What Happens When The President Takes An Interest In Your Band

October 6, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

In 2015 a largely unknown band found that they had made the cut for President Obama’s summer Spotify playlist. Alex Garofalo chronicled what happened next:

  • There was a sudden surge of interest as journalists asked to interview the band.
  • On Spotify the band saw a 18,113% surge in listening.
  • Yet there were few tangible outputs. There was no bump in album sales. And no noticeable increase in live show attendance.
  • The increased Spotify attention is great for the pockets of record companies…typically less so for the actual band.
  • It did earn the band a short meeting with the President though.
  • And it might’ve resulted in at least one extra sale – Obama asked the band to let him know when they release their next album.

Read more on Thrillist.

Threat Of Nuclear Incineration Apparently Puts A Damper On Olympic Ticket Sales

October 5, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The 2018 Winter Olympics are set to be held right next to the North Korean border wrote Steve Mollman:

  • North Korea’s recent nuclear showmanship seems to coincide with moments when their actions will receive maximum attention – during international conferences or American long weekends.
  • What better way to get noticed than to engage in mischief during the winter Olympics – to be held in a border town of South Korea, just 80km from the heavily militarized line of control.
  • Alarmingly it doesn’t look like North Korea will send any athletes to compete – erasing a major disincentive to threaten military strikes during the event.
  • The games were awarded to South Korea back in 2014, when things on the peninsula seemed more stable.
  • The tickets didn’t go on sale until recently though – and early sales have been disappointing. Only 230,000 have been sold – and organizers are starting to get creative with discounts.
  • Organizers prefer not to think about athletes potentially pulling out due to safety concerns.

Read more on Quartz.

The Economics Of American Football Injuries

October 4, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The injuries borne by players of American football have attracted the scrutiny of economists wrote Gina Kolata:

  • Researchers found that without contact football there would be 50,000 fewer injuries in college alone. In high school the number would be 600,000.
  • High school athletes have more injuries because there are a greater number of them, they’re less skilled, and they have less experienced coaching staff supporting them.
  • College injuries cost society at least $1.5 billion a year, while high school ones cost $19.2 billion.
  • This includes the direct costs of the injury – indirect ones like living with long-term pain because of ligament damage, or the heightened risk of arthritis aren’t included in the estimate.
  • Insurers are starting to take note and have begun driving costs up so high that many schools are considering abandoning the sport entirely.
  • There is an increasing number of parents who wouldn’t want their child participating in a sport where television producers on the professional level use parabolic mikes to capture the sound of heads cracking.

Read more on The New York Times.

Via: Marginal Revolution

Twitter Needs Donald Trump More Than The Reverse

October 3, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Trump relies on Twitter. But not as much as Twitter relies on the President according to an analyst covered by Jeran Wittenstein:

  • Twitter currently has a market capitalization of $12.5 billion.
  • According to one analyst $2 billion of that is because Donald Trump is on the platform.
  • If he were to leave the concern isn’t an exodus of users – it’s the free advertising that would stop once journalists stop covering – and mentioning – his Twitter posts.
  • As it stands the company hasn’t made the best use of the attention – it still has fewer users than the younger, Trump-less Snapchat.

Read more on Bloomberg.

Costume Predictions For Halloween 2017

October 2, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Pinterest delved into the photos its users were saving to predict this year’s most popular Halloween costumes. Marc Bain reported:

  • With both the Academy Award winning La La Land, and the live action Beauty and The Beast prominently featuring yellow dresses, expect gold to be the colour of the season.
  • But Halloween is meant to be about horror, and the success of Stephen King’s It is expected to bring multitudes of clowns on the streets.
  • For something a little less frightening expect costumes from Netflix’s Stranger Things – the second season of which will drop on October 27.
  • Wonder Woman might bring DC it’s most significant Halloween mindshare since The Dark Knight’s Joker took the season by storm a decade ago.
  • Yet another strong Game of Thrones season is expected to drive many couples to dabble in incest themed Westerosi fashion.

