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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 1, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

20 percent

Comcast’s NBCUniversal announced that it intends to cut the number of advertisements during its channels’ primetime commercial breaks by 20 percent in the fourth quarter. It’s an attempt to compete against companies like Netflix and Hulu, where commercial time is not a factor in the viewing experience. [Variety]


21 emoji

Tinder, the dating app, announced it is lobbying the Unicode Consortium to design a new group of emojis to include interracial couples. The company proposed 21 different designs. [Vice]


51 percent

Bill Ackman, the activist investor who had a massive bet against Herbalife, a multi-level marketing company he believed to be a pyramid scheme, has unwound that position after getting slammed in the market. Last November, Herbalife shares had risen 51 percent for the year, which can really squeeze a guy in a short position. [CNBC]


50 million voters

The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday it intends to contact 50 million voters ahead of the 2018 midterms. It’s an attempt to overcome the typical turnout problems Democrats face in non-presidential elections. [NBC News]


$2.7 billion

The governor of Puerto Rico said that the U.S. Treasury reduced a $4.7 billion disaster relief loan to the territory, and it now stands at only $2 billion. No explanation was given as to why the hurricane-ravaged U.S. territory would not receive the missing $2.7 billion. [CBS News]


$23 billion

Spotify, the music streaming service, announced Wednesday it planned to go public. Private share sales have put the company at a valuation north of $23 billion, and the streaming music service’s 71 million paying subscribers put it head and shoulders above its closest competitor, Apple Music. [CNBC]


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If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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