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TL;DR

In a hurry? Here's our pick of the top news items of the week.

  • TikTok is adding support for text posts as users look for a place other than X (Twitter) to post text-based content. (Tech Crunch)

  • Amid Hollywood’s shutdown with the writers and actors on strike, the Emmys will be postponed for the first time since 2001. (Variety)

  • With international travel up 48% in 2023, Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas set a June record by handling 4.88M passengers. (CDC Gaming)

  • "Barbie" took $21.5M at the Australian box office over its release weekend, while "Oppenhemier" took $9.40M, combining to be the biggest weekend in Australian cinema history. (ABC)

Audiences

  • For both longer and shorter trips, direct hotel bookers in the UK are more likely than online travel agent bookers to book accommodation over 9 months in advance. (GWI)

  • Roughly six in ten US consumers have already traveled for leisure or are planning to do so in 2023. (NBC)

  • A third of Singapore residents are already on Threads or intend to join the app soon. (YouGov)

  • Roughly a quarter of US adults think using AI in the production of shows and movies makes dialogue and plots worse. (Morning Consult)

Platforms

  • Spotify is raising the price of Premium in the US for the first time, increasing the plan's cost by $1/mo. (The Verge)

  • The US FTC is evaluating 50-year-old rules governing recurring subscriptions, which could impact major streamers and punish "cancellation trickery." (THR)

  • Netflix is launching the “My Netflix” hub for iPhone and Android users to assist with content discovery. (Streamable)

  • Spotify's monthly active users rose to 551M in Q2, and Premium subscribers rose 17% YoY to 220M. (Reuters)

  • Threads' daily active user count has more than halved since the beginning of July as the app contends with complaints weeks after its debut. (Marketing Brew)

  • X, formerly Twitter, is cutting ad prices in the US and UK as it tries to lure brands back to the platform. (WSJ)

  • After replacing its blue bird icon with an X, Twitter changed its official handle to @x in the next phase of its rebrand. (Tech Crunch)

  • Audiobook retailer Libro.fm launched internationally to give even more bookstores the ability to earn income via audiobook sales. (Tech Crunch)

Content

  • Verizon is giving the NFL Sunday Ticket (a $350 value) free to select customers in a promo pact with YouTube. (Variety)

  • A growing number of brands, including IKEA, Duolingo and McDonald’s, are jumping on the anime bandwagon and incorporating anime-inspired imagery and themes into their marketing. (AdAge)

  • BBC Player and BBC Kids are now available via Prime Video Channels in India, letting users watch popular British mainstays including "The Great British Bakeoff." (India Times)

  • Niantic's latest game "Monster Hunter Now" will be available globally on September 14th, launching on both iOS and Android. (The Verge)

  • ESPN tested a "SportsCenter" entirely anchored and produced by women in a bid to spotlight women's sports. (Variety)

  • TikTok and FIFA have partnered to see the social platform host a range of exclusive content during the Women’s World Cup 2023. (Social Media Today)

Tech & AI

  • Publishers are demanding higher payments from AI companies for use of their data, with some seeking billions instead of millions, as they believe their content is being undervalued. (Semafor)

  • Amazon has drawn thousands to try its AI service competing with Microsoft and Google. (Reuters)

  • OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and Anthropic joined forces to start the Frontier Model Forum, an industry group to promote “safe and responsible” AI development. (Cnet)

  • OpenAI discontinued its AI writing detector due to a “low rate of accuracy." (ARS)

  • Having already pitched its web services as an ideal place to host and run generative AI applications, Amazon is planning to bring AI to its smart home devices as well. (Axios)

  • AI researchers say they've found "virtually unlimited" ways to bypass Bard and ChatGPT's safety rules, indicating a need for reform. (Insider)

Location-based entertainment

  • As they struggle to recover after the pandemic, regional theaters are staging fewer shows, giving fewer performances, laying off staff and, in some cases, closing. (NYT)

  • IMAX saw a Q2 revenue of $98M, up 38% YoY, thanks in part to "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" and "Spider Man: Across the Spider-Verse." (THR)

  • Broadway show “New York, New York” closed on July 30th after underwhelming critics and failing to find a sufficient audience to sustain its run. (NYT)

  • Mattel Adventure Park will open in Arizona next year and will celebrate toy brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels and more. (Travel and Leisure)

  • An adult miniature golf experience called Swingers Crazy Golf is coming to the Las Vegas Strip's Mandalay Bay next year. (Casino.org)

  • Jerry Seinfeld is extending his residency on the Las Vegas Strip into 2024 with an entirely new show. (Casino.org)

  • The Indianapolis 500 is 2023's most-attended US sporting event so far, beating out the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, NHL Stanley Cup Finals and the NCAA college football championship with 230K tickets sold. (Forbes)

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