As I mentioned previously Spotify needed to implement a “family plan”, which they’ve now done and announced yesterday.

But if subscription services are to gain the mass they need to be viable into the long-term, I believe optimal pricing is somewhere around $3 per month per user for a family-type plan, perhaps $5-8 for individuals.

As it stands, Spotify’s Family Plan offers a 50% discount off each extra account. For my family of four, that’s $25 per month; $300 per year. Pass!

According to Re/code:

Apple has been pushing the labels for more extensive price cuts. It wants to relaunch the Beats Music subscription service it bought last spring next year, and industry scuttlebutt is that it’s trying to get the price cut in half, to $5 a month.

Anyhow, why I call their Family Plan a fail is that they’ve gone half way. Why not simply cut the price to $5 for everyone on the plan. Simple.

Portishead’s Dummy was a revelation when I first heard it and like all great records has retained its vitality while revealing something new on each listen. Hope you like it too.

As an aside, I drove the band around Brisbane, Australia on their last tour. They really are fantastic people.

Short and fascinating Google production on the science of talking with computers. Well worth your time to help understand where we’re going. Here’s Google’s page on speech processing for more.

Some biz related books I’ve really enjoyed this year:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz taught lessons about how not to fail. A must read for startup founders.

Since I’m contrarian to a fault, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future was hugely enjoyable. Interesting how folks seemed to have zoomed in on his view of monopolies.

Which brings me to Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, which had U.S. economists up in arms and their Euro counterparts swooning.

According to the sheeple I ought to buy a copy of Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks. It was brought back to life by Open Road Media after Bill Gates mentioned it was his favorite biz book in a WSJ piece.

Last and most certainly not least is Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys. If Lewis’ prior works The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and Liar’s Poker, hadn’t made it abundantly clear how rigged Wall Street and financial markets are this sealed the deal. I read Flash Boys in one sitting and promptly bought Liar’s Poker and Big Short: they’re that good!

Telsa (TSLA) stock hit the skids this week after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a client note and as reported by WSJ:

“We believe the shares are worth $320, but perhaps not so quickly and not for some of the reasons we believe are driving the market,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients. He added that he doesn’t foresee the stock appreciating “so consistently and one-directionally from here.”

So Jonas/Morgan Stanley is still bullish and overweight on TSLA, but because it’s a car company?

Toyota (TM), the world’s biggest car manufacturer, trades at $117; Volkswagen, the world’s most impressive car co (imho, behind Tesla) trades on a number of Euro exchanges in the range $179-$218; while Ford (F) trades at $16, GM at $34 and Honda (HMC) at $34.

Yes Tesla obviously makes cars, but to me it looks like a battery tech and electric drive train company. Valued at $320 ..?

How well Tesla can scale this business beyond its own vehicles should determine the company’s forward value, especially since the $35,000 tagged “consumer” Tesla is still well out of reach of most consumers. (It obviously doesn’t look like it for Tesla-philes or Wall Street analysts, but it most certainly is.)

Perhaps Morgan Stanley’s $320 price target is right and the underlying business was discussed in the client note? If so the media missed it.

As an aside, I totally agree with Adam Jonas’ astute observation regarding the “end of driving”:

“Our 15 year [discounted cash flow] coincides with the end of human driving and the dawn of crowd sourced mobility and mega fleets,” Mr. Jonas said. “Assuming people even buy cars at all, what will determine Tesla’s strategic and competitive advantage as a provider of mobility? … The rules are changing and at least some incumbent [auto makers, such as BMW] are not falling asleep at the (disappearing) steering wheel.”