You people are hilarious. First, understand the caliber of folks I send this weekly email to. You all have hugely important responsibilities and big problems to solve. Yet last week, when I talked about all kinds of serious topics, the link you clicked and read the most was about the correlation between flavored fizzy water and red wine drinkers. Get your priorities straight!
Here are a few of the more interesting things we saw this week:
Consumer confidence took a nose dive over the past two weeks. We aren’t normally ones to draw circumstantial conclusions, but the downturn does seem to coincide with a certain person’s inauguration.
In possibly related news, Daily Twitter usage saw a significant rise in January – which I’m sure is due to the whopping 7,000 people who follow @CivicScience. Despite subtle gains in Q4 2016, Twitter still made a pretty dreadful report to Wall St. this week based on troubling revenue numbers. For their sake, let’s hope this rise in user numbers is a leading indicator of better revenue performance ahead. My guess is that it will be. Hat tip to rock star hedge fund analyst Rich Greenfield for showing our data the light of day.
Over 72% of Netflix accounts are used by multiple people. I don’t know why the magnitude of that number surprised me so much. Obviously most cable or satellite accounts are used by everyone in the same household. But it feels like Netflix has a different opportunity to monetize those multiple users, perhaps through personalization, apps, or even advertising. If you figure it out, let me know (just me) and we’ll go into business together.
Millennials appear to be losing the ability to empathize. I found this little discovery particularly disturbing. Whether it’s a function of the current political environment, the ‘echo-chamber’ nature of social media, or something else, Millennials have shown a noticeable decline in their ability to see both sides of an argument, dating back November (which would seem to implicate the political conditions over other explanations). This trend is unique to Millennials, which doesn’t bode well for the long-term if it doesn’t prove to be temporary.
In case you’re wondering about Nordstrom or UnderArmour – yes, we are studying them very closely and you can expect to hear a lot more next week. In fact, we’ve begun a substantial study to analyze which brands of the few hundred we track would have the most to gain or lose in a tussle with our outspoken President.