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What happens when media, entertainment, and technology collide? Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians and podcasters to get their take. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

What happens when media, entertainment, and technology collide? Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians and podcasters to get their take. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.


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What happens when media, entertainment, and technology collide? Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians and podcasters to get their take. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.




Don't tell investor Li Jin that Web3 is dead

Investor Li Jin helped popularize the idea of the Creator Economy — the theory that many people who make stuff online could and should get paid for that work. Then she merged that pitch with an embrace of crypto/Web3 — and by 2021 the New York Times was calling her the “It Girl in venture capital.” Now many of the people who embraced both creator economy investments and crypto want nothing to do with that. But not Jin, who says she’s still all in. She talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about...


How The Last of Us went from hit game to hit zombie tv

The critically-lauded video game The Last of Us is now a critically-lauded HBO series. It's about a global pandemic that turns much of the world’s population into zombie-like monsters. Executive producer (and former roommate of Ted Cruz) Craig Mazin talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about what makes the game special — and adaptable into prestige television. Mazin dives into how he went from writing The Hangover sequels to making Chernobyl, and the science and emotional math of storytelling....


"Resist trying to make things better" - a conversation with internet security expert Alex Stamos

A new study in the journal Nature Communications finds "no evidence of a meaningful relationship" between Russian disinformation and voting behavior in the 2016 election. If disinformation maybe isn’t as effective as we assumed, does that change social networks’ responsibility to control it? Recode’s Peter Kafka discusses it with Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook and director of the Stanford Internet Observatory. They touch on the insurrection in Brazil, and Hunter...


Was YouTube’s NFL deal a $2 billion mistake?

For the first time in 3 decades, NFL’s Sunday Ticket - a subscription service that lets viewers watch many but not all of the NFL’s games each week - has a new home: YouTube TV. The deal will cost YouTube/Google/Alphabet $2 billion a year. Was it it worth it? There’s no one better to answer that question than Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand. He joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk about the deal — and what it tells us about other moves by tech giants to get into big-time sports....


Apple’s new goggles; Hollywood’s new streaming pitch.

Before we face the reality of 2023, we discuss the state of virtual reality — specifically, the still-unannounced VR/AR headset Apple’s been developing for years. The Information’s Wayne Ma joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to share the details of his latest report on the device, which he predicts will cost $3,000 and debut this year. Then, Jeremy Zimmer, the CEO of United Talent Agency, talks to Peter about Hollywood’s economics and the way he’d like them to change, particularly as streamers like...


Reader Mail!

Recode’s Peter Kafka answers listener questions about Twitter, niche content streaming, print media microtransactions, regional sports networks and more. Peter’s producers and son also make appearances in descending order according to age. Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More to explore: Subscribe for free to Recode Media, Peter Kafka, one of the media industry's most acclaimed reporters, talks to business titans, journalists, comedians, and more to get their take on...


An Elon-free year in review

The Earth has just about completed its latest orbit around the sun, which means it’s time to take a look at what was happening over the past 584 million miles. Joining Recode’s Peter Kafka is Bloomberg’s, Lucas Shaw. Together, they tackle what Avatar: The Way of Water means for Disney, why concerts are doing well and in-person movies are doing meh, and HBO Max and Netflix’s pivot to gaming. Plus, they have a Tik Tok-length discussion about Tik Tok. Featuring: Lucas Shaw (@Lucas_Shaw),...


A n00b’s guide to the Microsoft / Activision deal the FTC wants to stop

The FTC wants to (candy) crush Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Inc., the makers of games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. Meanwhile, Microsoft, the maker of Xbox, assures Call of Duty players they’ll still be able to shoot Nazi zombies on rivals’ consoles. For an overview of the gaming business in general and this acquisition in particular, Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Bloomberg’s Jason Schrier, co-host of the podcast Triple Click and bestselling author...


Why the media landscape is “dire” with WSJ’s Jessica Toonkel

Layoffs, Disney CEO take-backsies, and the Netflix of it all — this week, Recode’s Peter Kafka catches up on the not-that-upbeat media industry with Jessica Toonkel, deputy media editor at The Wall Street Journal. They discuss why Big Media companies of every variety are struggling to please investors, advertisers and users, and why good news isn’t coming anytime soon. Also: WTF is Netflix’s video game business going to be? (And if you do want to check out a Netflix-branded mobile game,...


How Eventbrite survived the pandemic, and why it’s not fighting Ticketmaster

Selling tickets for live events can be… tricky, as Ticketmaster has proven yet again. But Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz runs a much smaller ticketing business and says she’s learned valuable lessons after the pandemic brought her revenue to zero. She talks to Recode’s Peter Kafka about growing once again — and how she’s preparing for a potential recession. Featuring: Julia Hartz (@juliahartz), CEO of Eventbrite Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More to explore: Subscribe for...


