October 28, 2022

Today's Topics

Hello! Elon Musk’s Twitter deal has finally gone through — expect a flurry of positive Tesla charts on our Twitter account in a brazen attempt to appease the algorithm as quickly as possible. Today we're exploring:

  • Big tech. Meta's not the only tech co. having a bad week.
  • Dragons vs. Rings. Diving into the data on the 2 epic fantasy shows.
  • Same-sex marriage. Plotting a decade of progress.

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Elon news aside, it's been a massive week in the world of big tech.

Metaworse

Alphabet and Microsoft kicked things off with reports of slowing growth — then came Meta’s turn. The company reported a 4% fall in revenue with average ad pricing falling 18% and Mark Zuckerberg doubling down on his metaverse moonshot, just as investors were hoping, and publicly calling for, the exact opposite. Even solid progress on Meta's TikTok competitor, Reels, and solid engagement on the company's core set of apps, wasn't enough for investors to look past the metaverse expenses — with another ~$85bn wiped off the company’s market cap. yesterday.

Another is the key word here, as Facebook’s share price has cratered since the rebrand to Meta. Since its peak market cap of $1.07 trillion in Sep '21, the company has lost nearly $800bn in value.

Misery loves company

After Meta, Amazon reported an equally surprising set of numbers yesterday. The e-commerce giant, which is often regarded as a good bellwether for the wider economy, expects consumers to significantly curb spending in the months ahead, forecasting Q4 sales that were ~$10bn lower than analysts were expecting, sending shares down 14% at the time of writing.

The only tech behemoth to emerge relatively unscathed from this week is Apple which, despite reporting slower than expected iPhone 14 sales, otherwise held up very well comparatively — as they have all year. All told, since the start of 2022 those 5 big tech companies have shed some $3.6 trillion in value — roughly equivalent to the annual GDP of Brazil and Canada combined.

Dragons Vs. Rings

Now that the credits have rolled on the first season of House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power, we thought we’d explore the data on the two epic fantasy shows that have been topping streaming charts for the last few weeks.

For the uninitiated, House of The Dragon is a prequel to HBO’s Game of Thrones, whilst Amazon’s The Rings of Power takes place in Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings universe. Both spared no expense to attract viewers — Dragon cost some $200m, an enormous sum, but nothing on the $465m that Rings reportedly cost.

On most metrics, it’s fair to say that both shows were a success, although whether they drew enough new viewers to HBO or Amazon Prime is a harder judgment to make.

Dragon turned out to be the buzzier of the two offerings, regularly generating more search interest on Google than Bezos’s prized prequel. Critics on review-aggregator Rotten Tomatoes were split down the middle, with both shows coming out with a very respectable 85% average rating on the site.

The public, however, were seemingly more decisive. Dragon scored an average 8.8 rating on IMDB across its 10 episodes compared to 7.25 for TROP, the split on user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes was even wider. Rings fans may point to malicious review-bombing trolls to explain the result whilst Thrones fans see their show given the TV fantasy crown, for now at least. For what it’s worth, the Chartr office vote was tied.

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Mexican marriage equality

Following a vote in Tamaulipas on Wednesday night, same-sex marriage is now legal across all 32 states in Mexico.

Tamaulipas, which borders southern Texas, was the last state to amend their Civil Code to comply with a Mexican Supreme Court ruling back in 2015, the same year that the Obergefell vs. Hodges ruling ensured that the right to marry was extended to same-sex couples nationwide in the US.

Same-sex in the states

America’s first legal same-sex wedding was in Massachusetts back in 2004 and, as the practice became legal in more and more states and then across the country, marriage figures have been growing ever since.

The number of same-sex couples who are married and living together has really ratcheted up in the last ten years particularly. In 2011, ~28% of same-sex households were married, in 2021 — 6years after the Supreme Court ruling — nearly 60% were.

While same-sex marriage is seemingly back as a ballot issue for some midterm candidates, a recent Gallup poll found that a record high 71% of the population supported marriage equality.

More Data

60 years ago this week the world narrowly avoided armageddon, how did the Cuban missile crisis avoid going nuclear?

Eat faster: restaurants opening hours are still 7.5% shorter than they were pre-pandemic, equating to 6.4fewer hours per week.

Power walking: the world’s fastest shoes could increase your walking speed by 250%.

Hi-Viz

• Where do different nationalities find meaning in life?

• Is Rome really as far north as Chicago? Interesting visuals on how you’re getting continents wrong.

Trendlines: Mortgage rates have been spiking in the US and abroad, but how quickly have they risen: is it A, B or C? [Answer below].

Answer here.

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