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October 2015 Trends Tracker

Trends Tracker

Companies: AAPL, ADDYY, AMZN, AWAY, BBBY, BBRY, CMG, COF, DISH, ETR:BMW, EXPE, FB, GM, GOOG/GOOGL, HTZ, KYAK, KRX:005935, MCD, MON, NFLX, NKE, PCLN, PNRA, QSR, RH, SKX, SIRI, TGT, TRIP, TWC, TWTR, TYO:7203, UA, W, WEN, YUM


Click here to download the report (.pdf)

 

Summary of Findings

  • McDonald’s Corp.’s (MCD) all-day breakfast is pulling in millennials. Blueshift Research’s 18- to 29-year-old demographic had more respondents than any other age group who said they ate at McDonald’s in October. This group saw a 25.1% increase in the number of respondents eating at McDonald’s compared with in July. It also had the highest percentage of respondents who ordered off the all-day breakfast menu at a non-breakfast time in October and plan to do so again. Millennials’ perception of McDonald’s also has improved, and they now are the top age group to believe McDonald’s is better than its competitors or is the best fast-food/quick-service restaurant.
  • Expedia Inc. (EXPE) is pulling away from the competition, as the most preferred online travel agency (OTA) for booking trips, flights, hotels and/or rental cars, while the next six vote getters have become less popular. 15.2% of respondents said Expedia was their most preferred OTA, an 18.8% increase compared with last quarter. The next five most common responses (booking directly with an airline/hotel, Kayak Software Corp./KYAK as well as Expedia’s Travelocity, Hotels.com and Orbitz subsidiaries) declined between 2.3% and 11.7% in number of responses. TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) took the biggest hit of all, dropping 42.2% and falling to seventh on the list.
  • com Inc. (AMZN) overtook other retailers this month to become the No. 1 destination for home décor and furnishings. Respondents’ use of the online retailer jumped 44.6% compared with last quarter. Thrift stores and Target Corp. (TGT) rounded out the top three locations, up 36.7% and 3.2%, respectively, as respondents are increasingly choosing less expensive options for décor.
  • Smartphone use for in-vehicle entertainment increased the most compared with other options, up 33.3% year to year. Smartphones are pulling respondents away from using embedded auto systems, satellite radio and traditional radio, which declined in use by 66.7%, 9.6% and 14.3%, respectively. 18- to 29-year-olds’ use of smartphones for in-car entertainment increased 52.5% compared with last year.
  • Skechers USA Inc. (SKX) continues to walk tall in the athletic shoe market; 23.1% more respondents than last quarter plan to buy its shoes in the next six months. Skechers and Adidas AG (ADDYY) have been jockeying for third place behind Nike Inc. (NKE) and New Balance, with Skechers taking the position this month. The likelihood of 18- to 29-year-olds purchasing Skechers in the next six months increased 88.9% compared with last quarter.
  • Bernie Sanders is gaining on overall leader Hillary Clinton among presidential hopefuls. Donald Trump and Ben Carson are positioned to fight it out for the Republican nomination, while Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina are tied for third. Support decreased more for Jeb Bush than for any other leading candidate compared with three months ago.

 

Introduction

Welcome to Blueshift Research’s 16th edition of the Trends Tracker in conjunction with Burnham Securities. This monthly research survey tracks the most pressing topics affecting U.S. consumers as well as business and investment theses. We monitor trends to see how respondents’ opinions evolve, and frequently update survey questions with new issues that emerge from our research and observations.

The October Trends Tracker comprises 1,094 respondents who represent a general sample of the U.S. public and who answered questions on Oct. 12 and 13. Blueshift utilized Census data to balance respondents by gender and age so that the sample aligns with the U.S. population. We added three new questions regarding McDonald’s all-day breakfast, vacation/property rental sites, and mobile ad-blocking use.

 

Location of Topics

  1. Fast-food/quick-service restaurants
  2. OTAs
  3. Home décor and furnishings retailers
  4. In-car entertainment
  5. Athletic shoes
  6. Pay-TV/OTT/cord cutting
  7. Social media ads
  8. Vacation/property rental sites
  9. Digital and mobile wallets
  10. Ad blocking
  11. Electric/hybrid vehicle adoption
  12. GMOs/GMO labeling
  13. Rental car alternatives
  14. Presidential candidates

 

Topics

1) McDonald’s is winning millennials over with its all-day breakfast menu; “healthier” QSR options Subway, Chipotle and Panera experienced decrease in visits compared with July.

More respondents ate at McDonald’s in October than in July, particularly 18- to 29-year-olds who now eat at McDonald’s more often than all other age groups. Restaurant Brands International Inc.’s (QSR) Burger King saw a tremendous jump in the number of respondents eating at its establishments in October compared with three months ago, and Wendy’s Co. (WEN) also climbed more than McDonald’s. These establishments are benefitting from an overall increase in visits to fast-food/quick-service restaurants (QSRs), though healthier fast-food/quick-service restaurants such as Subway, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) and Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) all experienced a decrease in the number of respondents eating at their establishments in October compared with July.

Just one week after the nationwide rollout of its all-day breakfast, McDonald’s already has posted an improvement in customer perception. Respondents now are more likely to view McDonald’s as on par with other fast-food/quick-service restaurants, better than most others, or as the best fast-food/quick-service restaurant compared with last month. This change in perception stems from younger respondents.

