How Many Travelers Consider Using Airbnb?

According to investors, Airbnb is worth $25.5 billion. What? Marriott just agreed to purchase Starwood for half that amount. This seems crazy. Here at Survata, we conduct consumer research. We don’t have a stake in Airbnb’s success, we were just curious: How many people even consider Airbnb when they book travel accommodation? Turns out it’s a small number, but it’s growing fast.1

survata tracks Airbnb usage

Most people who consider Airbnb for personal travel are young: two thirds are age 18 to 34. Hardly any business travelers consider Airbnb when booking business travel. Of the 2,015 respondents across both periods of the survey, only 30 reported considering Airbnb for business travel (1.5%).

55% of Airbnb’s US revenue comes from just 5 markets that hold 30% of active units (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, & Boston). Our data shows a similar over-representation of those five cities for personal travelers: they make up 15% of our respondents but 29% of Airbnb customers. There’s likely a local network effect going on – people hear about their friends hosting on Airbnb, then decide to consider it when they leave town.

You can see full results of our Airbnb tracking survey here.

Footnote
1) One statistical qualifier: the margin of error on personal travelers is 3.2%. Perhaps December was a little low, and March was a little high, and in June this trend won’t seem so alarming!

When Will Americans Give Up Car Ownership?

Based on their most recent investment round, Uber is worth more than Ford. GM just invested $500 million in Lyft. Google’s self-driving car recently crashed into a bus, and in a few years there will be millions of self-driving cars crashing into buses globally.

It got us thinking here at Survata… does anyone even drive anymore? So we’ve been asking consumers about cars. It turns out the vast majority of Americans still own a car, but we’ve found an interesting group: the 45% of American car owners who would be willing to give up car ownership. The implications of this are huge. What could cause it? It differs a bit by age, as you can see in the chart below.

survata tracks ridesharing and self-driving car consumer perceptions

How weird is it that self-driving cars are ahead of ride sharing as a reason to give up car ownership? When people want to be driven around… most prefer that a robot do the driving. Frankly it’s a sensible risk assessment, and anything sensible on this topic is a relief after how many people have lost their minds over Uber.

We expect consumer perception to be an important influence on the politicians and bureaucrats who will decide who self-driving cars should be programmed to kill. We’ll keep our finger on the pulse.

Forbes and Wired Change Consumer Perceptions of Ad Blocking

Forbes and Wired recently tried an experiment. They asked website visitors using ad blocking software to turn it off – and denied them access if they refused. This was a risky move for a few reasons.

1) The media coverage of this experiment could increase awareness and usage of ad blocking software (our data does show an uptick in consumer awareness)
2) They could accidentally serve malware ads to consumers after demanding ad blocking software be turned off (Forbes has been accused of this)
3) They could lose readers (while ad blocking readers don’t generate ad revenue, they contribute to total page views which still matters to some advertisers)

We asked consumers about ad blocking in November last year, and again last month. Ad blocking software usage has stayed steady at about 9% of total American internet users.1 But our data2 shows that Forbes and Wired have likely helped move the needle on an important metric: intent to start using ad blocking software.

survata tracks Netflix's most watched originals

To sum up, though awareness may have ticked up, intent to use dropped significantly. That’s a win for online publishers. Was this a blip or a turning point? Check back with us in May to find out (or add your email address in the box on the right and we’ll send you the next batch of results).

Footnotes:
1. A recent estimate put the US percentage of ad blockers at 15%, though critics have pointed out that the publisher of the data has a vested interest in that number being as high as possible.
2. Chart displays rounded values. The change in “I haven’t used it, but I think I’m going to try it out” is outside the margin of error, i.e., is statistically significant.

We’ve Launched a Netflix Tracker

Which Netflix shows are the most watched? Per their latest letter to investors, Netflix doesn’t plan to tell us.

“We don’t release title‐level ratings as our business model is not dependent on advertising or affiliate fees.”

Which is a shame for us, but logical for Netflix. If the TV networks had a clear picture of viewership, they would be more effective at negotiating licensing deals. If investors could track which big budget Netflix Originals are flops, it could negatively impact the company’s share price. It makes sense for Netflix to hoard this data, and only release the good news.

