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Industry updates

Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Half of US Gen Zers want to see content creators in the media they consume, including in movies, TV shows and music videos, and 45% of Gen Zers want to see creators in movies and TV shows playing themselves. (Morning Consult)

  • More than half of US Gen Zers feel targeted advertising on social media is "sometimes" an invasion of privacy. A significantly larger share of Gen Zers feel targeted ads’ status as a privacy invader “depends” than do all US adults. (Morning Consult)

  • Microsoft is aiming to secure internet access for 100M more people in Africa by 2025, teaming up with a satellite provider and setting the stage for longer-term cloud adoption. (Reuters)

  • Comedy is Gen Zers’ favorite genre, with 38% selecting it as one of their three favorites. Horror followed close behind, with 32% of Gen Zers selecting it among their favorite genres. (Morning Consult)

  • Apple is preparing to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone. The plans are spurred on by the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which is meant to enact “rules for digital gatekeepers to ensure open markets.” (The Verge)

  • Following Lensa AI's success, the top three spots on the US App Store are all held by AI photo editors, and even more AI art apps are newly ranking in the Top 100. The No. 1 spot continues to be held by Lensa AI, which saw 12.6M global installs in the first 11 days of December. (Tech Crunch)

  • To help advertisers navigate the holiday season and optimize their inventory, Google has launched four new features on the Insights page: search terms, assets, audiences, and change history. (Search Engine Land)

  • Meta recently partnered with Analytic Partners to analyze over 500 ads across 70+ campaigns to gain insight into key best practices, strategies and tips to help improve advertiser's video marketing approach. (Social Media Today)

  • Spotify’s former enterprise sales director Kym Treasure launched a full-service audio advertising solution called Audacia, which will provide a one-stop shop for brands and agencies across JAPAC in a bid to help advertisers connect with audiences and enable publishers to monetize premium inventory. (The Drum)

Awards / Festivals

  • More women and people of color are directing Sundance's feature-length films than in years past. For the first time since the festival began releasing demographic data in 2019, a majority of the US films in both the dramatic and documentary competitions are directed by women and by people of color. (Axios)

  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Adam Sandler will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at a gala on March 19th. (AP)

  • Comedian Eddie Murphy will accept a lifetime achievement honor next month at the Golden Globes. He'll receive the Cecil B. DeMille award to celebrate his contributions to entertainment. (Reuters)

  • Ryan Murphy, creator of hits from "Glee" to "9-1-1" and "American Horror Story," will receive a lifetime achievement honor at Hollywood's Golden Globes ceremony next month. The Academy will celebrate his contributions by giving him its fourth Carol Burnett Award. (Reuters)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • 1 in 5 Americans plan to see Avatar: The Way of Water in theaters. However, almost twice as many (37%) first plan to see the sequel at home or on a streaming service, rather than at a theater. (Morning Consult)

  • AMC Theaters, the US's biggest movie theater chain, is launching a credit card. The AMC Entertainment Visa Card, coming in early 2023, will let holders earn additional AMC Stubs rewards points at the movies and on everyday purchases. (Variety)

  • Amazon Studios quietly opened The Culver Theater in Culver City, CA. It's in a shuttered ArcLight Cinemas building that spans about 41K square feet. The company plans to spend more than $1B annually on the push for film releases in cinemas starting next year. (Costar)

Gambling / Casinos

  • US Q3 2022 commercial gaming revenue reached a quarterly record of $15.17B. The industry maintained 20 months of momentum in October with revenue reaching $5.29B, increasing 10.5% percent YoY. (American Gaming)

  • Simplebet has signed a new multi-year deal with Caesars Entertainment to launch real-money micro-betting on the Caesars Sportsbook platform. Caesars Sportsbook users will be able to place micro-bets for the NFL, the NBA and college football and for MLB when the 2023 season starts. (Yogonet)

  • Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis, Arkansas completed its $320M dollar expansion. The development adds a brand-new 300-room, 20-story hotel with 12 penthouse suites, and a 113,000-square-foot gaming floor. (Yogonet)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Las Vegas's National Finals Rodeo brought in over 170K attendees during the ten-day fest. The event also hosted other smaller events, including Cowboy Christmas and over 80 concerts throughout 30 venues. (News3LV)

  • Allegiant Stadium in LV topped Pollstar's worldwide chart with $179M in tickets in 2022. Just behind were Sofi Stadium, Foro Sol, and Metlife Stadium. (Casino.org)

  • Beyonce and Amazon Music held an event called “Club Renaissance” this past weekend in Los Angeles as a celebration of the singer’s six-month-old latest album. (Variety)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Spotify has canceled at least six of its live audio shows as part of it's latest round of programming cuts. Included in the cancelations are Deaux Me After Dark, Doughboys: Snack Pack, The Movie Buff, A Gay in the Life, Taylor Talk, and Lorem life. (THR)

  • Several Billboard Hot 100 records were broken in 2022. Glass Animals’ Heat Waves broke the record for the most weeks spent on the chart, Harry Styles’ As It Was scored the longest stay ever in the survey’s top two, and Taylor Swift locked up the entire top 10 in a single week. (Billboard)

  • In the US, the top 10 TikTok tracks were streamed far less in 2022 than they were in 2020, fueling worries that app usage isn't translating as well to consumption. The top 10 tracks saw a drop of 3B streams, a 61% decrease, in two years. (Billboard)

