AlphaROC – AI Driven Data Science & Analytics

Karma Chronicles: Exploring the Reddit Universe

In the weeks leading up to its IPO, Reddit launched two new initiatives designed to enhance opportunities for businesses and advertisers. First, Reddit introduced a data analytics suite known as Reddit Pro, which helps businesses identify relevant trending topics to engage with. A week later, it launched Free-Form Ads. This new ad format not only allows businesses to create ads that blend seamlessly with other posts but also enables interaction with users by allowing comments on the ads. Shortly after its IPO, Reddit also introduced Dynamic Product Ads, which uses machine learning to display relevant products to users based on past shopping behaviors and demonstrated Reddit interests. Data from occam shows that users engage across a broad spectrum of content, ranging from entertainment and sports to science. This wide variety of subreddits provides advertisers unique opportunities for highly targeted advertising.  Selling access to its data has also emerged as a new and lucrative revenue stream for Reddit – those training large language models (LLMs) value Reddit data not only for its vast and diverse content, but because it can improve the models’ ability to mimic varied linguistic styles and complex human interactions.  Join us as we examine occam data to explore the foundations of Reddit’s business.

Read More »

 Body Snatchers: The Invasion of Anti-Obesity Drugs in America  

As Americans debate the complex issues around weight management and body image, the landscape of anti-obesity medications is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Prescription volume for GLP-1 agonist drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy reflect a staggering 300% surge in prescriptions from 2020 to 2022. Despite facing criticism from advocates of the body-positivity movement and those cautioning against easy fixes to obesity, the demand for these medications has in particular significantly boosted market leader Novo Nordisk – so much so that the company has single-handedly begun to impact Denmark’s national economic statistics.  The surge has also triggered a wave of new, potentially more effective treatments like Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide-based Mounjaro and Zepbound. Below, we delve into this remarkable trend, shedding light on the expanding public consciousness, the subtle demographic patterns around consumption, and the waning apprehensions concerning potential side effects.

Read More »

Marathon Brand: On Running and HOKA’s Quest for Athletic Royalty

Legacy sneaker giants Nike and Adidas are facing headwinds, grappling with excess inventory and criticism for a perceived lack of innovation in their sneaker lineups.  Against this backdrop, On Running and Deckers’ HOKA, two lesser-known brands, are threatening to take further market share. Both had an impressive 2023, deploying marketing strategies rooted in meaningful innovation and positioning as premium sportswear. Below, occam provides an analysis of brand recognition, how these brands resonate with different demographics, and the qualities that consumers value in the products of these two brands. 

Read More »

Temu’s Meteoric Rise: Fleeting Fancy or Sustainable Surge?

Since its debut in fall 2022, Pinduoduo Holdings’s Temu has experienced a meteoric rise rare for a new entrant in the competitive e-commerce space. Temu’s app consistently tops the charts on Apple’s App Store and Google Play store, and it has dethroned Alibaba as the largest Chinese e-commerce company by market cap, though it has arguably achieved these feats by prioritizing rapid growth over profitability. To understand Temu’s swift rise and its potential for sustaining this rate of growth, we consult occam to examine shifting trends in consumer spending habits, the demographics of Temu’s sizable user base, and the platform’s impact on competing retailers. Our exploration leads to some intriguing findings about Temu’s less-than-ideal customer satisfaction compared with giants like eBay and Amazon, and what improvements Temu users seek from the platform.

Read More »

EV Brand Preferences: Old Flames Burn Bright

Building on the insights from “Decoding EV Demand: Battery-Powered Bubble,” this blog examines consumer brand preferences in the electric vehicle (EV) market. We examine the correlation between brand preferences for electric vehicles (EVs) and overall brand preferences, irrespective of drivetrain. Additionally, we analyze the year-over-year growth in consumer interest across different EV brands, compare Tesla’s current market share with future Tesla purchase intent, and investigate the possibility of emerging Tesla “fatigue” in western states with high Tesla penetration. We also examine EV brand preferences by age and income, and ‘cross-shopping intensity’ by EV brand.  We close with a brief examination of the burgeoning electric pickup truck market.