Well, that’s boring. So we’re tracking monthly viewership of Netflix TV shows. Every month we’ll ask two thousand Netflix subscribers1 which shows they’ve watched in the past 30 days and which Netflix Originals they’re most excited about watching in the future. We’ll see which new shows are hits or flops, and which returning shows build momentum or start to decline.

The chart below displays the top 20 most-watched shows2. See full survey results in a live dashboard.

survata tracks Netflix's most watched originals

Notes on methodology
How do you ask consumers which TV shows they’ve watched on Netflix? It’s deceptively challenging. If we ask the question as free response we rely on unaided recall and introduce typing fatigue bias. Offering a pick list of hundreds of Netflix shows is equally impractical. The list won’t fit on one page (especially on mobile), and we’ve noticed that consumer attention tends to wane beyond eight multiple choice answer options.

We ultimately used both approaches. We started with an open-ended survey asking 668 Netflix subscribers which shows they’ve watched in the past 30 days. After cleaning the data, we had a list of 51 shows licensed by Netflix mentioned by at least four respondents. We then checked this against the “Popular Shows” section on Netflix to make sure we weren’t missing any of those (we weren’t). For the Netflix Originals, we started with Wikipedia, checked Netflix.com again (which totally counts as work) and supplemented with Google searches. We ended up with 24 Netflix Originals in January.

We created our survey using a question format that displays a random list of eight shows to each respondent. Respondents simply check a box next to each show they have seen in the past 30 days. This approach eliminates the biases mentioned above, but reduces the effective sample size for each show. While we survey 2,255 total respondents, each Netflix Original was shown to approximately 751 respondents (2,255 total respondents * (8 randomly selected shows / 24 total shows in list) = 751, which has a 3.6% margin of error). Each licensed show was shown to approximately 353 respondents (2,255 total respondents * (8 randomly selected shows / 51 total shows) = 353, which has a 5.2% margin of error). Due to the smaller effective sample size for each show, the data will be a little noisy from month to month, especially for licensed shows. But that’s fine. We’re interested in the general trends over time.

If you’re in the media business and want more precise data or different questions, create your own survey, or join Survata Pro and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

Footnotes
1: We count a subscriber as anyone who has access to Netflix’s streaming service, even if they don’t pay. For January, 69% of our respondents said they pay for the subscription, and 31% use a friend or family member’s subscription.
2: Survey conducted on January 12th, 2016.

Powering Effective PR Campaigns with Survata

It’s not uncommon for our clients to be interested in sharing the fascinating insights they’ve received from their Survata projects with their customers and clients. Many of the results we provide are used to create marketing and PR material. Recently, our partner Bloomreach used Survata data to power, as PR Director Sam Moore said, “The most successful PR campaign in our history, reaching every major American market.”

Bloomreach wanted to create a piece of high-quality, original content to share at an industry conference, with a dual goal of starting conversations with prospects and generating media coverage. They launched a Survata study asking consumers how they searched for products online, and discovered that nearly half began on Amazon. From their results, Bloomreach created their ‘State of Amazon and Web Personalization Study,’ and immediately set off a barrage of press coverage unseen by anyone in their company in the past.

From Bloomreach’s Survata data, they generated 2 national TV broadcasts including The Today Show, 98 regional news broadcasts, and multiple mentions on CBS MoneyWatch Radio. They received coverage from outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Internet Retailer, Venturebeat, CNBC, Forbes, Time, and more. Also, they were able to generate over 200,000 social media mentions in the first week of their PR launch alone. They have even redesigned their homepage to highlight findings from their Survata data.

Bloomreach redesigned homepage - Survata

The business results of their PR campaign are similarly impressive. They have generated a measurable increase in new customers and inbound from quality customer prospects. The coverage also allowed them to launch the most successful webinar they had even launched and created a major industry call to provide updates and further research results in the future.

“If any organization is looking for a company that provides the quality of the big boys with the commitment of a startup,” Moore says, “then the Survata team is your only choice.”

We’re always excited to see Survata data used effectively by our clients, both as proprietary research, as well as for use in marketing and PR campaigns. If you are looking to leverage top-notch market research in your campaigns, get in touch now!

Build Your Own Consumer Confidence Index

We recently shared a new functionality of Survata with subscibers to our newsletter: trackers. We’ve seen a great response from our clients, who have used them to track brand satisfaction, measure changes in consumer preferences, and even create consumer confidence indexes.