Read more on Quartz.

Legalized Marijuana Is A Boon For Fast Food Restaurants

September 29, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

There’s a whole new meaning to happy meal wrote Cynthia Salarizadeh.

  • A study found that in states where marijuana has been legalized (it remains a federal crime) 43% of buyers went onto visit a McDonald’s afterwards.
  • Taco Bell was the next most popular destination with 18% going onto visit one.
  • These rates are significantly higher than the general population.
  • Marijuana is known to create food cravings.
  • McDonald’s is probably the most popular destination due to its ubiquity.

Read more on Green Market Report.

Toy Stores Are Doing Just Fine Thank You Very Much

September 28, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection. Ironic since, if done right, operating a profitable toy store is child’s play wrote Abha Bhattarai:

  • Neighbourhood toy stores are seeing steady growth even as the big players are floundering.
  • Smaller stores offer a more intimate experience and have toys strewn about that kids can try and play with.
  • They hold community events and competitions which can make a visit to the toy store a playground like social experience.
  • Since kids aren’t always old enough to use computers shopping from places like Amazon doesn’t appeal to them.
  • Niche toy stores train their staff better. Some are amateur child psychologists – parents will tell them that their child hates to lose, and the attendant may recommend co-operative games.
  • Smaller industry players can, paradoxically, have a wider selection. Some toymakers refuse to sell to industry giants, and exclusively sell to boutique stores.

Read more on The Washington Post.

There Are Snapchat Filters For Funerals

September 26, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

At your next funeral you may have the option to snap a photo with a geo-filter memorializing the deceased:

  • Snapchat lets anyone buy a filter for a specific geographical area.
  • Some are buying filters around funeral homes. They come with captions such as “Rest in Heaven” and perhaps a caricature of the loved one.
  • They cost about $120 and are seen as an effective tribute for a generation that sees funerals as an opportunity to celebrate one’s life rather than mourn their passing.

Read more on CNet.

Forget Yachts, The New Billionaire Playthings Are Submarines

September 25, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Matt Gross wrote about submarines for the super-rich:

  • Luxury submarines – those that can travel independently and are able to regenerate power – start at $25 million.
  • The most expensive is a $2.3 billion concept released by an Austrian design firm. It’s more submersible yacht than submarine, and includes a helipad, a swimming pool, and a dock for mini-boats.
  • Owning a submarine is a little different than owning a yacht. There is the Pilot certification for one – which takes four months and involves training in an aviation style simulator.
  • The submarines can go pretty much anywhere. The legal framework around traveling under the ocean is, well, murky.
  • Countries like Greece are concerned that the rich will use the submarines to find and loot ancient ship ruins that could have historical significance.
  • In addition to bragging rights, the mega-rich may like submarines because they finally give them a surefire way to avoid the paparazzi.

Read more on Bloomberg.

The Economics Of Orange Juice

September 22, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Caitlin Dewey wrote about America’s love of orange juice:

  • 11 kilograms of orange juice is consumed per American per year, making it the country’s most popular source of fruit intake.
  • In contrast Americans consume a paltry 1 kilogram of fresh (unjuiced) oranges per year.
  • Orange juice made from Florida’s orange groves bring the state $900 million a year.
  • Yet the OJ affair is fading – orange juice consumption is declining as people forsake sit-down breakfasts and question the health benefits of sugary juice.
  • A disease called huanglongbing, which turns oranges bitter has infected Florida’s groves, putting pressure on supply, causing prices to go up.
  • Hurricane Irma* could be the final nail in the coffin – some estimate that as much as 70% of the harvest was lost as winds pulled unripe oranges off of trees.
  • The resulting increase in price and decline in consumption could see apple juice take orange juice’s spot as America’s #1 fruit source.

Read more on The Washington Post.

*There have been several natural disasters across the globe. Please consider donating to local charities. They could use your help.