I may have learned more from my write-up last week than any of you did.
I learned that many, many of you want more humor – particularly drinking-related humor – in my prose. I had more flattering feedback last weekend than I’ve had in any full quarter since I started writing this thing.
I also learned that a few people don’t want any humor – at least not drinking-related humor – in their Saturday inbox. I had a few uncharacteristic ‘unsubscribes’ – including one very famous member of the media – and more than one unpleasant reply.
And now that we’ve chased off all the killjoys and teetotalers, we can really have some fun.
Here’s what we’re seeing this week:
Everyone needs to calm the hell down about Snapchat vs. Facebook. My head almost exploded from all the “Snapchat’s stealing all the young people from Facebook!” squealing in the biz press this week. Yes, Snapchat is growing, which we could have told you months ago (if our paying clients didn’t get crabby about us publishing secrets like that before earnings calls). But the idea that Facebook is bleeding to death is absurd. Head-to-head, Facebook + Instagram’s story about GenZ is still number one at the box office, by a lot. Everybody just chill.
It’s not just Trumpies who are driving the meteoric climb in consumer confidence. Since I enjoy bragging when we’re right. I have to call myself out when I’m wrong. I thought the continued rise of U.S. economic sentiment was being pushed by Trump voters, who were particularly sour before DJT took office. Indeed, confidence among the Trump Cohort (notably white, rural/suburban, older male Republicans) almost jumped off the chart last January. But sentiment among non-Trumpies (the green line) has climbed steadily too. This tells us two things: 1) Economic warm-and-fuzzies are widespread and 2) While the Trump cohort isn’t large enough to profoundly impact U.S. macro indicators, they’re certainly large enough to swing an election.
In related news, investor confidence improved yet again. Our monthly PNC-CivicScience Investor Sentiment Index came out this week. If you geek out about this stuff, you can see the numbers behind the numbers here.
Jeff Bezos probably isn’t popping Xanax over Sam’s Club’s free online shipping initiative. You may have seen the announcement from Bentonville this week that Sam’s Club would begin offering free shipping to members of its “Plus” program. We ran some same-day numbers after the announcement and the early returns aren’t mind-blowing. Perhaps the new feature will get more current Sam’s Club members from migrating to Amazon Prime but only 4% of U.S. adults say they are considering signing up for the program. We’ll keep an eye on whether those numbers move.
But Sam’s Club is to Amazon as Amazon Prime Video is to Netflix. We published the first of a series of studies we’re doing (most of which will be for clients only…sorry) about the streaming content marketplace, this time looking at the overlap among users of the four biggest services (Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, Hulu, and Netflix). Not only is Netflix the most popular by a mile but their number of unduplicated users (ie. people who subscribe to Netflix only) is five times greater than that of Amazon. We subscribe to 3 in our house and I still can’t find Better Off Dead.
The NHL is what it is. It’s easy to love hockey when you’re from Pittsburgh or hate Washington. But the rest of the country, at large, just can’t seem to warm up to it. While the NFL is hemorrhaging and the NBA is booming, hockey simply plugs along with a predictable and loyal fan base. With the occasional spike in fan interest during playoff season, the consistency in fan interest over time is uncanny.
Your Random Post-Valentine’s Day Stat of the Week
Just don’t do it. Really.
Hoping you’re well.
In case you’re wondering, this is an informal email I write to CivicScience clients, friends, and other VIPs every Saturday morning. If you’re getting this, you’re either one of those people or were referred to me by one of them. I always love your comments and feedback.