Read More »

Decoding EV Demand: Battery-Powered Bubble?

Over recent years, most of the incumbent automakers significantly ramped up investments in electric vehicles (EVs), gearing up for what they collectively saw as an EV future. Among others, GM said they were aiming for an all-electric range by 2035, Ford for 100% EV sales by 2030, Mercedes for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and Volkswagen for 100% EV sales by 2033. This collective shift in focus is now manifesting in a rapidly accelerating supply of EVs. In 2022, EVs comprised approximately 5.8% of new vehicles sold in the US, and in Q3 2023, they comprised approximately 7.9%. But after years of tight EV supply, this rapid supply growth seems to have overtaken demand growth. Cox Automotive reports that as of the start of October, days of inventory for new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles stood at between 52 and 58 days, but days of inventory for new EVs (excluding Tesla and other DTC brands) stands at a concerning 97 days. This growing disparity is driving manufacturers and dealers to roll out an increasing number of incentives to move EV inventory. Below, using insights from occam data, we look for shifts in consumer attitudes towards EVs and dissect the demographic drivers behind EV demand. (In a later blog, we will explore brand preferences among EV buyers – expect some surprises.)

Read More »

Employment Trends: Greater Heights or Wuthering Expectations?

With the headline unemployment rate reaching lows not seen in decades, and the labor force participation rate rising to pre-pandemic levels, by outward appearances, the American job market is robust and stable. However, a closer look using occam data reveals some underlying vulnerabilities that are beginning to surface.  Below, with insights and analysis from occam, we dissect the nuances of the present labor market and what may lie ahead for the American workforce over the coming months.

Read More »

Curb Appeal on Wall Street: Home Depot and Lowe’s Resilience in a Challenging Housing Market

The pandemic years were a golden period for the housing market; remote work, drastically low rates, and a deluge of young, hungry American homebuyers accelerated home values, though supply shortages persisted. Accompanying this surge was also a record-high  in home improvement spending, taking the remodeling market to $570 billion last year. Now, the lack of housing inventory and the Federal Reserve’s war on inflation have reversed the tide. High mortgage rates have made owning a home unattainable for a majority of homebuyers and limiting  for homeowners. However, whether or not high mortgage rates will impact spending on home renovations is another question. Occam finds that while these rates have undeniably “handcuffed” homeowners and spending on major renovations continues to shrink, spending on minor renovations is stable, and growing. Average spending as well as visits per year for big-box home improvement centers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s reveal they are popular as ever, and if consumer sentiment is any indication, they should enjoy further success as they expand.

Read More »

Netflix Strikes Back: A Deeper Look at Password Crackdowns and Advertising

After a challenging post-covid phase marked by subscription losses that impacted revenues and its reputation as a consistent generator of growth, Netflix has daringly implemented two significant (if controversial) strategic maneuvers to considerable success, emerging as one of the stand-out performers of 2023. The first initiative put an end to account sharing. Though some observers initially dismissed the announcement as an empty threat or even a misstep, data from occam suggests the initiative is likely accretive to BOTH subscriptions and Average Revenue per Membership (ARM). The second initiative introduced an ad-supported subscription tier. Thus far, the plan has shown to be an effective churn reducer and incremental on-ramp to price sensitive consumers. Below, we reveal how both maneuvers are growing Netflix revenues and expanding its prized subscriber base.

Read More »

Reality Check: Exploring Demand for Apple’s Vision Pro

As the dust settles from the unveiling of Apple’s state-of-the-art Vision Pro AR/VR headset, there’s not only excitement, but also a palpable air of reservation among consumers. Its hefty price tag of $3500 is raising eyebrows, with many wondering if the headset will primarily be a toy for high-income early-adopters. Data from occam supports this notion: a substantial fraction of potential buyers are balking at the cost. Below, with the help of occam data, we explore consumer interest level in the headset, the implications of the high pricing, and how the headset might still provide a quiet win for Apple and its sticky ecosystem.

