor Noah, the new (publicly shamed) host of "The Daily Show."
Friday, April 17, 2015 1:01pm
Whether it's a coupon arriving in your inbox, a time-limited Groupon offer or a tweet alerting you to a right-in-the-moment quickie deal, we've entered an era of instant retail. In other words, flash sales.
Valerie Folkes, marketing professor at USC's Marshall School of Business, says although it may seem counter-intuitive, flash sales can make sense for merchants. Advertising is changing as retailers adapt to new media and younger consumers migrate away from more traditional outlets like TV, commercial radio and newspapers.
A flash sale can entice consumers, make a brand or a restaurant seem exclusive and crowded, or force a potential buyer to stop procrastinating and spend. Take the Groupon example: as the clock ticks down on a deal, the number of buyers climbs. With limited time and limited number of offers, a deal might seem more exclusive. A restaurant might begin to look more popular, and the influx of customers can do a business good.
Folkes notes this short-term satisfaction might not lead to a lasting relationship, but done well, a flash deal can help with brand loyalty. She cites JetBlue, which posts deals that may seem like obvious losses: $32 tickets out of New York City (a deal that only lasted 32 minutes, while it was 32 degrees out) and 90 percent-off sales (on 90 degree days). These sales force customers to act fast, and even though JetBlue might be losing money on some tickets, overall, the sale works as an ad.
"It's kind of a fun idea. It gets people thinking about JetBlue because it reminds people: JetBlue offers all these great deals, I really need to pay attention to Jet Blue, because who knows what they'll next," Folkes says. "What they're really doing here is buying great publicity. They're getting people talking about their airline, and about travel, and if you miss out on this, if you don't actually get on their airplane, you are now thinking about going someplace, and you're thinking about going someplace that JetBlue flies."
But businesses have to be careful not to foster the idea that you should never pay full price. Timing is important, and people buying during a sale should feel that they got lucky. And many people do, especially when they score a great deal that seems like a secret.
George Hobica, head of AirFareWatchdog.com, specializes in secret deals. His company mines flight searchers for the lowest possible fares: the advertised on-sale tickets, the unadvertised super-sale tickets and the blooper fares — mistakes that make flights way, way cheaper than they ever should be.
Getting in on the sweetest deals requires a lot of focus, patience and luck. There are frequently very few seats available and very little time to book. And if you do find out about a deal in time to make a big purchase?
"You really have to jump on it very, very quickly," Hobica says. "What I tell people is put it on a 24 hour hold ... and then talk to your spouses and your friends and get the hotels and get all your ducks in line."
Hobica recommends keeping a vigilant eye on social media and signing up for alerts from sites like AirFareWatchdog, Hopper and Kayak. Even then, it's a little bit like playing musical chairs — except when the music stops, a million people want to sit down.
Friday, April 17, 2015 1:01pm
After moving to Los Angeles in 2006, he helped found Low End Theory, a weekly experimental hip hop and electronic music club night.
Speed is particularly important to Bensussen. If attend one of his gigs, you might notice that the beats of his music are frequently in sync with the beat of your heart. A healthy human heart beats between 60 and 120 beats per minute, he says.
"I come in so quiet and so weird you don't even know it's starting yet," he says. "I build up from 60 BPM to 100 BPM, to 120 if I'm feeling really frisky. ... I sort my experience using the BPMs. I like to stop whatever party was happening before I showed up and I like to start my own."
His new album, "The Gaslamp Killer Experience," comes out April 28th.
Friday, April 17, 2015 1:00pm
The money you hide away: Do you bury it in the back yard? Stuff it in a mattress, or maybe stash it in a 401k?
Tell us where you keep your money! Does it work? We promise, we won't give away any super specific secret hiding places.
Friday, April 17, 2015 1:00pm
The pace of fast food service has been getting slower as menus grow more complex.
"You even see something like Taco Bell has some menu items that have 10, 11, 12 ingredients, whereas it didn't used to be the case. So in order to be able to put together these menu items, it takes a little bit more time," he says.
A survey by the magazine found that as a result, drive-through service is now about 20 seconds slower on average. But the industry wants to work to both simplify, and kick into a higher gear.
Click the media player above to hear the full story.
March 31, 2015