During the first week of the nationwide rollout, 18.4% of all respondents ordered off of McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu at a non-breakfast time; 16.4% plan to do it again, including 2.3% who will do it daily and 4.2% who will do it weekly. 18- to 29-year-olds were the top age group to have ordered off of the all-day breakfast menu at a non-breakfast time and would do it again. Nearly 40% of respondents have not ordered off the all-day breakfast menu during a non-breakfast time yet but said they plan to do so, while 34% have not and will not.

Blueshift’s follow-up Oct. 2 report showed the all-day breakfast rollout was starting strong, even before the official launch. Foursquare saw foot traffic at McDonald’s increase 9% after the all-day breakfast rollout.

 

Which fast-food/quick-service restaurants have you eaten at in the past month? Select all that apply.

  • 46.4% ate at McDonald’s during the past month, a 17.5% increase compared with the previous quarter.
    • All age groups had more respondents who ate at McDonald’s compared with the previous quarter.
  • 28.8% ate at Subway during the past month, a 5.9% decrease compared with the previous quarter.
    • All age groups, except 60 or older, decreased their visits to Subway.
  • 26% ate at Burger King during the past month, a 43.6% increase compared with the previous quarter.
    • All age groups had more respondents who ate at Burger King compared with the previous quarter.
  • 24.3% ate at Wendy’s during the past month, a 20.3% increase compared with the previous quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds eat at Wendy’s more often than other age groups. 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to have fewer respondents who ate at Wendy’s compared with the previous quarter.
  • 22% ate at Yum! Brands Inc.’s (YUM) Taco Bell during the past month, an 8.3% decrease.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds decreased their visits to Taco Bell the most compared with the previous quarter.
  • 15.9% ate at Chipotle during the past month, an 8.6% decrease compared with the previous quarter.
    • All age groups except 60 or older had fewer respondents who ate at Chipotle than in the previous quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are still Chipotle’s most common customers.
  • 14.9% ate at Panera during the past month, a 12.9% decrease compared with the previous quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds were the age group to most frequently decrease their visits to Panera.
  • 12% did not eat at any fast-food/quick-service restaurants in the past month, down from 15.2% in July.
    • All age groups increased their visits to fast-food/quick-service restaurants compared with the previous quarter. 18- to 29-year-olds were the most likely to eat at fast-food/QSRs in the past month.
  • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to decrease the average number of fast-food/QSRs they frequented in the past month, compared with the previous quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds frequented fast-food/quick-service restaurants most often, an average 4.63 visits.

 

 

How does McDonald’s compare with all other fast-food/quick-service restaurants?

  • 47.2% think McDonald’s is on par with other fast-food/quick-service restaurants, a 6.3% increase compared with last month.
  • 20.7% do not eat at McDonald’s, 8% less compared with last month.
    • Respondents at least 60 or 30 to 44 years old were the two age groups to see an increase in the number of those who do not eat at McDonald’s.
    • Households making $24,000 or less, or $50,000 to $99,999 were the two income levels to see an increase in the number of respondents who do not eat at McDonald’s compared with last month.
  • 17.7% think McDonald’s is better than most others or is the best fast-food/quick-service restaurant, a 9.9% increase.
    • All age groups, except 60 or older, posted an increase from last month in the number of respondents who said McDonald’s is better than others or is the best fast-food/quick-service restaurant.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds now have the greatest percentage of those who believe McDonald’s is better than others or is the best fast-food/quick-service restaurant.
  • 14.4% think McDonald’s is worse than others or is the worst fast-food/QSR, 15.2% lower than last month.
    • All age groups, except 18- to 29-year-olds, posted a decrease from last month in the number of respondents who said McDonald’s is worse than others or is the worst fast-food/quick-service restaurant.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds now have the greatest percentage of those who believe McDonald’s is worse than others or is the worst fast-food/quick-service restaurant compared with other age groups.

 

 

Have you ordered off the all-day breakfast menu at McDonald’s during a non-breakfast time?

  • 39.1% have not ordered off of the all-day breakfast menu during a non-breakfast time but plan to do so.
    • All age groups hovered between having 36% and 41% of respondents who had not yet ordered off the all-day breakfast menu during a non-breakfast time but who plan to do so.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds had the highest percentage of respondents in this category.
  • 34.1% have not ordered off of the all-day breakfast menu during a non-breakfast time and do not plan to do so.
    • As the demographic increased in age, it also became less likely to try the all-day breakfast at a non-breakfast time.
  • 16.4% ordered off of the all-day breakfast menu at McDonald’s during a non-breakfast time and would do it again.
    • 18- to 44-year-olds are more likely than other age groups to order off the all-day breakfast menu during a non-breakfast time and to plan to do it again.
  • 2% ordered off of the all-day breakfast menu at McDonald’s during a non-breakfast time and would not do it again.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the most likely to order off of the all-day breakfast menu during a non-breakfast time and not do it again.

 

 

2) Expedia posts growth as the most preferred OTA, while the next six vote getters posted declines in mentions compared with last quarter.

Expedia was the only OTA among the top seven vote getters to become more popular among respondents compared with last quarter. It experienced an increase of 18.8% as respondents’ No. 1 preferred site for booking trips, flights, hotels and/or rental cars.

