Like most sports leagues, the NCAA has had to overcome much to execute a full season this year - the pandemic, shuttered schools, covid protocols. But, perseverance and determination has paid off as one of the most celebrated tournaments is set to begin - March Madness! And what accompanies a massive sports competition...Digital Ads, of course.
Even before the pandemic, online mattress shopping was on the rise. According to the International Sleep Products Association, 45% of the mattresses purchased in 2018 were through online sales. Those numbers will surely be higher once 2020 is tallied. Online bed-in-a-box startups, of course, have been challenging the sleep status quo for years. Today there are over 200 online mattress retailers, one for every sleeper — no matter your preferred sleep position, size, material, type, and budget. There are even organic and eco-friendly options for a greener sleep.
One of the businesses that has seen sales slowest to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic is movie theatres. Adding to the pain of government-mandated closures, many studios delayed releases and have begun releasing films in theatres on the same day as key streaming services. In today’s Insight Flash, we look at the recent premiere of Raya and the Last Dragon, which launched on Disney+ for a $29.99 supplementary charge on the same day it was out in theatres. We compare the movie’s in-theatre success to that of Tom and Jerry the week before, analyze Disney+ purchases vs. the fall release of Mulan, and examine prior Netflix price hikes to see if Disney+ is offering enough content to retain subscribers after its own price increase later this month.
The State of Mobile Gaming 2021 data proves that, yet again, games dominate the mobile app business. This is especially true when it comes to revenue. Consumers spent $143 billion on apps in 2020. Of that, $100 billion went on games. In other words, for every dollar spent on iOS and Google Play, games took 70 cents. Gaming also dominated the market in terms of downloads, although not to the same extent. 36% of all mobile app downloads in 2020 were games – that's 80 billion downloads out of 218 billion overall.
Realtime sales and inventory information can be useful to look at both short- and long-term trends. Previously, Viscacha has written about how long-term changes in weather factors like temperature impact sales by category. Here, we dive into the immediate effects of an extreme weather event on a home improvement retailer. Ace Hardware’s sales swung dramatically during Texas’s unusually harsh 2021 winter. Viscacha’s subscribers were able to see in real time which products and categories were spiking and by how much.
In this Placer Bytes, we dive into At Home’s continued strength, the recoveries of Lululemon and Nike, and recently announced off-price expansions. Since early spring, At Home has been one of the most impressive brands in retail cashing in on the home furnishings surge that has lasted into 2021. The brand saw year-over-year growth deep into 2020 with visits in November, December, and January up 19.6%, 3.5%, and a massive 43.3% respectively. And while February did see a 1.1% dip year over year, the situation is hardly ‘bad’ with the month seeing fewer overall days than a year prior.
Subscription boxes have been booming during the pandemic, enabling consumers to shop for products such as food, alcohol, beauty, and clothing from the comfort of homes. As schools nationwide transitioned to remote learning–with several remaining online into 2021–another area that’s been experiencing renewed interest is subscription boxes for kids.
In this Placer Bytes, we provide critical context for a difficult February and break down the latest beneficiary of the Chicken Sandwich. February was a tough month for offline retail with a combination of multiple instances of extreme inclement weather throughout the country, continued COVID effects and one fewer day limiting the overall monthly output. This led to weeks in February where several categories hit low points they hadn’t seen since the summer, and in some cases, early June. While this is hardly a positive note for the wider offline retail space, once again, an immediate recovery began following the dip. By late February, visits were again back on the rise.
When many Americans sheltered in their homes early in the coronavirus pandemic, meal delivery sales reached new heights. Our data reveals that in February, sales for meal delivery services grew 119 percent year-over-year, collectively. Shelter-in-place orders may also be driving more Americans to make their first meal delivery purchase. In February, 47 percent of U.S. consumers had ever ordered from one of the services in our analysis, up from 37 percent a year ago.
We checked back in on some of Darden Restaurants’s top brands to see how the recovery is going thus far into the new year. When looking at year-over-year visits from early 2020, it’s clear that Darden was poised for a strong year, with four of its top restaurants showing year-over-year growth in both January and February 2020. The Yard House was leading the way with year over year visit increases of 14.1% and 22.7% respectively for those two months, but Olive Garden, Cheddar’s and LongHorn Steakhouse were seeing very impressive jumps.
Not all British brands can make it in the US. Topshop closed up shop and Primark hasn’t become the dominant force many expected. While Asos and Boohoo have had some success in the market, how does it compare to their performance at home? In today’s Insight Flash, we compare trends for the two brands across the pond, looking at transaction size as well as total spend. Since the beginning of 2019, Boohoo spend growth has dramatically outperformed overall Family Apparel/Accessories in the UK.
Puzzle and Strategy were the two highest grossing games categories in the US in 2020. Puzzle performed better on iOS, while Strategy performed better on Google Play. As we navigate the post-IDFA world, we expect both of these categories to continue to bring in the biggest bucks. However, Puzzle games, with their slightly simpler gameplay, may have the potential to overtake Strategy in 2021.
In 2018, investment bank UBS published an 82-page report titled “Is the kitchen dead?” It made a strong case for the rise of online food ordering. It estimated the market to be worth $35 Billion, but said it could grow 20% a year to $365 billion by 2030. It even made the dramatic statement: “There could be a scenario whereby 2030 most meals currently cooked at home are instead ordered online and delivered from either restaurants or central kitchens.”
Aftermarket sneaker resellers have witnessed a surge in consumer demand over the last 12 months, likely accelerated by the closure of brick-and-mortar sneaker stores during the pandemic. While traditional sneaker retailers—FootLocker, FinishLine, and ShoePalace—saw little or no growth in 2019 and then experienced a collective year-over-year sales decrease of 72 percent in April 2020, aftermarket sneaker resellers, which largely sell online, saw a collective year-over-year sales increase of 68 percent that same month.
In an increasingly fragmented video landscape, the NFL continues to be a juggernaut that generates billions of dollars in ad revenue for their cable and broadcast partners each year. Our NFL data intelligence reports the broadcast and cable networks captured $3.3 billion in ad revenue for the 2020-21 season, excluding Super Bowl LV, a year-over-year increase of +3%.
The commercial aviation industry is attempting to make a comeback from its pandemic-induced fallout. Despite favorable tailwinds, the road to recovery will almost certainly drag into 2021 and beyond. After a staggering drop of more than 60% in 2020, global air travel demand will not likely return to pre-COVID levels until 2022. U.S. air travel volumes are still half the normal levels and aren't expected to pick up until late 2021.
The demand for athleisure apparel has been soaring as Americans continue to work from home and swap their gym routines for at-home workouts. As a result, activewear companies have experienced strong sales growth over the past year, while several retailers and clothing subscription box companies have incorporated more athleisure into their offerings. Additionally, our analysis of athleisure brands reveals that UK-based Gymshark is gaining market share from its more established competitors, and continues to gain traction in the U.S.
India has seen strong internet speed increases during a year when internet access has been crucial. 4G expansions are leading to mobile speed improvements, while fiber rollouts are driving jumps in fixed broadband speeds. Today we’re looking closely at how India’s improvements compare to other countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). We have also paired the internet speed performance of India’s top internet providers with data on consumer sentiment to shed light on how consumers view their operators.