Read More »

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Latest Insights

Karma Chronicles: Exploring the Reddit Universe

In the weeks leading up to its IPO, Reddit launched two new initiatives designed to enhance opportunities for businesses and advertisers. First, Reddit introduced a data analytics suite known as Reddit Pro, which helps businesses identify relevant trending topics to engage with. A week later, it launched Free-Form Ads. This new ad format not only allows businesses to create ads that blend seamlessly with other posts but also enables interaction with users by allowing comments on the ads. Shortly after its IPO, Reddit also introduced Dynamic Product Ads, which uses machine learning to display relevant products to users based on past shopping behaviors and demonstrated Reddit interests. Data from occam shows that users engage across a broad spectrum of content, ranging from entertainment and sports to science. This wide variety of subreddits provides advertisers unique opportunities for highly targeted advertising.  Selling access to its data has also emerged as a new and lucrative revenue stream for Reddit – those training large language models (LLMs) value Reddit data not only for its vast and diverse content, but because it can improve the models’ ability to mimic varied linguistic styles and complex human interactions.  Join us as we examine occam data to explore the foundations of Reddit’s business.

 Body Snatchers: The Invasion of Anti-Obesity Drugs in America  

As Americans debate the complex issues around weight management and body image, the landscape of anti-obesity medications is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Prescription volume for GLP-1 agonist drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy reflect a staggering 300% surge in prescriptions from 2020 to 2022. Despite facing criticism from advocates of the body-positivity movement and those cautioning against easy fixes to obesity, the demand for these medications has in particular significantly boosted market leader Novo Nordisk – so much so that the company has single-handedly begun to impact Denmark’s national economic statistics.  The surge has also triggered a wave of new, potentially more effective treatments like Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide-based Mounjaro and Zepbound. Below, we delve into this remarkable trend, shedding light on the expanding public consciousness, the subtle demographic patterns around consumption, and the waning apprehensions concerning potential side effects.

Marathon Brand: On Running and HOKA’s Quest for Athletic Royalty

Legacy sneaker giants Nike and Adidas are facing headwinds, grappling with excess inventory and criticism for a perceived lack of innovation in their sneaker lineups.  Against this backdrop, On Running and Deckers’ HOKA, two lesser-known brands, are threatening to take further market share. Both had an impressive 2023, deploying marketing strategies rooted in meaningful innovation and positioning as premium sportswear. Below, occam provides an analysis of brand recognition, how these brands resonate with different demographics, and the qualities that consumers value in the products of these two brands. 

Temu’s Meteoric Rise: Fleeting Fancy or Sustainable Surge?

Since its debut in fall 2022, Pinduoduo Holdings’s Temu has experienced a meteoric rise rare for a new entrant in the competitive e-commerce space. Temu’s app consistently tops the charts on Apple’s App Store and Google Play store, and it has dethroned Alibaba as the largest Chinese e-commerce company by market cap, though it has arguably achieved these feats by prioritizing rapid growth over profitability. To understand Temu’s swift rise and its potential for sustaining this rate of growth, we consult occam to examine shifting trends in consumer spending habits, the demographics of Temu’s sizable user base, and the platform’s impact on competing retailers. Our exploration leads to some intriguing findings about Temu’s less-than-ideal customer satisfaction compared with giants like eBay and Amazon, and what improvements Temu users seek from the platform.

EV Brand Preferences: Old Flames Burn Bright

Building on the insights from “Decoding EV Demand: Battery-Powered Bubble,” this blog examines consumer brand preferences in the electric vehicle (EV) market. We examine the correlation between brand preferences for electric vehicles (EVs) and overall brand preferences, irrespective of drivetrain. Additionally, we analyze the year-over-year growth in consumer interest across different EV brands, compare Tesla’s current market share with future Tesla purchase intent, and investigate the possibility of emerging Tesla “fatigue” in western states with high Tesla penetration. We also examine EV brand preferences by age and income, and ‘cross-shopping intensity’ by EV brand.  We close with a brief examination of the burgeoning electric pickup truck market.