If your work is affected by broad, macro trends, keeping an eye on consumer confidence is critical. Instead of simply analyzing consumer confidence findings released by universities or the government, our clients have been able to affordably create their own and gain a proprietary view of the economy.

Best of all, you can base your consumer confidence index on whatever you define as an economic driver. For example, you could track:

  • whether consumers buy their coffee at a coffee shop or make it at home
  • whether consumers perceive gas prices to be rising or falling
  • whether full-time employees expect a raise in the next 6 months
  • whether contract workers expect more or less work in the coming quarter

If you have an idea for creating a consumer confidence index, go ahead and get started!

Survata Announces $6 Million in Series A Funding

Survata is excited to announce that we’ve raised $6 million in Series A financing. The round was led by IDG Ventures with participation from Bloomberg Beta, Alexis Ohanian & Garry Tan, and strategic angels like Tom Patterson, a former SVP at MarketTools. Our existing investors (SoftTech and PivotNorth) also returned for this round. We’re extremely happy to have investors with a strong background in selling data and information products and who share our vision for building Survata. We also welcome Phil Sanderson from IDG Ventures to our board.

In the last year, we’ve grown from just a few coworkers in a converted loft apartment to over a dozen employees in a great new office in SOMA. Our growth has been very rewarding, but we’re excited to keep building Survata into the best possible market research company in the industry. “Our mission is to build a world-class research company,” said Survata CEO Chris Kelly. “We love serving leading consumer product companies, ad agencies, and hedge funds, and thousands of other clients. We can’t wait to serve more.”

This investment will fund our continued improvement of our current offerings, as well as building new products, such as trackers, API implementations, B2B research products, and other subscription products. We’ll also be further investing in the growth of our Publisher Network and hiring a full time employee devoted to managing and growing the network. We’re also hiring for multiple other roles, so if you see a fit, please reach out.

Which Tech CEO Would Make the Best President?

With under 18 months remaining until the election, 2016 presidential hopefuls are announcing their bids. At the same time, the spotlight on the CEOs of technology companies has never been brighter. We decided to ask America which technology CEO they believe would make the best president. We surveyed 1503 voting age Americans, asking them to select the CEO they would be most likely to vote for in a presidential election. Their choices were Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google CEO Larry Page.*

Here’s what we found:

Survata asks America to choose the best presidential candidate of tech CEOs

To see the full results, head to the Survata Public Dashboard.

* NOTE: We did not consider eligibility requirements for the US presidency, such as country of birth, in this survey. Read more about the rest of our methodology.

Join the discussion on Hacker News.

Would you pick Facebook over Twitter? Probably, unless you’re a teen

Despite the recent growth of new social services like Snapchat, the undisputed kings remain Facebook and Twitter (sorry, Google+).  We at Survata were curious how users of both services would react if they were presented with a digital Sophie’s Choice: Making them select only Facebook or Twitter to keep using.

We used our consumer survey service to interview thousands of online respondents, and screened for 1,555 respondents who reported being regular users of both Facebook and Twitter.  Those respondents were then asked “If you could only continue using one of the following services, which would you choose?” followed by randomized answer options for Facebook and Twitter.

Overall, 65% of respondents chose Facebook.  However, it’s more insightful to review the data by demographic segment.  In a surprisingly consistent trend, users preferred Facebook more as they got older – the 55+ crowd chose Facebook 92% of the time.  In fact, the only age group to prefer Twitter (51% of the time) was 13-17 year olds.

Survata_Twitter-Facebook_age

Both genders preferred Facebook, but their advantage was stronger among women.

Survata_Twitter-Facebook_gender

We did not ask respondents to list a reason for their choice, so we don’t have any evidence behind Facebook preference.

Interested in measuring your own consumer preferences?  Try a Survata survey now and start seeing data today.

What’s worse than your mom seeing your web history? The NSA, Google

While the federal government and your significant other may have very different interests in scouring your personal data, the potential privacy breach is troublesome in both cases. With data security and government surveillance perpetually in the news, we at Survata decided to gauge public concern about data snooping in various forms. To evaluate this, we polled over 2,500 respondents with two surveys — one gauging concern with the NSA and a corporation like Google gaining access to personal data, and one with bosses, significant others, and parents. Overall, the results show respondents were most concerned by a company like Google gaining this access, as shown by the average level of concern:

Survata_DataPrivacy_Questions