Booking directly with an airline or hotel came in second, followed by Kayak, Expedia’s Travelocity, Hotels.com, and Expedia’s Orbitz, all of which declined between 2.3% and 11.7%. TripAdvisor took the biggest hit, dropping 42.2%. Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) and its Booking.com both rose in respondents’ preference, up 3% and 13%, respectively.

Expedia is setting itself apart from the pack. It introduced Called Upgrade Options to allow customers to see hidden fees before booking flights. It also put $6.4 million into TV advertising for the tours and activity sector on its app.

 

Which is your preferred OTA for booking trips, flights, hotels and/or rental cars?

  • 15.2% prefer Expedia, an 18.8% increase compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups increased in their preference for Expedia compared with last quarter.
  • 9.8% book directly with the airline or hotel, an 11.7% decrease compared with last quarter.
  • 6.4% prefer Kayak, a 7.2% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds and those 60 or older were the two age groups to decrease their preference for Kayak compared with last quarter.
  • 3.9% prefer Orbitz, a 7.1% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to decrease their preference for Orbitz.
  • 3.7% prefer TripAdvisor, a 42.2% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups decreased in their preference for TripAdvisor compared with last quarter.
  • 3.4% prefer Priceline, a 3% increase compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups, except 18- to 29-year-olds, increased in their preference for Priceline.
  • 36% do not use OTAs, a 12.9% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to have more respondents using OTAS than in the last quarter.

 

 

 

3) Amazon overtakes other retailers to become the No. 1 destination for home décor and furnishings, followed by thrift stores and Target.

Respondents are shopping more often for home décor and furnishings at less expensive locations such as Amazon, thrift stores and Target. Amazon now is the most frequently used shop for home décor and furnishings, up 44.6% compared with last quarter. Thrift stores also experienced impressive growth, up 36.7%. Target fell to the third most frequently used shop for despite experiencing a slight increase in use compared with last quarter. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY), Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (RH), and Wayfair Inc. (W) all experienced drops in the number of respondents using their stores for home décor and furnishings compared with three months ago.

 

Where do you shop the most for home décor and furnishings?

  • 14.6% mostly shop at Amazon for home décor and furnishings, a 44.6% increase compared with July.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds still are the most likely to shop on Amazon for home décor and furnishings, but 45- to 59-year-olds who primarily use Amazon jumped 180% compared with last quarter.
    • Respondents 60 or older were the only age group to decrease their shopping on Amazon for home décor and furnishings compared with last quarter.
    • All income levels increased their shopping on Amazon compared with last quarter.
  • 13.4% shop at thrift stores the most for home décor and furnishings, a 36.7% increase compared with last quarter.
    • Respondents 45 or older increased their shopping at thrift stores compared with last quarter.
    • All household income levels, except $100,000 to $149,999, increased their shopping at thrift stores compared with last quarter.
  • 13.1% shop at Target the most for home décor and furnishings, a 3.2% increase compared with last quarter.
    • Respondents 45 or older increased their shopping at Target for home décor and furnishings.
    • Households making $100,000 or more were the only income level to increase their shopping at Target.
  • 12.3% shop at Bed Bath & Beyond the most for home décor and furnishings, a 9.6% decrease.
    • Respondents 45 or older decreased their shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond for home décor and furnishings.
    • Households making $50,000 or more decreased their shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond since last quarter.
  • 1.1% shop at Restoration Hardware the most for home décor and furnishings, a 15.4% decrease.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds and respondents 60 or older shop at Restoration Hardware for home décor and furnishings more when compared with last quarter.
    • Households making $50,000 to $99,999, or at least $150,000 were the only two income levels to shop at Restoration Hardware for home décor and furnishings.
  • 1% shop at Wayfair the most for home décor and furnishings, a 23.1% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • 30- to 59-year-olds shop at Wayfair for home décor and furnishings less often compared with last quarter, but the other two age groups shop at Wayfair the same amount as in July.
    • Households making $24,999 or less or at least $150,000 decreased their shopping at Wayfair for home décor and furnishings compared with last quarter.

 

 

4) Smartphone use in vehicles is pulling respondents away from using embedded auto systems, satellite radio and traditional radio.

Smartphone use for entertainment in cars increased more than other forms of auto entertainment, up 33.3% year to year. Traditional radio, satellite radio, and embedded auto systems all saw a precipitous drop in use. Smartphone use is increasingly led by 18- to 29-year-olds, who are using it 52.5% more compared with last year.

Use declined 14.3% for traditional radio, 9.6% for satellite radio and by two-thirds for embedded systems, which now encompass just 1.8% of responses.

18- to 29-year-olds and/or households making $25,000 to $99,999 increased their satellite radio usage over the course of the year. This could be as a result of SiriusXM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) reporting subscription growth in the third quarter and increased guidance until the end of the year. Use of its app also may play a role.

 

How do you consume most of your in-car entertainment?

  • 46.2% use traditional radio most frequently for auto entertainment, a 14.3% decrease compared with a year ago.
  • 19.2% use a smartphone most frequently for auto entertainment, a 33.3% increase compared with a year ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds increased their use of smartphones the most, up 52.5%.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to use a smartphone less often compared with a year ago.
  • 11.3% use satellite radio most frequently for auto entertainment, a 9.6% decrease compared with a year ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their use of satellite radio compared with a year ago.
    • Households making $25,000 to $99,999 increase their use of satellite radio compared with a year ago while other income levels posted a decline in their use.
  • 9.3% use CDs/cassettes most frequently, a 17.7% increase compared with last quarter when the answer option debuted in our survey. This may be partly responsible for respondents’ decline in traditional radio use.
  • 1.8% use embedded systems most frequently for auto entertainment, a 66.7% decrease compared with a year ago.
    • All age groups are less likely to use embedded auto systems compared with a year ago.

