I want to take a moment to thank you all for your insightful comments and feedback every week. The diverse perspectives and ideas you have really make me think about new directions to take our research. It would make for an awesome “Mailbag” someday – but I value your discretion too much to do that.
Here are a few of the more comment-worthy things we’re seeing this week:
As economic sentiment has climbed since the election, expect SUV sales to rise, too. We have two long-term tracking questions about cars in our system. In short, we ask people what type of car they currently drive and what kind they plan to buy next. Sedans are the most common ‘current’ vehicles at 28% of U.S. adults, followed by SUVs at 25% (not including crossovers) – but that gap has been cut in half since Q1 2014. In just the past six months, the number of people who plan to buy an SUV with their next purchase increased by 3%, while sedans declined by almost 2%. If those numbers play out, the rate of SUV ownership could equal sedan ownership by year end. (Also interesting: People who drive trucks today will buy another truck later. Those numbers barely moved an inch in over four years).
While we’re prognosticating, expect half of U.S. adults to be Netflix users by the fall. The percentage of consumers who stream content on Netflix has increased by 5% over the past 12 months (from 44% to 49%). At that rate, usage should surpass 50% by September. ‘Hold on,’ you say! ‘Only 51 million U.S. households have Netflix!’ Correct. But remember what we told you a couple months ago. 72% of Netflix households have more than one user on their account. 11% of accounts have four users or more. We’re talking about eyeballs here, not accounts. Crossing the 50% threshold is a big deal. Only Facebook is more ubiquitous as a platform.
Speaking of Facebook…
Social media is consuming (almost) all of us. Check out this crazy chart below – we don’t often find a timeline in our data like this. Over the past two years, we’ve seen huge shifts in social media usage, with the rate of non-users and light users plummeting, while heavy users climb. If this trajectory continues, right around the same time Netflix hits 50% of the U.S. population, the number of people who use social media 2+ hours per day will surpass the number of people who don’t use social media at all. Like it or not.
Last but not least…
In which I confess to the occasional alcohol-induced Parliament. OK, that’s not exactly the lede but it helps with the story. The cigarette industry reported record profits earlier this year on the backs (or lungs) of the 13% of Americans who still smoke every day, in spite of $6.42-per-pack prices. What we found in our data was that these consumers affect more than just cigarette sales, as they are 2.5X more likely than average to buy food and beverages from convenient stores on a regular basis. We also learned that Millennials are smoking just as much as everyone else. Smoking isn’t going extinct. And that’s a good thing for the likes of Wawa, Mountain Dew, and Slim Jim.
Random Stat(s) of the Week:
• 23% of people can’t whistle
• 16% of people can only wink with one eye
• 31% of people hold their breath to get rid of the hiccups (the #1 remedy)
Hoping you’re well.