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Marketplace on RADIO IQ with BBC
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.
Monday, March 10, 2014 3:25pm
Burkey Belser is the man behind the original nutrition facts label and the energy guide. He's got his own suggestion for the redesign.
Here are the current nutrition label (left), the FDA's suggested nutrition label (middle), and Belser's suggested nutrition label (right):
And just for kicks, here's the original label from the 1970s:
Monday, March 10, 2014 2:27pm
We're not very far into 2014, but you can already call this the year of the IPO. So far, more than 40 companies have gone public. That's more than double last year at this time and the most since the economic boom year of 2007. "And the party’s just starting," says John Fitzgibbon, founder of IPO Scoop. He says the IPO boom is all about the strong stock market. "It’s very simple approach. Good stock market equals good IPO market. Lousy market, kiss it goodbye."
The stock market has been a bit bumpy, but worries about a crash are easing. Investors now want to put their money into companies they think will deliver solid returns. "The increase in the activity for the IPO market is really a statement of how much the market had been held back in the previous last few years," says David Menlow, president of IPO Financial.com. And Menlow says many companies feel they’ve gotta go public before the other guy. "They’ll be a sense of urgency as we move through the year and businesses will expand and as a result we’re expecting all boats to rise with the tide."
Menlow expects we’ll see the IPO pace keep up through the end of the year.
Monday, March 10, 2014 1:47pm
Lauren Wolkstein has her eyes glued to YouTube, watching the latest Wes Anderson movie. She gives a startled laugh as Jason Schwartzman's character's car crashes into a wall.
This seven minute film is not for theaters. It's for Prada, the fashion label.
“This is actually very entertaining,” Wolkstein says. She's an indie film director herself. She's had three films at Sundance. And like Wes Anderson, she's also made a short film for a fashion label, Gucci.
Which begs the question: Why are these famous directors selling out?
“To me,” Wolkstein says of her experience working for Gucci, “it was like, 'Oh, I don't have to worry about dressing the actors, I don't have to worry about the location, they gave me everything to play with, and I was able to tell a story, with these amazing clothes!''
Wolkstein says it can take years to raise enough money to finance a film, even for established indie directors. Commissions from big brands take that problem away.
"They're saying 'I love your work, here's some money, pretty much take this money and run with it and tell your stories.' And the only requirement, if any, is to put their name and the brand on the film."
She says having a fashion brand as your patron, giving you free rein, it actually raises a filmmaker's street cred.
But what's in it for the brand?
“I think fashion brands for a long time struggled to go online,” says Quynh Mai, founder of the agency Moving Image and Content, which helps fashion companies with digital marketing. “They sell exclusivity, aspiration. And for a long time the online space was the antithesis of that.”
Mai says having a web film with a fancy director gives fashion houses the exclusivity they're aiming for.
“When brands like Prada spend exorbitant amount of moneys on their films online,” Mai says, “they're trying to create a halo effect for their brand – that crosses not only their target consumer but maybe the consumer who buys their sunglasses, or buys their nail polish.”
Although, Mai says, when brands hire big name directors to make their films, it can take away attention from the brand.
“All people say is, 'Have you seen that Wes Anderson short?'” she says. “I’m not sure that that was a Prada piece.”
But director Lauren Wolkstein says hiring an indie director can actually save a brand money, because they're used to making films on a smaller budget than most commercial crews.
Monday, March 10, 2014 12:30pm
For a cloud storage company that has some major competition, Box's future seems to be getting brighter and brighter. We interviewed the company's CEO Aaron Levie at South By Southwest ahead of his presentation in Austin, and he let us in on a bit of news. Just as Box is projecting to double revenue this year to over $200 million, Levie and company have also drawn new funding from Ashton Kutcher. Ahead of the announcement, Levie told us:
"Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary invested in the company, and that was really around our focus and strategic push within the media and entertainment space...Companies like Sony Music, CIA, Live Nation, Wasserman Media Group -- all of these companies use Box to share and collaborate around their information, and we would like to go work even deeper in this market, so we are looking forward to having them on as strategic partners."
Our interview with Levie touched on everything from the pressures of a young entrepeneur to how Box was able to survive in a space where giant companies like Microsoft and Amazon were already established. Check back here for the full interview.
Monday, March 10, 2014 9:17am
Last year, Americans used public transportation to take 10.7 billion trips. According to the American Public Transportation Association, ridership hasn’t been that high since 1956.
“It’s truly a fundamental shift in how people are moving about their communities,” says Michael Melaniphy, the group’s president and CEO, noting the growth started several years ago. “Initially, when fuel prices spiked, it drove people to transit, and once they came, they decided it was good, and they stayed.”
There is a correlation, Melaniphy says, between high ridership and the health of the U.S. economy. Sixty percent of trips taken on public transit are work commutes.
However, Michael Moss, who directs the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, argues the other 40 percent is also important:
“Mass transit today is not just a peak-hour activity,” he says. As public transportation becomes more popular, and as cities spend more money on expanding it, transit systems are opening earlier and closing later.
“There was a time when you said, ‘I want to live near a good school district,’” Moss says. “Today, people want to live near a good transit connection.”
Moss is referring to young people especially, who are ever less likely to own cars.
June 25, 2013