Decoding EV Demand: Battery-Powered Bubble?

Over recent years, most of the incumbent automakers significantly ramped up investments in electric vehicles (EVs), gearing up for what they collectively saw as an EV future. Among others, GM said they were aiming for an all-electric range by 2035, Ford for 100% EV sales by 2030, Mercedes for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and Volkswagen for 100% EV sales by 2033. This collective shift in focus is now manifesting in a rapidly accelerating supply of EVs. In 2022, EVs comprised approximately 5.8% of new vehicles sold in the US, and in Q3 2023, they comprised approximately 7.9%. But after years of tight EV supply, this rapid supply growth seems to have overtaken demand growth. Cox Automotive reports that as of the start of October, days of inventory for new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles stood at between 52 and 58 days, but days of inventory for new EVs (excluding Tesla and other DTC brands) stands at a concerning 97 days. This growing disparity is driving manufacturers and dealers to roll out an increasing number of incentives to move EV inventory. Below, using insights from occam data, we look for shifts in consumer attitudes towards EVs and dissect the demographic drivers behind EV demand. (In a later blog, we will explore brand preferences among EV buyers – expect some surprises.)

Employment Trends: Greater Heights or Wuthering Expectations?

With the headline unemployment rate reaching lows not seen in decades, and the labor force participation rate rising to pre-pandemic levels, by outward appearances, the American job market is robust and stable. However, a closer look using occam data reveals some underlying vulnerabilities that are beginning to surface.  Below, with insights and analysis from occam, we dissect the nuances of the present labor market and what may lie ahead for the American workforce over the coming months.

Curb Appeal on Wall Street: Home Depot and Lowe’s Resilience in a Challenging Housing Market

The pandemic years were a golden period for the housing market; remote work, drastically low rates, and a deluge of young, hungry American homebuyers accelerated home values, though supply shortages persisted. Accompanying this surge was also a record-high  in home improvement spending, taking the remodeling market to $570 billion last year. Now, the lack of housing inventory and the Federal Reserve’s war on inflation have reversed the tide. High mortgage rates have made owning a home unattainable for a majority of homebuyers and limiting  for homeowners. However, whether or not high mortgage rates will impact spending on home renovations is another question. Occam finds that while these rates have undeniably “handcuffed” homeowners and spending on major renovations continues to shrink, spending on minor renovations is stable, and growing. Average spending as well as visits per year for big-box home improvement centers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s reveal they are popular as ever, and if consumer sentiment is any indication, they should enjoy further success as they expand.

Netflix Strikes Back: A Deeper Look at Password Crackdowns and Advertising

After a challenging post-covid phase marked by subscription losses that impacted revenues and its reputation as a consistent generator of growth, Netflix has daringly implemented two significant (if controversial) strategic maneuvers to considerable success, emerging as one of the stand-out performers of 2023. The first initiative put an end to account sharing. Though some observers initially dismissed the announcement as an empty threat or even a misstep, data from occam suggests the initiative is likely accretive to BOTH subscriptions and Average Revenue per Membership (ARM). The second initiative introduced an ad-supported subscription tier. Thus far, the plan has shown to be an effective churn reducer and incremental on-ramp to price sensitive consumers. Below, we reveal how both maneuvers are growing Netflix revenues and expanding its prized subscriber base.

Reality Check: Exploring Demand for Apple’s Vision Pro

As the dust settles from the unveiling of Apple’s state-of-the-art Vision Pro AR/VR headset, there’s not only excitement, but also a palpable air of reservation among consumers. Its hefty price tag of $3500 is raising eyebrows, with many wondering if the headset will primarily be a toy for high-income early-adopters. Data from occam supports this notion: a substantial fraction of potential buyers are balking at the cost. Below, with the help of occam data, we explore consumer interest level in the headset, the implications of the high pricing, and how the headset might still provide a quiet win for Apple and its sticky ecosystem.