Tokyo Olympics: Should Japan Pass the Torch?

By Staff
Thursday, June 24, 2021 4:19 PM The Olympic flame is already on its way through Japan in preparation for the planned opening of the Olympic Summer Games on July 23 in Tokyo. But while a cancellation or another postponement of the Games appears to be off the table, the Japanese public still isn't fully on board with holding the event this summer, according to a recent feature from Statista.com.

According to a monthly survey conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, public support for Tokyo 2020 has risen to a record level of 34 percent in June as new COVID cases died down following a surge in May. The majority remains opposed to holding the games as planned, however, with 30 percent of respondents hoping for another postponement, while 32 percent would like to see the event canceled altogether.

In March, organizers had announced that the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be held without overseas spectators, dealing a tough blow to the event that normally attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. Domestic spectators will be allowed, but limited to 50 percent venue capacity up to a maximum of 10,000 people.

Amazon Rakes in More U.S. E-Commerce Sales Than the Next 9 Biggest U.S. Etailers Combined

By Staff
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 2:51 PM In 2021, Amazon will make more than $386 billion in U.S. e-commerce sales, according the latest estimates from eMarketer. That’s about $320 billion more than its biggest e-commerce rival in the country, Walmart. In fact, if you combine the U.S. e-commerce sales of the next nine top e-commerce retailers, the total will still be less than Amazon’s this year.

In addition to Amazon, the top five retailers include Walmart with $67.39 billion in sales, eBay with $40.47 billion, Apple with $35.30 billion and The Home Depot with $21.42. 

Click here to read more about eMarketer’s findings about the retail market.

Anytime, Anywhere: The Evolution of Portable Music

By Staff
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:14 PM For the past 40 decades, technology has shaped the way we consume music today: anytime, anywhere. As Statista’s Felix Richter points out in his latest article, “The History of Portable Music,” when Sony introduced the first Walkman in 1979, the portable, if clunky, cassette player was a total gamechanger. It freed music lovers around the world from the shackles of only being able to listen to their favorite tunes at home or while driving a car and brought music everywhere, Richter noted.

Survey Finds There Are Pandemic-Life Silver Linings Tied to Health Care

By Staff
Friday, June 18, 2021 11:57 AM NEW YORK—According to new research from healthinsurance.com, many Americans are now ready to acknowledge that there are some pandemic-life silver linings. The national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found that, because of the pandemic, 80 percent of respondents said they have been more focused on their health, while 73 percent said they worked toward improving their self-care.

It seems clear, according to healthinsurance.com, that living through the pandemic put a spotlight on self-care.

The survey also found that 73 percent of Americans say their self-care has improved since the start of the pandemic, which is an 81 percent increase from the healthinsurance.com June 2020 survey.

Respondents also are more self-aware and acting on it. Last month, 55 percent of respondents said they had packed on some "pandemic pounds," and now 49 percent say they are dieting for this summer season. The past 15 months of pandemic life have also taken a toll. Among respondents, 51 percent feel like they need some time off from work, which is a 22 percent increase from this time last year.

What U.S. Retail Categories Are Growing the Fastest?

By Staff
Thursday, June 17, 2021 11:21 AM Apparel and accessories will see U.S. sales jump nearly 30 percent in 2021, making the retail category by far the fastest growing in the U.S., as some consumers resume their pre-pandemic ways of life, according to a recent feature from eMarketer. In contrast, furniture and home furnishings sales will increase by about 11 percent, and office equipment and supplies sales will grow by just over 9 percent. In the health, personal care and beauty sectors, it is estimated that U.S. sales will increase by 6 percent in 2021.

Americans Lost More Years of Life to COVID-19 in 2020 Than to All Accidents Combined in a Typical Year

By Staff
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 2:26 PM About 600,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the coronavirus outbreak began. But behind that huge figure is a more nuanced one that brings the human toll of the virus into even sharper relief.

In addition to the overall number of deaths from a given cause, researchers can estimate the number of “life years” lost due to it—a statistic that takes life expectancy into account. For example, if a person with a life expectancy of 80 dies at age 50, they are estimated to have lost 30 years of life. Examining this statistic underscores the extent to which the virus has cut Americans’ lives short, according to a recent story from Pew Research Center. 

Gartner Survey Reveals COVID-19 Has Impacted Health of More Than Half of Global Workforce

By Staff
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 10:30 AM A Gartner survey of more than 20,000 employees between January 2020 and March 2021 revealed that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the health of 55 percent of the global workforce. The 2021 Gartner Workforce Resilience Employee Survey measured the change in workforce health across multiple employee well-being elements, work-life balance, psychological safety, burnout, collaboration, innovation and responsiveness. Gartner’s survey revealed that all segments of the workforce have experienced significant and widespread damage to workforce health.

National Survey Finds Our Eyes Are in Overdrive

By Staff
Monday, June 14, 2021 10:23 AM Eighty percent of Americans say pandemic-prompted screen time put their eyes in "overdrive," according to the results of a new survey commissioned by VSP Vision Care. The nationally-representative survey of 1,500 general population consumers found that two-thirds of respondents report experiencing some degree of eye discomfort every day, and nearly a quarter say their eyes feel worse now than they did a year ago. Moreover, 90 percent of respondents believe it’s important to take care of their eyes, starting now.

