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HOLIDAY SHOPPING

PwC’s survey of 2021 holiday shopping behavior finds that more “consumers are feeling freedom associated with the vaccine and are ready to participate in holiday-related activities.” On average, they forecast that consumers will spend $1,447 on gifts, travel and entertainment, +20 percent over 2020, and +13% over 2019. They’re not just buying for others, with plans to spend an average of $442 on themselves; a 48% increase over last year. Other factors looked at in the study include environmentally and socially responsible brands and trust in local stores and producers. (Yahoo!: 10/7/21)

An interactive weekly survey of 2,200 adults conducted by the Morning Consult, looks at spending habits since the pandemic as well as consumer comfort at shopping malls, boutiques, and department stores. For malls, the report details responses for Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and total. Following an overall summer high (66% indicated they were comfortable in July), the trend is back on an upswing, with 61% reporting for the latest week (10/2/21). (Morning Consult: 10/6/21)

CONNECTED TV/AVOD TRENDS

In its 3Q 2021 report on digital video trends, emarketer reports that 127.7 million US residents will use AVOD this year. This represents over 43% of internet users and the third year of double-digit growth. Although these trends see some flattening, the forecast extends to 2025, where usage increases to 164 million, over 53% of internet users. The report also looks at free streaming service growth (up 18.4% to 89.2 million viewers) as well as an increase in subscribers for HBO Max. And while the most time spent with YouTube still happens on mobile, “it’s CTV viewership is surging”, with 123.8 million people watching YouTube via CTV. (emarketer subscription required: 10/12/21)

With 111.7 million users in 2021, Roku makes up nearly a third of the US population and nearly 52% of connected TV users, according to the latest findings from eMarketer. Despite this growth (up from 79 million and 41% of connected TV users in 2019), the researcher forecasts a slowing down “over the next few years as the US market becomes more saturated. Look for Amazon Fire TV, the number two CTV platform, to surpass the 100 million user mark next year (currently, they’re at 97 million users), with a penetration rate of nearly 45% among CTV users. Comparatively, Apple TV’ is only at 13.1% of US CTV users. (emarketer: 10/11/21)

THE SIMPSONS ON THE CATWALK

Nearly a year in the making, The Simpsons partnered with fashion brand “Balun—Balloon—Baleen—Balencia-ga-ga” Balenciaga on a special 10-minute episode of the animated series. Screened at their recent fashion show, the designer “skipped the traditional catwalk” for the “sometimes grueling collaboration” which included five years of fashions, a painstaking “accuracy” in translating “real clothing” on “characters that aren’t exactly human proportions”,  “the particular absurdity” of luxury fashion, and enough Easter eggs for die-hard fans of both brands. (New York Times: 10/11/21)