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Business Wars (Ad Free)


Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet, or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.


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Netflix vs. HBO. Nike vs. Adidas. Business is war. Sometimes the prize is your wallet, or your attention. Sometimes, it’s just the fun of beating the other guy. The outcome of these battles shapes what we buy and how we live. Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights -- or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. From Wondery, the network behind Dirty John and American History Tellers.




Macy's vs Gimbels - Last Store Standing

It’s the 1960s and as Americans flee cities for the suburbs, Macy’s and Gimbels face tough choices. How do they compete with the rise of discount retailers and the exciting new shopping palaces known as malls? Weakened by industry disruption, both stores become vulnerable to the new wave of financial tactics — takeovers and leveraged buyouts. One store’s fateful decision during this transition period will end with it closing its doors forever.


Macy’s vs Gimbels - Wartime Wagers

In the late 1930s Gimbels makes a risky bet by stockpiling goods likely to be scarce in wartime. They also snap up their rival’s star copywriter, who does the best work of her career at their shop. Their savvy planning and advertising strength position them well for the post-war period, when Americans open their wallets wide. But the lifting of Depression era regulations governing retail leads to a series of price wars between all the department stores. None is as extreme as the one between...


Macy's vs Gimbels - Diversify or Die

It’s the 1920s and wealthy flappers and captains of industry have money to burn for raccoon coats and monogrammed sterling silver hip flasks. Gimbels makes a risky acquisition of Saks Fifth Avenue, that ends up floating Gimbels through hard times and family tragedy during the Depression. Macy’s counters Gimbels’ strategic expansion by hiring a brilliant young copywriter, one of the first female advertising executives, and entering the new industry of radio broadcasting to advertise to the...


Macy’s vs Gimbels - Showdown Over Manhattan

It’s nearing the turn of the 19th century, and the Straus Brothers now run Macy’s emporium out of a dozen cobbled together stores in lower Manhattan. The next generation of Straus’s pressure the old guard to build a huge new Macy’s flagship on 34th street, in the still seedy red light district of Herald Square. It will take some persuading. And by the time the new venture reaps its reward, the family will be famous for a new reason; the heroism of one of the store’s founding fathers and his...


Macy’s vs Gimbels - Fathers, Sons, and Civil War

As R.H. Macy’s Manhattan emporium and reputation grow during the Civil War, his teenage son rebels and runs away to join the Union army. When the boy goes AWOL, the future of Macy’s burgeoning department store faces jeopardy. But salvation arrives in the form of another recent immigrant from war-torn Germany, Lazarus Straus. His family will lead Macy’s into the next century and a golden age of the department store. But Adam Gimbel has been busy in Indiana; he now has a prosperous business...


Macy’s vs Gimbels - The Frontiersman and the Whaler

It's the mid 1800s and two very different young men set out in the world to make their fortunes. A young boy from Nantucket spends four years at sea on a whaling ship, the other becomes an itinerant peddler in the wilds of Indiana. These two adventurers, R.H. Macy and Adam Gimbel, eventually settle down as merchants, and open their own dry goods stores. They don’t know each other yet, but, as they each grow their businesses, they inadvertently create what we now know as the department store.


The Raisin Cartels - Gambling the Future

In the midst of their heated negotiations over the price of raisins, the CEO of Sun-Maid and the head of the Raisin Bargaining Association face off, each making their pitch about the state of the raisin industry and the road forward. It is the first time the two men have been able to appeal directly to the farmers themselves. Whether the farmers decide to follow Sun-Maid’s plan for a lower price for their raisins but a healthier market overall, or stand by the R.B.A. and a higher pricer for...


The Raisin Cartels - A New Sheriff in Raisin Land

Facing a shrinking raisin market, Sun-Maid hires a new CEO with a mandate to make raisins popular with Millennials. He believes part of the reason consumers are spurning raisins is the price and is set on Sun-Maid paying less money to farmers. This puts him on a collision course with the old school raisin grower who is heading up the Raisin Bargaining Association. With many farmers struggling to make ends meet, the R.B.A. is determined to get the highest price for raisins ever. As the two...


The Raisin Cartels - A Desperate Brotherhood

The humble raisin: it’s hard to imagine that dried grapes are at the center of one of the longest running business wars in the United States. But with almost all of the country’s raisins coming from a small area in California’s Central Valley, it is a brutal and cutthroat industry. In the early 20th century a few wealthy raisin growers decided to form a collective called Sun-Maid. After the government mandated that 85% of growers join the collective, Sun-Maid executives used violence and...