 

 

5) Skechers currently is the third most sought-after athletic shoe brand. Under Armour is building a following among 18- to 29-year-olds.

15% more respondents plan to buy a pair of athletic shoes in the next six months compared with last quarter, benefiting Nike, New Balance, Skechers and Under Armour Inc. (UA). Nike increased its lead as the top brand in the athletic shoe market, with 20% more respondents—particularly younger ones—planning to purchase its shoes compared with last quarter. Respondents 60 or older led the charge for New Balance’s 3.2% increase in future purchase intent. Skechers is picking up steam as it jockeys for position with Adidas; potential purchases of Skechers are up 23.1%, thanks to 88.9% growth among 18- to 29-year-olds. This continues the positive sentiment seen in Blueshift’s Sept. 24 report. Respondents’ intent to buy Adidas dropped 1.1% compared with last quarter, though it did see an increase among 18- to- 29-year-olds. Although only 4.1% plan to buy Under Armour shoes in the next six months, the brand experienced a 36.7% uptake in interest compared with last quarter, driven by 18- to 29-year-olds.

 

Which brand of athletic shoes do you plan to buy in the next six months? Select all that apply.

  • 26.8% plan to buy Nike shoes in the next six months, a 20.7% increase compared with July.
    • 18- to 44-year-olds are more likely to purchase Nike shoes in the next six months compared with last quarter.
  • 15.9% plan to buy New Balance shoes in the next six months, a 3.2% increase compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups except 45- to 59-year-olds are more likely to purchase New Balance shoes in the next six months compared with last quarter, led by respondents 60 or older.
  • 9.6% plan to buy Skechers shoes in the next six months, a 23.1% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds were the only age group to be less likely compared with last quarter to purchase Skechers shoes in the next six months.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds’ likelihood of purchasing Skechers shoes in the next six months grew 88.9%.
  • 9.5% plan to buy Adidas shoes in the next six months, a 1.1% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group more likely to purchase Adidas in the next six months.
  • 4.1% plan to buy Under Armour shoes in the next six months, a 36.7% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and respondents 60 or older are more likely to purchase Under Armour shoes in the next six months compared with last quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds’ likelihood of purchasing Under Armour shoes in the next six months grew 146.3% compared with last quarter.
  • 33.1% do not plan to buy athletic shoes in the next six months, 15.3% less than in last quarter.

 

 

6) Cord-nevers decrease, fueling pay-TV subscriptions, but cord cutting continues its plodding pace.

Respondents’ pay-TV subscriptions of both basic and add-on services grew compared with six months ago, with subscriptions to basic pay-TV services increasing the most over that time. Still, respondents who canceled their pay-TV service more than a month ago increased 45% compared with in April. The increase in both ends of the spectrum for pay-TV and non-pay-TV users is related to the 40% drop in respondents who have never had a pay-TV service (cord-nevers). Respondents who canceled their subscription in the last month decrease slightly in number compared with six months ago but remain at a rate of 1% per month. An Evercore analyst also predicted an uptick of pay-TV subscribers in the third quarter as companies push promotional offerings.

9% of pay-TV subscribers are very or extremely likely to cancel their subscription in the next six months, a 25% increase compared with in April. 30- to 44-year-olds still are the primary age group to be very or extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months, which links back to these respondents being the most likely to already have canceled a pay-TV subscription more than a month ago.

Most online TV streaming service subscriptions continue to see growing numbers compared with six months ago as more respondents try out at least one service. Netflix Inc. (NFLX) experienced a 19% increase in use compared with six months ago as all age groups flock to its service. Hulu’s multiple tiers all experienced usage growth, thanks to higher numbers in all age groups. Hulu and Hulu Plus usage rose 23.3% and 18.7%, respectively, compared with six months ago, and use of Hulu Plus without ads increased 212.5% compared with last month when it debuted. Both of Time Warner Cable Inc.’s (TWC) HBO platforms, HBO Now and HBO Go, also experienced increased use compared with six months ago, up 65.9% and 40%, respectively. Amazon Instant Video’s growth of 18.5% this month compared with in April may represent a slowdown; its core age group six months ago, 30- to 44-year-olds, remained stable users of the service. Use of Dish Network Corp.’s (DISH) Sling TV rose 77.8% compared with six months ago, but adoption remains low, around 2%.

Google Inc.’s (GOOG/GOOGL) YouTube was one of few online TV streaming services to experience a usage slip compared with six months ago, down 1.3%. YouTube introduced YouTube Red on Oct. 28, eliminating ads on its platforms for subscribers. Vudu was the other service to have fewer users this month, with usage down 8.3% compared with last month. Crunchyroll, another newcomer added to the survey last month, remained stable compared with September.

 

Do you use pay-TV in your household?

