Digits: Fireball, the IRS, T-Swift, and more news numbers

Plus: Payment “sounds,” and the 1%.

1) Payment companies pay lots of money for “signature sounds” that play when a purchase is made at a payment terminal. Interestingly, though, the majority of the time, the sound is turned off. Mastercard says its 1.3-second chime is played at 300m touchpoints out of billions in use.

2) Another year, another Taylor Swift record — pun intended. Last year, Swift sold 1.7m vinyl albums, ~4% of the 43.5m vinyl albums sold in the US in 2022. Combined, Harry Styles and The Beatles — the next two top sellers, with 719k and 553k sales, respectively — did not surpass Swift.

3) The IRS is still working through an enormous backlog of tax returns as this year’s tax season nears. The organization had 4.7m unprocessed individual returns and 3.2m business returns as of Dec. 31, 2021. Now it’s down to 400k individual returns and 1m business returns.

4) Sazerac Company, the liquor maker behind the malt-based, Hot Tamales-esque Fireball Cinnamon, is apparently the 15th-largest beer vendor by convenience store sales, bringing in $70m+ in 2022.

5) A new report from global-poverty charity Oxfam found that the world’s wealthiest 1% accumulated 63% of the $42T in new wealth created since 2020, with 99% of the global population amassing $16T of that wealth.

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