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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.
Friday, April 18, 2014 11:49am
Venture capitalists are pouring money into internet startups again: they’ve invested $9.5 billion in various startups so far this year, according to the latest MoneyTree report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters.
The report claims we haven't seen this much venture capital floating around since 2001, as the dot com bubble was starting to deflate. Right now, web ventures are getting the most investment money, and biotech is a distant second.
“The amount of capital that a startup requires now is much less,” says venture capitalist Peter Cohan, president of Peter S. Cohan & Associates. Cohan says startups are cheaper now because technology is so much more advanced than it was in the 90s. And it costs a lot less.
Some startups that failed in the 90s are being tried again. Things like online currier services. They weren't feasbile in the 90s, because there weren’t any smart phones yet.
“It was very difficult to track curriers and pinpoint where they are so it was very difficult to deliver,” says Jalak Jobanputra, founder of Future Perfect Ventures, another venture capital firm.
Is all this startup money blowing up a bubble? Jobanputra says yes. But it probably won’t pop. Instead, she expects it to deflate, slowly.
Friday, April 18, 2014 6:52am
A case going before the Supreme Court next Tuesday pits traditional television broadcasters against Aereo, which lets customers record broadcast TV in their local markets and then watch programs via television, computer, tablet or smartphone. The technology that makes it possible is a farm of thousands of tiny antennas, each smaller than a nickel.
"It is just racks and racks of storage equipment and transcoding equipment for rendering the signal, storing the signal, and providing recording functionality for the consumers," says Aereo's chief executive, Chet Kanojia, at one such data center, a 10,000-square-foot facility in Brooklyn.
The antennas pick up signals coming from the nearby Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower. Customers are assigned an antenna and a DVR, they choose what to record and when, for a few dollars a month.
"The important thing is it is a one-to-one relationship," Kanojia says. "So, one antenna, one file, one stream, all under a consumer's control at all times."
The case – in which some say billions of dollars are potentially at stake – hinges on what constitutes a public broadcast versus a private one, under copyright law.
Tom Nachbar, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, frames the question this way: "By performing that service for thousands of people at the same time, although totally individually, are they doing what is essentially a transmission to the public?"
When it comes to copyright, there's a difference between a private performance – watching or recording something in your home, for example – and a public one – taking a copyrighted work and distributing it widely.
Aereo's opponents say the company is doing the latter: "They're grabbing signals out of the air without paying for them, and then trying to make a profit off of that," says attorney Neal Katyal, who is advising the broadcasters suing Aereo. "That's not the American way."
Every year, broadcasters invest billions of dollars in creating content, Katyal says, and they recoup those costs with ads. On top of that, Nachbar adds cable providers pay for the right to distribute local channels. Aereo, which serves 13 markets, doesn't, and that's why the case could be so monumental.
If the court rules in Aereo's favor, those cable providers could argue they shouldn't have to pay the broadcasters either.
"It really is a threat to the current structure of the way broadcast television works," *Nachbar notes.
Friday, April 18, 2014 6:05am
From Good Friday services to the Passover seder and beyond, it's a time of year that is full of reminders that there's more to life than material things. And some business thinkers are catching on.
Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy, argues we've entered a new era of people demanding their work add up to something. He joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss.
Click on the audio player above to hear more.
Friday, April 18, 2014 5:38am
Japan and the U.S. are having beef over the price of meat.
The U.S. is pressuring Japan to remove import tariffs on pork and beef as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a proposed new free trade agreement being discussed by twelve countries on the Pacific Rim. Next week when President Obama goes to Tokyo this issue will be high on the agenda.
Japan is the world's top importer of pork — Japanese eat expensive tenderloins and cutlets deep fried into crispy katsu.
"Over 25 percent of the U.S. pork is exported, and Japan is our most consistent trading partner," says Bob Ivey, general manager of Maxwell Foods, a major U.S. pork producer that sells to Japan. "So we are very excited about the new trade agreement."
But that agreement won't be easy. Japan has traditionally protected its agricultural commodities. Japanese Wagyu beef is renowned, and their pork industry is one of the world's largest. Still, the U.S. is pushing for much lower import tariffs on its meat.
"That's the U.S. demand. You could say roughly free trade in a little less than a generation," says Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, and international economics think tank. "This will be one of those down to the wire deals."
If they can't work this out, Hufbauer says Japan could drop out of the agreement altogether.
Friday, April 18, 2014 5:00am
It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
This week we're joined by corporate reporter for Quartz, John McDuling.
June 25, 2013