The optimistic case for Spotify Technology (NYSE: SPOT) has always been that it would create an advertising network like Facebook, except for your ears and not your eyes. The company can connect listeners and creators of music, podcasts, and audiobooks with highly targeted ads from advertisers around the world, generating revenue that can be shared with suppliers. Spotify might not have Facebook's upside in terms of scale, but the potential for a very profitable, sticky business is there.
Despite a challenging environment, Alphabet still managed to grow its revenue by 13% year over year (YOY), although its operating margin slipped from 31% last year to 28%. Alphabet still produced $12.6 billion in free cash flow, giving it plenty of resources to execute its ambitious buyback plan (Alphabet repurchased $15.2 billion in shares during the second quarter).
It might be time for investors to turn their attention to the next generation of game-changing companies.