It’s not TV it’s HBO — the book

HBO’s 50-year-old history tells you a lot about culture, business, and TV’s past and future. This perhaps explains why we’ve seen two HBO books in the last 12 months. Felix Gillette is the co-author of the newest one: It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO. He sits down with Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk about HBO’s story, and the impact his book made before it even hit the shelves. Featuring: Felix Gillette (@felixgillette), editor for Business Insider and Author...


How to watch a complicated World Cup

Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup, casting a pall over one of the globe’s most-watched sporting events. Men With Blazers co-host Roger Bennett joins Recode’s Peter Kafka to talk through the geopolitical awareness and cognitive dissonance required to enjoy this year’s tournament. First they tackle the human rights abuses of Qatar and the perennial corruption of FIFA. Then, they get into the games — players to watch, which countries have a chance, and we learn that PETER KAFKA WAS BORN IN...


Life, the internet, and everything with Garbage Day’s Ryan Broderick

Ryan Broderick is very online so you don’t have to be. His internet culture Substack ‘Garbage Day’ is a mix of thought-provoking analysis, trend reporting, and, when you read all the way to the end, dumb memes. In this wide-ranging coversation with Recode’s Peter Kafka, he talks about the big topic of the day: An explanation of NyQuil chicken. But before that, Twitter — and Ryan reminds us that there are some places on the internet where people are actually having a good time. Plus, a whole...


What Elon’s past tells us about his present

This is not an emergency podcast, but, you know, maybe it will be? As questions swirl around what exactly Elon Musk is doing at Twitter (and why) we wanted to take a look at Musk’s history and how it might inform WTF is happening now. Fortunately, we’re joined by Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, author of “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.” Recode Media’s Peter Kafka talks to Vance about Musk’s rise, how his public persona changed over the years, and his flirtations...


Tech’s big bust, plus Marvel (and Wakanda) Forever?

Mass layoffs and cutbacks at companies like Meta and Twitter point to a slowdown (and chaos) in tech. Bloomberg tech reporter Sarah Frier helps us sort through the madness. Then, Disney has used Marvel movies to basically print money over the past ten years. With the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” we look at whether that strategy will continue to be a winning one with pop culture expert and X-Ray Vision podcaster Jason Concepcion.  Featuring: Jason Concepcion (@netw3rk),...


Election special with Punchbowl's Jake Sherman

Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman joins us from the U.S. Capitol building just in time for the 2022 midterm elections. Recode’s Peter Kafka hits him up for some election spoilers. Then he gets into the business of Punchbowl News: He asks Sherman what drove him to leave Politico, and how Punchbowl’s various revenue streams work (including a $300 annual subscription) and why Sherman isn’t worried about raising money. Featuring: Jake Sherman(@JakeSherman), Co-Founder of Punchbowl News...


Jason Gay isn’t making Elon Musk jokes

We’re taking a short break from the Twitter shitshow to give you an interview with Jason Gay, sports and humor columnist at The Wall Street Journal. His new book is “I Wouldn’t Do That If I Were Me: Modern Blunders and Modest Triumphs (but Mostly Blunders).” Gay talks to Peter Kafka about what it’s like to write humor for a publication that’s not exactly known for that, the cognitive dissonance required to enjoy football, and why he isn’t interested in making Elon Musk jokes. Featuring:...


Bloomberg’s Matt Levine still loves crypto; Ankler’s Janice Min loves newsletters

When Bloomberg’s Matt Levine sent an enticing email about “a big thing coming out about crypto in Businessweek,” Recode’s Peter Kafka couldn’t resist. Turns out, the “big thing” is a 40,000(!) word piece that took over the entire magazine, titled “The Crypto Story." Levine explains why he wrote a 40,000(!) word piece about cryptocurrency, which he thinks is fascinating even if the boom has turned to a bust. Plus some bonus thoughts on the end (?) of the Elon Musk Buys Twitter Saga, and What...


Ben Smith says Semafor will take 10 years to get right

One week after the launch of Semafor, Recode’s Peter Kafka flags down the news startup’s co-founder Ben Smith. Who is Semafor for, really? How can a news startup based in NYC and Washington solve polarization? What, exactly, is a “Semaform” and what’s the point of it? And what New York Times office amenity does Smith miss the most? Featuring: Ben Smith (@semaforben), Editor-In-Chief at Semafor Host: Peter Kafka (@pkafka), Senior Editor at Recode More to explore: Subscribe for free to Recode...


Netflix is back (?) + Julia Boorstin on women who lead

Netflix added 2.4 million subscribers! Ads are coming! Wall Street’s excited again! But is Netflix back for real? Recode’s Peter Kafka talks to Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw to get a reality check on the streamer and the streaming business. And then, CNBC’s Senior Tech & Media Correspondent, Julia Boorstin, joins Peter for a wide-ranging interview about the latest media news, her career, and her new book "When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them." And...