  • 37.8% use pay-TV with add-on services, a 3.3% increase compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 44-year-olds are using more pay-TV with add-on service compared with six months ago.
  • 31.3% use a basic pay-TV service, an 18.5% increase compared with six months ago.
  • 16.2% have never had a pay-TV service, 40.4% fewer compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups are less likely to have never had a pay-TV service compared with six months ago.
  • 13.6% canceled their pay-TV service more than a month ago, a 44.7% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups are more likely than in April to have canceled their pay-TV service more than a month ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds still are the most likely to have canceled their pay-TV service more than a month ago.
  • 1% canceled their pay-TV service in the past month, a 16.7% decrease compared with six months ago.

 

How likely are you to cancel your pay-TV subscription in the next six months for only online streaming services?

  • 8.9% of pay-TV subscribers are very or extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months, a 25.4% increase compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups increased in being very or extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months compared with last quarter, led by 30- to 44-year-olds.
    • Households with incomes lower than $150,000—led by those with incomes lower than $24,999—are the most likely to be very or extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months compared with last quarter.

 

Which online streaming TV services do you use? Select all that apply.

  • 55.9% use Netflix, an 18.9% increase compared with six months ago.
    • Younger respondents are more likely to use Netflix although all age groups are using the service more often compared with six months ago.
  • 37.6% use YouTube, a 1.3% decrease compared with six months ago.
  • 21.1% use Amazon Instant Video, an 18.5% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups, except 30- to 44-year-olds, increased their use of Amazon Instant Video.
  • 14.3% use Hulu, a 23.3% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups are using Hulu more often compared with six months ago.
  • 10.5% use HBO Go, a 40% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups are using HBO Go more often compared with six months ago.
  • 8.9% use Hulu Plus, an 18.7% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups are using Hulu Plus more often compared with six months ago.
  • 7.7% use Google Play, a 42.6% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups, except 30- to 44-year-olds, are using Google Play more often compared with six months ago.
  • 6.8% use HBO Now, a 65.9% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups are using HBO Now more often compared with six months ago.
  • 2.5% use Hulu Plus without ads, a 212.5% increase compared with a month ago.
    • All age groups are using Hulu Plus without ads more often compared with a month ago.
  • 1.6% use Sling TV, a 77.8% increase compared with six months ago.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to decrease their use of Sling TV compared with six months ago.
  • 24.6% do not use any online streaming services, 14% lower than with six months ago.
    • All household incomes are more likely to use any online streaming service compared with six months ago.

 

 

 

7) Respondents have increased their purchases through social media ads. Instagram is seeing twice as many purchases through its platform compared with six months ago.

Purchases through social media ads increase 37.4% compared with six months ago, led by 18- to 29-year-olds and households making $24,999 or less. Purchases through Facebook Inc.’s (FB) Instagram doubled compared with six months ago. Purchases through Facebook itself climbed 21.5% over the same time, but our findings show the growing strength of Instagram potentially cannibalizing some of Facebook’s business, a pattern uncovered in our Oct. 16 quarterly advertising report. Still, Facebook by far remains the top platform driving social media ads. Pinterest remains the second most popular site for ad-derived purchases, which rose 52.9%.

 

Have you bought any products through a social media ad?

  • 16.9% bought a product through a social media ad, a 37.4% increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups increased their purchases through social media ads compared with six months ago, led by 18- to 29-year-olds.
    • All household income levels increased their purchases through social media ads compared with six months ago, led by those making $24,999 or less.
  • 9.6% bought a product through an ad on Facebook, a 21.5% increase compared with six months ago.
  • 2.6% bought a product through an ad on Pinterest, a 52.9% increase compared with six months ago.
  • 1.6% bought a product through an ad on Instagram, a 100% increase compared with six months ago.
  • 1.1% bought a product through an ad on Twitter Inc. (TWTR), an 83.3% increase compared with six months ago.

 

 

8) Airbnb and Booking.com are the most popular vacation/property rental sites, but HomeAway’s two combined entities surpass both.

Airbnb and Priceline’s Booking.com are tied as the most preferred individual vacation/property rental sites, closely followed by HomeAway Inc.’s (AWAY) VRBO. HomeAway’s namesake site is the fourth most preferred, and is used by more by younger respondents. When combining HomeAway’s two vacation/property rental sites, it is the leader by a small amount. Older respondents prefer to use VRBO.

 

What is your preferred vacation/property rental site?

  • 6.9% prefer to use Airbnb.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are more likely than other age groups to use Airbnb.
  • 6.9% prefer to use Booking.com.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are more likely than other age groups to use Booking.com.
  • 6.4% prefer to use VRBO.
    • Older respondents are more likely than their younger counterparts to use VRBO.
  • 2.4% prefer to use HomeAway.
    • Younger respondents are more likely than their older counterparts to use HomeAway.

 

 

9) Digital or mobile wallet usage drops compared with last year, but new adopters double.

Respondents using digital or mobile wallets decreased compared with a year ago, but this trend may be changing as twice as many respondents signed up this month compared with a year ago. 18- to 29-year-olds are the top adopters of digital or mobile wallets and were the only age group to increase their use of the services compared with a year ago. Households making $50,000 to $99,999 were the only income level to increase their use of digital or mobile wallets.

The rising rate of newcomers to the digital or mobile wallet could be related to the growing number of companies entering the space, such as Capital One Financial Corp. (COF). Still, use of these wallets represents only 1% of U.S. retail transactions, and is limited by the 27% of stores that currently have updated terminals to accept NFC payments. The minimal adoption of NFC payment terminals gives Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd’s (KRX:005935) Samsung Pay an edge over Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay. Samsung Pay can be accepted at any terminal that accepts credit card swipes.