Hershey vs Mars - Global Chocolate Domination

It’s a new century and Hershey’s facing unexpected trouble at home — a showdown between the company and its biggest shareholder that threatens its independence. Meanwhile, Mars is on a mission to become the world’s candy king. And with Hershey yet to break ground outside the U.S., the opportunity to catch up is fading fast. Hershey knows there’s one move that could transform its overseas fortunes: a merger with its British soulmate Cadbury. The question is can it secure Cadbury’s hand in...


Hershey vs Mars - Mars Attacks!

It’s 1965 and Forrest Mars has just become the manufacturer of Snickers and M&M’s. He is now – at last – ready to duke it out with Hershey in a battle to become the number one candy maker in America. And he knows Hershey is far from prepared for his sudden switch from ally to enemy. Hershey is a company wedded to tradition. It has no marketing department, doesn’t advertise, and has a completely complacent sales team. The question is: can Hershey shake off its docile ways in time to stop...


Hershey vs Mars - A Candy-Coated Player

It’s the 1940s and Forrest Mars’ plan to create a candy empire is stepping up a gear. He’s plotting to seize control of his dad’s company Mars and turn it into a Hershey killer. First he needs to get his new candy venture off the ground. But to do that he needs help. Help from Hershey. But while Forrest’s laying plans, Hershey’s trying to get over the death of founder Milton Hershey and grappling with an unexpected opportunity to become a global player.


Hershey vs Mars - Chocolate Town

It’s 1886 and in New York City, a young confectioner called Milton Hershey is desperately trying to save his business. He’s been struggling for years. He founded his first candy business in Philadelphia, only to watch it collapse. His second venture lasted just weeks. Now, he’s loaded up with debts he cannot pay. But he’s about to get a visit from a man who will change his fortunes forever, paving the way for him to introduce America to the joys of milk chocolate… and build a sweets-fueled...


Facebook vs Snapchat - Snapchat's Comeback

It’s June 2018. Mark Zuckerberg is struggling and morale at the social media giant is low. Facebook has been battered by data breaches and there’s no end in sight. Meanwhile, Evan Spiegel has a chance to turn Snapchat around by refocusing on the teens who’ve abandoned Facebook. As Snapchat unveils new features, the startup begins its next battle: To become profitable. And in order to stay the course, Zuckerberg must earn back the trust of Facebook’s users — and regulators who want to break...


Facebook vs Snapchat - Stock Market Tailspin

It’s April 2017, and Mark Zuckerberg is issuing a new challenge to Snapchat. By making its face filters open source, the tech giant is coming directly for Snapchat's most popular feature. But founder Evan Spiegel has other things to worry about: Snapchat is hemorrhaging users, and its share price is plummeting. But when the Cambridge Analytica scandal breaks, Facebook's most pressing battle moves to the court of public opinion


Facebook vs Snapchat - Facebook Fights Back

It's September 2015 and Snapchat has just hit on a game-changer for the young company: filters that augment users' faces. Thanks to some celebrity love, the new feature becomes wildly popular. But Mark Zuckerberg is watching closely, and acquires a competing startup. Then, Zuckerberg switches up his strategy. His new philosophy: Don't be too proud to copy. Unfortunately for Spiegel and Murphy, this is going to have devastating consequences.


Facebook vs Snapchat - The Offer

It’s November 2013, and Mark Zuckerberg is about to make Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy an offer he thinks they can't refuse. But when Spiegel and Murphy do the unimaginable, it prompts Facebook to compete — by copying. Snapchat is gathering steam, but data leaks are hurting the company's credibility and Spiegel's reputation. To survive, they're going to have to do the hardest thing for a startup — grow up.


Facebook vs Snapchat - Children of Privilege

It's the new millennium and Mark Zuckerberg is bored in high school. He's a prodigious student so smart he's already taking graduate level coding classes at Mercy College. Soon, he's going to build a product that will change the Internet forever. Now he just has to graduate high school. Evan Spiegel, meanwhile, grows up rich and spoiled. He parties his way through high school and lands in a fraternity at Stanford. But things are about to get serious for Spiegel as Zuckerberg reaches out.


Facebook vs Snapchat - Vanishing Act

It’s April 2011, and Evan Spiegel is about to present his class project. Right now, it's called Picaboo. Soon, it's going to become Snapchat. But for Spiegel, this is more important than grades--at stake are potential investors and the future of communication as we know it. Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, is sitting on the world's biggest social networking site, boasting 500 million users. But he knows his success depends on staying relevant. To do so, he's going to have to compete with Snapchat.


WWF vs WCW - The Future of Pro Wrestling

World Wrestling Entertainment is the dominant name in professional wrestling but new promotions are now challenging the WWE’s dominance. We conclude our series on WWF vs WCW with David Shoemaker, author of The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. Shoemaker joins us to talk about whether or not these new companies can take on the Vince McMahon behemoth and what it means to be the best professional wrestler in the world.