CNBC.com’s MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day’s top business news headlines. On today’s show, CNBC’s Julia Boorstin breaks down the explosive subscriber growth of Disney+. Also, CNBC.com’s Todd Haselton gives us a first look at all $549 worth of Apple’s new AirPods Max.
Disney shows off the unstoppable power of its franchises as stock hits an all-time high
Disney’s four-hour investor day Thursday was a show of force.
Keeping people in front of screens for four hours to watch an investor day is absurd. The event had multiple intermissions!
But as Disney rolled out show after show for Disney+ — methodically ticking off Marvel character after Marvel character, Star Wars spinoff after Star Wars spinoff, Pixar movie after Pixar movie (The Verge did you a favor and culled the list of announcements to the most important 52) — I couldn’t help but think about how Disney is playing the streaming video game at an entirely different level from its competition.
For pretty much every other company in the streaming wars, the goal is to acquire the most popular content to entice paying monthly subscribers. That turns content spending into an arms race as companies including Netflix, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS and Discovery throw darts at series, producers, actors and ideas in the hopes of generating zeitgeist-y hits.
Here’s a first look at Apple’s $549 AirPods Max headphones
Apple sent me a pair of its new AirPods Max headphones to check out ahead of their release on Dec. 15. The $549 price tag shocked a lot of people when Apple unveiled them earlier this week. And, yeah, that’s a lot of money. But they sure are nice.
Apple dominates the Bluetooth headphone business, with more than a 50% share of the market, according to Strategy Analytics. That’s thanks to the huge success of the original AirPods and AirPods Pro. With the AirPods Max, Apple built a luxury pair of headphones that borrows some of the features from the AirPods Pro but with larger speakers and more premium materials like steel and aluminum and better sound.
Lululemon earnings, sales top estimates on strong demand for workout gear
Lululemon on Thursday reported sales of $1.1 billion, up 22% from a year ago and beating analysts’ estimates, as shoppers frequented the retailer’s stores and website to buy workout apparel during the period.
In North America, net revenue grew 19%, boosted by its e-commerce business. Overall direct to consumer revenue increased 94%, the company said, representing 42.8% of total revenue compared with 26.9% a year ago. This represents the sales that Lululemon makes straight to consumers, using its stores and website, without any middlemen.
Due to the uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced it to shut a handful of its stores temporarily again, Lululemon is not offering a full outlook for 2020. Like others in retail, Lululemon faces the threat of additional store closures, with coronavirus cases still surging in the U.S. and in other parts of the world.