 

Have you used a digital or mobile wallet in the last month?

  • 34.8% have used a digital or mobile wallet in the last month, a 12.2% decrease compared with a year ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their use of digital or mobile wallets in the last month compared with a year ago, up 16.4%.
    • Households making $50,000 to $99,999 were the only income level to increase their use of digital or mobile wallets compared with a year ago, although only slightly.
  • 3.3% just started using a digital or mobile wallet in the last month, a 106.3% increase compared with a year ago.

 

 

10) Few respondents are taking advantage of iOS 9’s new ad-blocking feature.

iOS users have one of the lowest ad-blocking adoption rates compared with other operating systems, well behind Windows and Android phone users. Additionally, iOS users are the most likely to have never used ad blocking on mobile devices, with no plans to use any apps or tools in the future. Website publishers from Blueshift’s Aug. 3 Ad Tech report predicted slow adoption of the new ad blocking tools, and this survey data provides evidence of minimal adoption of iOS 9’s new ad-blocking features released Sept. 16. Android users are the most likely to have been using ad-blocking features for more than three months.

iOS 9 ad-blocking adoption may pick up; it was the operating system with the highest number of users who may start using ad-blocking tools in the next three months. iOS ad blocking will first affect website developers and then advertisers if adoption grows over time.

 

Which best describes your use of ad-blocking tools or apps on your smartphone?

  • 33.3% have never used ad blocking on mobile devices and have no plans to use any tools/apps.
    • 44.8% of iOS users have never used ad blocking on mobile devices and have no plans to use any tools/apps.
    • 41.2% of Windows phone users have never used ad blocking on mobile devices and have no plans to use any tools/apps.
    • 37.5% of Android users have never used ad blocking on mobile devices and have no plans to use any tools/apps.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to have never used ad blocking on a mobile device and to have no plans to use any tools or apps.
  • 26.5% have never used ad blocking on mobile devices but may start in the next three months.
    • 34.4% of iOS users have never used ad blocking on mobile devices but may start in the next three months.
    • 32.4% of Windows phone users have never used ad blocking on mobile devices but may start in the next three months.
    • 30.7% of Android users have never used ad blocking on mobile devices but may start in the next three months.
  • 10.6% have used ad blocking on mobile devices for more than three months but have no plans to add new tools/apps.
    • 16.8% of Android users have used ad blocking for more than three months but have no plans to add new tools/apps.
    • 8.8% of Window phone users have used ad blocking for more than three months but have no plans to add new tools/apps.
    • 8.8% of iOS users have used ad blocking for more than three months but have no plans to add new tools/apps.
  • 4.5% have used ad blocking on mobile devices for more than three months and are considering adding more tools/apps in the near future.
    • 5.6% of Android users have used ad blocking for more than three months and are considering adding more tools/apps in the near future.
    • 5.1% of iOS users have used ad blocking for more than three months and are considering adding more tools/apps in the near future.
    • 2.9% of Window phone users have used ad blocking for more than three months and are considering adding more tools/apps in the near future.
  • 3.5% began using ad blocking on mobile devices in the past three months but have no plans to add other tools/apps.
    • 8.8% of Windows users began using ad blocking in the past three months but have no plans to add other tools/apps.
    • 4.9% of Android users began using ad blocking in the past three months but have no plans to add other tools/apps.
    • 3.2% of iOS users began using ad blocking in the past three months but have no plans to add other tools/apps.
  • 3.5% began using ad blocking on mobile devices in the past three months and are considering adding more tools/apps.
    • 5.9% of Windows users began using ad blocking in the past three months and are considering adding more tools/apps.
    • 4.6% of Android users began using ad blocking in the past three months and are considering adding more tools/apps.
    • 3.7% of iOS users began using ad blocking in the past three months and are considering adding more tools/apps.
  • 18.2% do not own a smartphone.

 

What type of operating system does your phone run?

  • 48.7% use an Android.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds are the most likely to use Android.
  • 44.4% use iOS.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to use iOS.
  • 4% use a Windows phone.
  • 0.7% use a BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) OS.

 

11) Electric and hybrid vehicle adoption has dropped compared with six months ago.

Respondents’ electric and hybrid vehicle adoption dropped 35.3% and 12.1%, respectively, compared with six months ago because of lower gas prices. Their likelihood of purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle also dropped significantly, nearly 50%. All demographics showed a decrease in likelihood except those ages 30 to 44. However, 18- to 29-year-olds and/or those making $49,999 or less were very or extremely likely compared with six months ago to purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle as their next car.

Overall unit sales of EVs are down 80,000 compared with last year, and sales have slipped specifically for Toyota Motor Corp.’s (TYO:7203) Prius, BMW AG’s (ETR:BMW) models and the Chevy Volt (General Motors Corp./GM).

 

What type of car do you own?

  • 83.3% of respondents own a gas-powered car, a 5.6% increase compared with six months ago.
  • 9.7% of respondents do not own a car, 23.6% lower than six months ago.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to have more respondents who do not own a car than six months ago.
  • 5.8% of respondents own a hybrid car, a 12.1% decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and 45- to 59-year-olds increased their adoption of hybrid cars since six months ago.
    • Twice as many 18- to 29-year-olds own a hybrid car as in April.
    • Households making $24,999 or less were the only income level to decrease their adoption of hybrid cars.
  • 1.1% of respondents own an electric car, a 35.3% decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their EV adoption compared with six months ago.
    • Households making $25,000 to $49,999 were the only income level to increase their electric car adoption.

