RocaNews - 🌊 The Year of the Vinyl


December 30, 2021

What a year in news. From the WallStreetBets craze and Suez Canal blockage, to Gabby Petito's abduction and the Daft Punk breakup... we've witnessed a wild season of planet earth. As we turn the omicron-covered page to 2022, we give you the final Roca Current of 2021.

Let's Ride.

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Key Stories

Elon & Mars: Save the Date

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk predicted that humans will be on Mars in "worst case, 10 years”
  • “Best case is about 5 years," he added, saying that the main obstacle is designing a vehicle with dramatically lower travel costs
  • In an interview, Elon claimed that SpaceX's Starship will be the world's most advanced by "an order of magnitude" and make the trip possible. SpaceX is already constructing a launchpad for it in Florida 
  • “Right now, you couldn’t fly to Mars for $1 trillion. No amount of money could get you to Mars. We need to get that to, like, something that is actually possible at all,” he said

“There is a certain cost per ton to the surface of Mars where we can accord to establish a self-sustaining city and then above that, we cannot afford to do it,” he explained. Musk thinks humans should become a "multi-planet" species.

Vinyls Have Record 2021

  • UK sales figures suggest that vinyls (records) are back in vogue: More vinyls sold this year than in any since 1990
  • 23% of 2021 UK album sales were vinyls. Sales have been creeping up for the last 14 years, and this year surpassed 5M (5.3M) for the first time since 1990
  • Recording organizations say that vinyls earn artists 2x as much as streaming platforms. Some fans use them to support artists, while others prefer them for their rich sound and artistic packaging
  • Cassette tapes are also making a comeback: Britons bought 190,000 albums on tape this year, up from just 3,828 in 2012

The year's best-selling vinyl was ABBA's Voyage. The year's bestselling cassette tape was Olivia Rodrigo's Sour. Yes, you read that right.

Content Blowout in 2022


  • The 8 biggest US media companies plan to spend a record $115B on movies and TV shows in 2022
  • Media companies are blowing cash as they fight to win dominance in video streaming. Netflix has long been the biggest streaming company, however Disney, ViacomCBS, Fox, Apple, and Amazon are all trying to catch up
  • Netflix plans to spend 25% more on content in 2022 than it did in 2021; Disney is likely to spend up to 40% more. Disney is projected to outspend Netflix by $6B
  • When factoring in sports, the $115B total spending sum jumps to $140B

Among the big-budget releases expected in 2022 are Amazon's Lord of the Rings series, an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, and a Pinocchio remake starring Tom Hanks.

Ghislaine Found Guilty

  • After 5 days of deliberations, Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on 5 of 6 charges related to sex trafficking on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein 
  • The 60-yo Maxwell may face 40+ years in prison. She did not visibly react to the verdict, other than pouring herself a glass of water
  • She was acquitted on 1 charge related to enticing a minor to travel
  • The US attorney in Manhattan, where the trial took place, said Maxwell was guilty of "one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children." He added, "The road to justice has been far too long. But, today, justice has been done"

Will the conviction silence those who think Epstein was murdered? We will find out in 2022... 

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Will you pick a New Year's Resolution this year?

Today's Question:
What is an example of a company that has a positive impact on the world?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's answers below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • The Rock publicly rejected Vin Diesel's plea to re-join the cast of the "Fast & Furious" franchise for its series finale
  • Merry football! The NFL had a huge Christmas Day as the Packers-Browns game racked up 28.6M viewers for the most-watched Christmas broadcast this century
  • Kyrie is back! The unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets star point guard feels "incredibly grateful" to participate in his first practice of the season
  • Bitcoin blues: The cryptocurrency is down more than 16% this month following another volatile week. Bitcoin now trades at $46,700
  • Don't let the door hit you! HBO Max became one of the 10 most downloaded apps of 2021, while Netflix and Disney+ dropped out
  • Amazon is taking heat after an Alexa told a 10-yo girl, "Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs"

  • Hollywood business manager Angie Kukawski, whose clients include the Kardashians, was killed. Her boyfriend is being charged with murder
  • The rise in popularity of anime and K-pop is reportedly fueling a boom in Korean and Japanese university degrees in the UK
  • A New York Knicks player entered the game wearing a jersey with a misspelled name. Immanuel Quickley's back read "Qucikley"
  • Chick-fil-A released its most popular menu items of 2021. The top 2 picks were waffle fries and soda; the spicy chicken sandwich was 8th

Roca Wrap

Roca Pics of 2021

Day 3 of highlights from our favorite pictures you submitted for 2021. We could do this for weeks!
"On the hunt for quality news outlets." Thank you for this beauty, Mitch!
Jekyll Island in Georgia. Thanks, Kathy!

think Games

Final Game of 2021: Spot the misspelled word.
  1. Liaison
  2. Idiosyncrasy
  3. Remenisce
  4. Aggression
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you believe that extra-terrestrial life visited Earth in 2021? 

Yes: 27.1%
No: 72.9%

Yesterday's Question:

How would you compare 2021 with 2020? Which did you like better?

Amanda from Los Angeles: "2021 was just a repeat of 2020 with more arguments on the exact same subjects. For 2 years we’ve been waiting for the world to reopen, I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football."

Truett from Maryland: "I was deployed for all of 2020 and missed the entire pandemic. I’m probably one of the few that enjoyed 2020 more."

Ben from Illinois: "I’m a high school choir director in Illinois. Teaching choir online during COVID lockdowns is impossible - at least the way we do it normally. This school year, we are back in school every day, and have made it work wearing masks. My 2021 has been exponentially better than my 2020!"

General Feedback:

Terry from Florida: "Madden met his wife in a bar and was married for 62 years"

Alex: "Love reading Roca everyday! Request: for the Instagram Wrap, would it be possible to link directly to the post? Perfect way to easily keep reading Roca once the newsletter is over."

20 Questions

Every Friday, we ask the Roca Riders 20 questions and feature a few of our favorite answers. This past week, however, we did not do a 20 Questions.
Games Answer(s):
3. Reminisce

Final Thoughts 

Roca Riders: You all have made this the most unforgettable year of our lives. We started this year with zero momentum and no audience but a burning desire to do news in a better way. Thank you for helping us get Roca off the ground. 2021 was exhilarating, and there is much, much more to come. 

Closing out our year is Roca co-founder Max Towey's Roca highlight of the year:
"Impossible to pick just one, but I'd say our trip to Athens, GA is my #1. Not only is Athens the coolest college town in the country (don't @ me, Ann Arbor), but the students, professors, and townspeople we met were awesome. The trip was a turning point for Roca -- it gave us all the motivation, insight, and BBQ we needed to find a groove and grow like wild."

Happy New Year, everyone. What a year it's been. 
-Team Roca

wave There is no Instagram Wrap today. We're taking 3 days "off" to plan for 2022. Have an AMAZING New Year!
Thanks for reading! See you again soon!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to
Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney

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