Numlock News: February 11, 2020 • Popeyes, Pirates, Parasite

By Walt Hickey

Streaming

An estimated 10.7 million people in the U.S. mooched off of a streaming log-in that did not belong to a family plan, according to an incisive new report form a bunch of narcs who need to shut their trap before they blow up this whole grift. The research found that — of the 95 million people who’d used a major streaming service last year — 68 million paid for themselves, 25 million accessed through a family plan, 13 million were on a trial, and the other 11 million are about to have their spot blown up by some buzzkills at “MusicWatch” unless everyone suddenly chills out and lowers their voice, jeez. The study found that of family plan account holders, just 4 percent share with friends who don’t live in the same home, so get a load of this guy.

Jem Aswad, Variety

Chicken

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which introduced a new sandwich last quarter that proved to be a national sensation, said that same-store sales rose 38 percent in the fourth quarter, a number that is absolutely absurd; restaurants simply don’t do that. Popeyes added $393 million in additional systemwide sales in the quarter, which is on par with the entirety of Chuck E. Cheese’s annual business in a single three-month period. In related news, Numlock will now introduce a spicy chicken sandwich.

Jonathan Maze, Restaurant Business Online

Roommates

The average U.S. household bottomed out at 2.52 people last year, the lowest household size in the history of the country. In the 1880s, the average was 5.55 people per household, which dropped to a far more reasonable average during the 1950s of 3.37 people per household, and thanks to a confluence of trends, that’s trended downward for decades. Americans could be approaching a rebound, in some ways because the average household size has been flat for three decades, but also because there’s simply not much further to drop. Germany had the lowest household size in the world in 2018 at 1.99 people, and it’s difficult to imagine how to drop that more. About 63 percent of households in the U.S. have two or fewer people, though 61 percent of housing units have three bedrooms or more. All told, 28.4 percent of households have just one person in them, which is up from 13.1 percent in 1960.

Justin Fox, Bloomberg

Viewers

The Oscars on Sunday logged an average of 23.6 million viewers on Sunday, a decrease of 20 percent from last year’s ceremony that was seen by 29.6 million viewers on average domestically. The ceremony was the second in a row to forgo a host, which may have contributed to a lack of casual viewers compared to previous years, but in other ways as consumption of linear television declines, the bottom falling out of broadcast television is bound to have some impact. Then again, while others cited the absence of blockbusters, it could simply be that I don’t remember the constant threat of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga singing a distressingly passionate duet as a plot point of 1917, so maybe this isn’t apples to apples.

Frank Pallotta, CNN

Logistics

As the world grows more and more dependent on e-commerce and shipping, hiring in the U.S. has surged in the delivery and warehousing spaces, with 1,198,400 workers now employed in the warehousing and storage business as of January. By comparison, in 2010 there were just 629,200 people employed in the space… space. Courier and messenger payrolls grew by about 14,300 last month as well, because once you’ve stored the stuff you’re going to have to eventually get it there.

Jennifer Smith, Wall Street Journal

Slowdown

France's Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention has fined Apple €25 million after the company admitted to using software updates to deliberately slow down older iPhones. In December 2017, the company said that the slowdowns were simply an attempt to make the batteries of older devices last longer under a lower load, but the French found the initial lack of transparency to be a problem. Apple continues to apply “performance throttling” to devices, with several 2018 devices recently having the setting applied.

Tim Biggs, Sydney Morning Herald

Korea

Parasite’s win on Sunday at the Oscars was a massive victory for not only writer and director and icon Bong Joon-Ho but also the South Korean film industry as a whole. Korea is the fourth-largest box office outside of North America, with $1.68 billion in box office receipts for 2019, up 9.8 percent compared to 2018. Parasite has made $175.3 million globally, $35.5 million in the U.S. and over $72 million in Korea.

Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline

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