 

How likely are you to purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle for your next car?

  • 49.8% are not at all likely to purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle for their next car, a 22.1% increase compared with six months ago.
  • 9.9% are very or extremely likely to purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle for their next car, a 14.7% decrease.
    • 18- to 44-year-olds were the top age group to be very or extremely likely of purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle compared with in April.
    • Households making $49,999 or less were the top income level to be very or extremely likely of purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle compared with in April.
  • 4.1% are committed to making a hybrid or electric vehicle purchase, a 22.6% decrease from six months ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds were the only age group to have more respondents commit to making a hybrid or electric vehicle purchase compared with six months ago.
    • Households making $49,999 or less as well as those making $150,000 or more were more likely to commit to making a hybrid or electric vehicle purchase than six months ago.

 

 

12) More respondents are speaking with their wallets and refusing to buy GMO foods. Three-quarters of respondents support GMO labeling, a slight decrease compared with last year.

More than one-half of respondents are opposed to GMO foods, a 5.5% increase compared with a year ago. One-third oppose GMO foods and do not buy them, though one-fifth oppose but buy them anyway. Those who oppose GMO foods and refuse to buy them are more likely to be older. The number of respondents who are indifferent on the topic decreased nearly 10% compared with a year ago. Three-fourths of respondents believe GMO foods should be labeled, a 4.6% decrease compared with last year. Those indifferent about labeling GMO foods decreased in number, but those opposing labeling rose slightly year to year.

The lack of desire for GMO crops is supported by recent news. Monsanto Co. (MON) has reported declining sales of its corn and cut its work force by 2,600. Further push back on buying GMO foods may be fueled by the move from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to place glyphosate, a chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup and other herbicides used on GMO crops, on its cancer-causing list of chemicals. This resulted in multiple firms representing farmers to sue Monsanto for keeping silent on the chemical’s effect. Countries in Europe also are taking a stand and banning GMO crops from Monsanto altogether. Discussion continues regarding a national standard for labeling GMO foods; other polls indicate 90% or more of U.S. citizens want GMO labeling.

 

What are your views on GMO?

  • 34.4% are indifferent about GMO foods, a 9.7% decrease compared with a year ago.
  • 34.2% oppose GMO foods and do not buy them, a 4% increase compared with a year ago.
    • Older respondents are the most likely to oppose GMO foods and not buy them, but 45- to 59-year-olds also were the only age group to decrease their opposition to GMO foods compared with a year ago.
    • Households making $50,000 to $99,999 are the most opposed to GMO foods and will not buy them, but this percentage decreased compared with a year ago.
  • 21.9% oppose GMO foods but buy them anyway, a 7.9% increase compared with a year ago.
  • 9.5% are in favor of GMO foods and buy them, a 9.2% increase compared with a year ago.

 

Should GMO foods be labeled?

  • 77.3% believe GMO foods should be labeled, a 4.6% decrease compared with a year ago.
  • 17% are indifferent when it comes to labeling GMO foods, a 12.6% increase compared with a year ago.
  • 5.7% believe GMO foods should not be labeled, a 46.2% increase compared with a year ago.

 

 

13) Lyft, BookingBuddy and RelayRides withstand seasonal usage shift from summer.

With the end of summer, fewer respondents are using rental car services and most alternative services altogether. Respondents using only rental car services dropped 16.7% compared with last quarter. Uber and taxi services, the top two alternative services, both decreased in use compared with last quarter, down 19.9% and 26.8%, respectively. Lyft was one of the few alternatives to withstand the seasonal shift, posting a similar number of responses quarter to quarter. RelayRides and Expedia’s BookingBuddy were two rental car alternatives to be used more often compared with last quarter, up 42.9% and 100%, respectively, but both are used by at most 1% of respondents.

Lyft recently partnered with Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) to allow the use of Hertz rentals for drivers who may not own a car or do not meet car standards set by Lyft.

 

Which services have you used instead of a car rental in the last three months? Select all that apply.

  • 58.4% did not use rental cars or any alternative services in the last three months, 13.4% more than last quarter.
  • 15% used only rental car services in the last three months, a 16.7% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups decreased their use of only rental car services in the last three months.
  • 13.3% used Uber as an alternative to a rental car in the last three months, a 19.9% decrease.
    • All age groups decreased their use of Uber as an alternative service to rental cars in the last three months compared with last quarter, but Uber is still most popular among 18- to 29-year-olds.
  • 12% used taxis as an alternative to a rental car in the last three months, a 26.8% decrease.
  • 3.4% used Lyft as an alternative to a rental car in the last three months, the same as last quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and 45- to 59-year-olds were more likely to use Lyft as an alternative to a rental car in the last three months compared with last quarter.
  • 1% used BookingBuddy as an alternative to a rental car in the last three months, a 42.9% increase.
  • 0.8% used RelayRides as an alternative to a rental car in the last three months, a 100% increase.