Ad Spending Worldwide Set to Notch a ‘Banner Year,’ Forecast Says

By Staff
Friday, June 11, 2021 11:04 AM NEW YORK—For marketing and media company executives, 2021 is shaping up to be a banner year in some ways. According to a recent eMarketer forecast, pent-up demand for traditional advertising – coupled with “exploding growth in e-commerce-related ad spending and social media advertising – the research firm said it expects “a record-setting pace for ad spending growth worldwide this year.”

In addition, eMarketer noted that the trend line for advertising spending going forward also shifted up, “thanks to the unexpected resilience of digital ad spending in 2020.”

The updated eMarketer forecast indicates total media ad spending worldwide will reach almost $748 billion this year, with a growth rate of 15 percent. This is the fastest growth rate since eMarketer began tracking the metric 10 years ago, the firm said.

By the end of 2024, ad spending will close in on the $1 trillion mark. (Note that, for context, the ad-spending total just hit the $500 billion mark in 2016.)

Even traditional ad spending will grow this year, by 7.6 percent, also its fastest growth rate since eMarketer began tracking this metric globally. “The additional $20.6 billion in traditional ad spending will help drive the overall reacceleration, but the main story will remain in the digital realm, as traditional ad spend will never again reach 2019 levels,” eMarketer said.

Digital’s share of worldwide media ad spending will cross the 60 percent threshold this year for the first time and is on track to reach nearly 70 percent by the end of the forecast period in 2025.

Father’s Day Spending to Hit a Record High $20.1 Billion, NRF Says

By Staff
Thursday, June 10, 2021 2:49 PM WASHINGTON—U.S. consumers are expected to spend more than $20.1 billion on gifts and other items for Father’s Day this year, a record high, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics. Total spending for the holiday will surpass last year’s record figure of $17 billion.

States That Are Recovering the Quickest from COVID-19

By Staff
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 12:51 PM The U.S. is gradually recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and states have heavily relaxed their COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.8 percent from its high of 14.8 percent in April 2020.

The country’s progress toward economic recovery has been largely possible because of the strides it has made toward a public health recovery, due to the distribution of the vaccine. As of June 7, around 42 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The country has already seen a significant decline in new COVID-19 cases and deaths, and that decline will only continue as more people get vaccinated. The greater level of safety will also lead to increased consumer confidence.

Even though the U.S. is making progress as a whole, some states are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic much faster than others. In order to determine the states that are having the most successful recoveries, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 21 key metrics. WalletHub’s data set ranges from the share of the population fully vaccinated to the real GDP compared to pre-COVID levels.

Click here to read the full story from WalletHub.

Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Grew 26 Percent in Q1 2021

By Staff
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 9:30 AM After a steep decline in 2020, global smartphone sales to end users grew 26 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to Gartner, Inc. Overall worldwide mobile phone sales to end users grew 22 percent year over year.

“The improvement in consumer outlook, sustained learning and working from home, along with pent-up demand from 2020 boosted sales of smartphones in the first quarter. Consumers started spending on discretionary items as the pandemic situation improved.

Digital Grocery Shopping Helped Fuel Surge in Ecommerce Channel Ad Spending

By Staff
Monday, June 7, 2021 9:25 AM eMarketer’s Nicole Perrin recently observed that even before the pandemic, ecommerce channel advertising was attracting a lot of attention from advertisers—especially in verticals like consumer packaged goods (CPG)—as well as retailers, which hoped to add new higher-margin revenue streams to their businesses after seeing Amazon’s success in the area. “Amazon had become the No. 3 digital ad seller in the US thanks primarily to placements on its ecommerce property, and companies including Walmart, Target, and eBay had been growing similar businesses,” Perrin noted.

Americans Are Split on Whether the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Should Be Postponed Again

By Staff
Friday, June 4, 2021 12:45 PM Last April, during a peak in COVID-19 cases, the International Olympic Committee postponed the Summer Olympics—due to be held in Tokyo—for a year. At the time, Americans supported that decision. This year, the virus is still with us, and another postponement is being discussed.

In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, Americans aren’t sure of whether it is safe for the Tokyo Olympics to be held this year, or should they be postponed another year due to COVID-19. As many would postpone the Games again (36 percent) as would have them played this summer (37 percent).

An Asahi Shinbun poll conducted in Japan last month found 83 percent of voters there saying the Games should be postponed or canceled.

The highest levels of interest in this year’s Games—if they are held—is not much different from what it was five years ago in an Economist/YouGov poll conducted before the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Then, one in four (28 percent) also said they would be watching “a lot of events.” 

Breakthrough Covid-19 Cases Remain Rare In The U.S.

By Staff
Thursday, June 3, 2021 9:30 AM In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published further public data about breakthrough Covid-19 cases and it shows that vaccines have been highly effective at reducing infections, hospitalizations and death. As of late April, around 101 million Americans had been fully vaccinated and the CDC's data states that 10,262 cases of
Covid-19 occurred among fully vaccinated people, 995 of whom required hospitalization with 160 deaths recorded. 

The trends mirror those of Israel which has reported a handful of infections among its fully vaccinated population with a successful vaccine rollout resulting in both cases and hospitalizations collapsing.