DiscoverSharp Tech with Ben Thompson
Sharp Tech with Ben Thompson
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Sharp Tech with Ben Thompson

Author: Andrew Sharp and Ben Thompson

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A podcast about understanding how tech works and the way it is changing the world. Hosted by Andrew Sharp with Ben Thompson.
89 Episodes
A filing error for Microsoft and early backlash to the latest Apple accessory, a question about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto leads to an extended look at the auto industry, follow-up to the proposed Godfather Disney bundle, and what to make of Max and streaming. At the end: The economics of the airline industry and why Delta had to reform its SkyMiles plan.
How the history of Google and may predict the future for YouTube, the stakes for Disney and Bob Iger as the earth shifts underneath them, and various considerations for consumers and content makers alike as the entertainment industry prepares for a new era. At the end: missed exit opportunities, a few antitrust digressions, and one man's iPhone 15 grievance.
Reactions to Tuesday’s iPhone event at Apple, the recent history of the development landscape in gaming, and an overview of the flaws in the plan Unity announced this week. At the end: Competing thoughts on the NFL and NBA, John Malone’s portfolio, and Taylor Swift in theaters.
The eleventh hour agreement between Charter and Disney, why Charter was the clear winner but Disney will benefit regardless, and what Charter’s investments say about the future of internet in America. At the end: Reactions to a breakthrough chip from Huawei and SMIC and its potential implications on US-China policy.
The ongoing Disney-Charter dispute, why the power dynamics appear to have shifted underneath ESPN’s feet, and what this dispute could mean for the future of the streaming landscape and cable operators. At the end: Why the NBA and other leagues should be careful about looking to big tech to replace big cable.
The logic underlying both sides of Shopify’s move to incorporate Buy with Prime, a question about disruption yields an an answer about AI, and a few updates on streaming services. At the end: Apple’s AirPod empire and Max Verstappen’s dominance.
Another round of monster earnings for Nvidia, the challenges and opportunities that will define the next decade for Nvidia and other AI players, and questions on Sony's success and Adyen's hiring practices. At the end: More on nut picker-uppers!
The Wall Street Journal’s expansive look at the Chinese economy inspires an analogy for the comparative strength of America, two questions on Microsoft, and some follow-up to last week’s enthusiasm for ad-supported streaming services. At the end: Spotify has a White Noise controversy, and a rejection of calls for branding democracy.
Next steps for a direct-to-consumer ESPN are beginning to come into view, Disney’s tech challenges and Bob Iger’s streaming price hikes, and an overview of Fox and the legacy telecoms companies. At the end: college football analogy clarification and various Tik-Tot follow-up.
Ben’s experience seeing Taylor Swift live in Los Angeles, what her success can teach us about the modern entertainment landscape, and a closer look at Apple and Disney. At the end: Harsh reality after a hell of a ride for LK-99.
Musk vs. Zuckerberg as the undercard to another round of Meta vs. the European Union, Microsoft's pricing strategy for Copilot, and the latest universally unpopular move that makes perfect sense for college football's biggest market participants. At the end: Free speech follow-up and introducing Tik-Tot, our new parenting segment.
A look at LK-99 and the various ways a room temperature superconductor might change the world, EU and US officials express concern over China’s move toward trailing edge chips, and recent Intel lobbying efforts highlight the challenge of real decoupling and the nuances of US-China competition. At the end: The Elon deliberate sabotage theory and a call for parenting questions.
The Wall Street Journal's report that Facebook removed content related to Covid-19 in response to pressure from the Biden administration, both the principled and pragmatic cases for not repeating that pattern in the future, and a listener wonders whether CTO should be an official member of the Presidential cabinet. At the end: Mailbag questions on Fusion and Starlink technology, a Taylor Swift streaming service, and raising phonk awareness.
Checking in with Netflix as the ad-supported model matures, more on streaming residuals and the future of movies and TV, and general thoughts on the latest news at “X,” née Twitter. At the end: Follow-up on AI and concerns over the Meta’s open source LLM.
Meta makes its large language model free for commercial and research use, why enabling a dispersed development environment could help Meta's business and AI consumers as a whole, and thoughts on ChatGPT as its momentum slows. At the end: A warning to movie stars, while lazy sports continue to take the world by storm.
The familiar tech stories underlying the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, why streaming residuals are so difficult to calculate, and Disney's current problems as a microcosm for the entertainment industry as a whole. At the end: A few words about coffee.
The push to enjoin the Microsoft-Activision merger and why it failed, the broader challenges inherent to applying existing antitrust laws to tech, and the uncertainty clouding Microsoft's next moves in the UK and elsewhere. At the end: A word about Top Chef and answering some mail on Twitter and Threads.
Tracing the recent social media history that led to Threads, 70 million users in three days (and whether Meta can keep them coming back), an early contender for worst Thread of all time, and the dysfunction at Twitter that has now opened the door to a wide variety of challengers.
Boom Supersonic and the (possibly) imminent future of supersonic commercial air travel, listener emails on Apple and Sony, TSMC, Google’s graveyard, Reddit, and European regulation. At the end: the BBS glory days, tech origin stories, and recs for a weekend in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Prince Harry "grifter" controversy as an object lesson in the internet content economy, what Spotify has (and maybe hasn't) learned from its adventures in podcast development, and the strategies on both sides of the announcement that GM and Ford will use Tesla's charging network for their EVs. At the end: A rumored HBO pivot prompts a victory lap live on the podcast.
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Jun 22nd
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