 

 

14) Bernie Sanders is gaining ground on overall leader Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump and Ben Carson are positioned to fight it out for the Republican nomination, while Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina are tied for third. Support has decreased more for Jeb Bush than for any other leading candidate.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the top two Democratic and overall candidates for whom respondents will vote in the 2016 presidential election, but Clinton has lost ground since the last quarter in all age groups and all income levels except those making $100,000 to $149,999. Bernie Sanders is gaining support from all age groups and all household income levels. Joe Biden, who recently stated he would not be running for president (after our poll was completed), commanded more potential votes than all but two of the Republican candidates. Our poll was completed before the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13.

Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina are the top four Republican candidates for whom respondents would vote in the 2016 presidential election, and all trail the top two Democratic prospects. All four Republican candidates are gaining voters as the field narrows. Donald Trump and Ben Carson are gaining support among all age groups and all income levels. Marco Rubio has gathered support since last quarter from 30- to 44-year-olds, respondents 60 or older, and/or households making $50,000 or more. Carly Fiorina, on the heels of her strong showing at the second Republican debate, garnered more responses compared with last quarter—up 300%, more than any other candidate. Support decreased more for Jeb Bush than for any other leading candidate compared with three months ago.

Respondents were more likely to believe the economic prospects in the United States are declining than improving compared with six months ago. They also were more likely to place blame rather than to give credit to a political party. Three-fourths of respondents, roughly the same as last quarter, plan to vote for a particular candidate rather than a political party.

 

Who will you vote for in the 2016 presidential race?

  • 21.9% will vote for Hillary Clinton, a 20.7% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • Older respondents remain the most supportive of Clinton, but all age groups decreased their support compared with last quarter.
    • Households making $100,000 to $149,999 were the only income level to increase their support for Clinton compared with last quarter.
  • 18.7% will vote for Bernie Sanders, a 24.7% increase compared with last quarter.
    • Younger respondents remain the most supportive of Sanders, but all age groups increased their support compared with last quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds increased their support the most, up 44.6%.
    • All household income levels increased their support for Sanders compared with the previous quarter. Those making $25,000 to $49,999 increased their support for Bernie Sanders the most, up 88.7%.
  • 12.6% will vote for Donald Trump, a 53.7% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds now are the top age group in support of Trump, followed by respondents 60 or older, but all age groups increased their support compared with last quarter.
    • All household income levels increased their support for Trump compared with the previous quarter. Households making more than $150,000 increased their support for Trump the most, up 98.6%.
  • 7.9% will vote for Ben Carson, a 243.5% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds remain the age group to supports Carson the most, up 255.2%, while all age groups increased their support compared with last quarter.
    • All household income levels increased their support for Carson compared with the previous quarter. Households making $50,000 to $99,999 increased their support for Carson the most, up 742.9%.
  • 4.7% would have voted for Joe Biden, a 291.7% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the top age group to support Biden, while all age groups increased their support compared with last quarter.
    • All household income levels increased their support for Biden compared with the previous quarter. Households making $50,000 to $99,999 increased their support for Biden the most, up 1,000%.
  • 3.6% will vote for Marco Rubio, a 33.3% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds and those 60 or older have increased their support for Rubio compared with last quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds’ and 45- to 59-year-olds’ support decreased over that time.
    • Households making $50,000 or more increased their support for Rubio compared with the previous quarter. Households making $100,000 to $149,999 increased their support for Rubio the most, up 114.6%.
  • 3.6% will vote for Carly Fiorina, a 300% increase compared with last quarter.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds are the most supportive of Fiorina, but all age groups increased their support for the candidate compared with the previous quarter.
    • All household income levels increased their support for Fiorina compared with the previous quarter. Households making $100,000 to $149,999 increased their support the most, jumping 4.7 percentage points from 0%.
  • 2.8% will vote for Jeb Bush, a 60.6% decrease compared with last quarter.
    • Respondents 60 or older are the top age group to support Bush, but all age groups decreased their support.
    • All household income levels decreased their support for Bush compared with the previous quarter.
  • 14.3% will not be voting in the 2016 presidential election, a 6.5% drop from the previous quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the age group most likely to not vote and to increase in the number of respondents not planning to vote compared with the previous quarter.
    • Households making $150,000 or more were the only income group to increase in the number of respondents who will not vote in the 2016 presidential election.

 

Do you think economic prospects in the United States are improving or declining, and which political party, if any, is responsible?

  • 55.3% believe economic prospects are declining, 11.5% higher than a year ago.
    • 4% said Republicans are responsible for an economic decline, a 24.3% increase over last year.
    • 7% said Democrats are responsible for an economic decline, a 9.7% decrease over last year.
  • 44.7% believe economic prospects are improving, 11.3% lower than a year ago.
    • 2% said Democrats are responsible for an economic improvement, virtually the same as a year ago.
    • 8% said Republicans are responsible for an economic improvement, a 70.6% increase over last year.
  • 40.9% believe neither party is responsible for the economic prospects, an 8.7% decrease compared with a year ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds now are the most likely to neither blame nor give credit to either political party, a change from 2014 during which 18- to 29-year-olds were the lead age group.

 

How will you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

  • 75.4% will vote by potential candidate, a 0.1 percentage-point decrease compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups hover around 75% in voting by potential candidate.
    • 18- to 44-year-olds increased slightly while respondents 45 or older decreased slightly compared with last quarter in their likelihood of voting by candidate rather than political party.

 

 

 


Report analysis by Mason Rudy.