Here’s me writing on a red-eye home from Seattle. You’ll probably read it before I land.
Since we last talked, this makes 6 flights in 6 days on 3 airlines to 4 cities, Seattle twice, with San Francisco and L.A. in between – not counting a Philly connection. Plus, 4 hotels, 18 Uber rides, and 7 million meetings.
I’m not complaining. It’s better than three West Coast trips. The real hero is Tara who worked a full week at CMU, carted our kids to their stuff, and did all my chores – and hers.
Anyway, I kind of dig the whole road warrior schtick.
Five reflections on a whirlwind week:
I’m sitting in front of an ultra-marathon runner, which I know because ultra-marathoners make sure everyone in earshot knows about it. Whatever. I’m doing a marathon of cheap cabernet and pretzels right now.
If you put a Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft person in a room, I could tell you who was who in about five minutes. Do all those companies hire a precise archetype or does everyone who works there morph into that archetype over time? I don’t know. Either way, they’re all amazing. The rest of us are playing for 6th place. Oh yeah, Netflix, I forgot. So, 7th place.
Bob Lefsetz took me to a spectacular restaurant in Santa Monica. Many of you know Bob because he once told his disciples to sign up for this email and I learned what Leo DiCaprio would feel like if he was on Tinder. Bob has taught me more about writing than anyone. I have better hair than him. And I’m taller. Otherwise, he’s the king.
I’ll never get used to the way everyone stares at you in Los Angeles. The inevitable look of disappointment on their face when they realize you’re not famous is demoralizing. It’s the exact opposite of New York, where nobody ever makes eye contact with you.
I’ve made some awesome new friends because of this email. I met several people in person on this trip that I feel like I’ve known for years and even a couple people I didn’t know were on the list. Yeah, this is good for business. I’m happier about the friends.
But I can’t wait to get home.
Here’s what we’re seeing:
The percentage of Americans who cut the cord climbed by another 10% in February and it shows no signs of slowing. The chart below doesn’t need much interpretation. Streaming-only consumers jumped from 28% of Americans in January to 31% in February. The percentage who are considering cord-cutting remained steady at 32%. At this rate, the majority of U.S. households could be cordless by the end of this year. Crazy.
Staying on this topic, it looks like cable companies have the most to fear. The satellite folks shouldn’t be clinking champagne glasses exactly but their story isn’t quite as bleak. A full 43% of current cable customers are actively considering the snip and that absolutely marks the first time I ever wrote the word ‘snip.’ Do you want to see how these intender numbers break out by individual cable and satellite providers? I’ll bet you do.
Target is going after Victoria’s Secret and it could be a complete slaughter. Your favorite Minneapolis-based retailer recently announced that they’re going into the intimates and sleepwear game, a move directly aimed at Victoria’s Secret. Looking at our data, the prognosis for VS ain’t so good. 40% of U.S. adult women say they are at least somewhat likely to buy their skivvies at Target. When asked to choose between the two retailers head-to-head, Target wins over 2:1. A big plus in Target’s corner? Their customers are super-socially-conscious.
Grubhub is leading the on-demand food delivery category but that’s still not saying much.We did a study looking at the most prevalent food delivery apps – Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash – finding that the market, in general, is still quite nascent. Grubhub has the highest penetration, with 18% of U.S. adults saying they’ve tried the service. Women are much more likely than men to use it. Uber Eats came in second at 11% and DoorDash at 8%. Intent numbers follow a similar pattern but remain low. These services have a long way to go before ubiquity.
Speaking of grub, the Keto diet basically exists only because of social media. I loved the study we published this week on fad diets. 37% of Americans have tried one or more of them, with low-fat diets ranking #1, followed closely by – wait for it – high-fat diets. How’s that for polar-opposite schools of thought? Atkins still leads among the low-carb variety but Keto is gaining fast. Why? Because the correlation between trying a ketogenic diet and frequent social media usage is absolutely nuts.
And with health crazes continually on the rise, beer has an image problem. I helped Craig Giammona at Bloomberg with an awesome story about beer and weed this week. In short, when beer companies start arguing over who has more high-fructose corn syrup in their product, you know they’re desperate. Consumers are leaning more and more toward wine and cannabis, which they not only believe are less unhealthy but even have health benefits. Anyway, read the story. It’s great.
Some Random (Phone) Stats of the Week
- 55% of people have their phones set to ring, 31% to vibrate, 14% to silent;
- Only 33% of Millennials and 22% of Gen Z have their phones set to ring;
- 14% of people would rather give up eating for a day than give up looking at their phone;
- 30% of people still look at their watch instead of their phone to check the time;
- 36% of people say it’s okay to have your phone in church;
- Only 21% say it’s okay at the dinner table;
- Here’s a bunch more if you’re interested.
Hoping you’re well.