Crypto / NFT / Metaverse

  • OneOf, in partnership with eBay and Globe Entertainment and Media, released its NFT series, Legends of Rock: Led Zeppelin. The collection consists of three photos taken by photographer Jay Thompson. (NFT Evening)

  • Warner Music Group inked a deal with DressX, a startup that creates digital fashion wearables both on and off the blockchain. Through the partnership, Warner Music artists will be able to create and license digital wearables and merchandise for fans. (Decrypt)

  • 9 in 10 UK consumers are interested in the metaverse. 77% of consumers expect immersive experiences to impact how they interact with people, brands and services, and seven out of ten organizations say that they believe immersive experiences will be a key differentiator in their markets. (Retail Times UK)

OTT / Streaming

  • In Central and Eastern Europe, Pay-TV revenues and subscriber numbers will continue to exceed those for online services over the next five years. Pay-TV revenue is predicted to hit $8.8B in 2027, exceeding the $3.3B for online video. (Digital TV Europe)

  • ‘Harry & Meghan’ became Netflix’s biggest-ever documentary debut. The show racked up 81.6M viewing hours globally in its first week of release and appeared in the Top 10 TV list in 85 countries, including ranking number one in the UK. (CNBC)

  • Verizon announced the beta launch of its streaming hub “+play,” which lets users search, subscribe, and pay for a variety of streaming offerings in one place, all connected to their existing cell phone or home internet bill. To entice users to try +play, Verizon is partnering with Netflix to give users a free year of Netflix Premium if they subscribe to another service through the hub. (THR)

  • Tubi has signed a content deal with entertainment company CJ ENM to launch over 75 Korean films, dramas and K-POP series, totaling 500 hours of content. The move comes as Tubi’s Korean programming viewership has grown over 25% YoY on the platform. (Variety)

  • FuboTV was down during a World Cup semifinal due to a "cyber-related incident." The streamer continued to experience issues well after the cyber attack. (The Verge)

  • Peacock will become the exclusive streaming service of JetBlue Airways as of Spring 2023. Customers will be able to stream Peacock content from their on-demand seatback screens or from their own devices using the airline’s free high-speed Fly-Fi internet service. (The Wrap)

  • Network Ten owner Paramount is set to beat out Seven and Foxtel for the rights to Cricket Australia test matches, one day internationals, and the Big Bash League from 2025. (B&T)

  • India's OTT universe has grown by 20% over the last year, driven by small towns and rural India, with AVOD segments growing faster than paid segments. AVOD audiences now comprise 69% of India's total digital video universe. (Ormax)

  • Netflix announced a partnership with Kantar Ibope, a media research company in Latin America that provides clients with important decision-making information on all aspects of media measurement, monitoring and planning. (Voonze)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Haul videos (where a creator shows products they purchased, sometimes from a single brand) are the most likely videos to drive US Gen Z purchase behavior, as roughly 2 in 5 (42%) have bought a product shown in such a video. “Get ready with me” videos and “routine” videos are popular product discovery channels, too — nearly a third have purchased an item from each. (Morning Consult)

  • Paris has held onto the top spot in the 2022 Top 100 City Destinations Index, while eight out of the top 10 cities are its European neighbors. Dubai was number two on the list, but took the top spot when it came to actual international arrivals. (CNN)

  • US retail sales fell 0.6% in November from October, despite strong Black Friday sales. Spending increased in some areas, including at grocery stores, health and personal care stores and restaurants and bars. However, categories like motor vehicles, furniture, consumer electronics, clothing and sporting goods all declined. (NYT)

Social Media

  • It's predicted that Twitter will shed 32.7M users by the end of 2024. The biggest cuts will come from the US, particularly those under 25 and over 45. (AdWeek)

  • Twitter rolled out its Community Notes feature globally. Moderators who are part of the program can add notes to tweets to add context and users can then vote if they determine the context to be helpful. (Tech Crunch)

  • Twitter’s newsletter tool, Revue, is shutting down on January 12th. People won’t be able to access their accounts after that date, and all the service’s data will be deleted. (The Verge)

  • Instagram is introducing and expanding a number of features to help users keep their accounts secure, and with that, it's introducing a new hub to help users resolve account access issues. (Tech Crunch)

Sports

  • Diamond Sports Group made a deal that will let viewers download the DTC Bally Sports Plus app on Samsung smart TVs. Bally Sports app users who are pay TV subscribers will be able to authenticate with their pay TV provider. Other Bally Sports Plus users will be able to log in directly and stream content from their TV. (NextTV)

  • Nearly half of US Gen Zers (47%) have never watched a professional sporting event in person. A third watch live sports through authorized streaming services, compared with 28% who watch via broadcast or cable TV. (Morning Consult)

Video Games

  • The video game version of Spotify Wrapped arrived in the form of the PlayStation Wrap Up. Users can go to the wrapped website, sign in using their PlayStation Network account information, and Sony will deliver a summary of their gaming year on PlayStation. (Mashable)

  • Sony PlayStation 5 sales have surged in US as supply woes ease. The PS5 has been in chronically short supply since its launch, but last month Sony drove a 45% MoM spurt in US games hardware sales. (Bloomberg)

  • Amazon will publish the next iteration of the popular video game franchise Tomb Raider. The new Tomb Raider game will be the first major, single-player game published by Amazon Games.

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