Ubisoft's major esports title Rainbow Six Siege is hosting its 2021 North American League Finals December 11-12. They've brought on Indochino, a made-to-measure suit brand, as a key partner. Our Partnerships team first brokered a partnership between our client (Ubisoft) and Indochino in 2020; the program was so successful, we re-engaged Indochino and secured this larger-scale 2021 partnership. This year, Indochino will provide 14 custom suits for the event casters, who will make on-air callouts about the partnership during the event. Indochino is also offering an exclusive discount for viewers of the Finals event and hosting a consumer sweepstakes giving fans a chance to win a $2,000 custom wardrobe and Rainbow Six Siege swag. The partner will further support the program via a curated Rainbow Six Siege suit collection featured on the Indochino website, as well as via paid digital and social media.


Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Led by an unprecedented expansion in digital advertising, total worldwide ad spending will set a record for growth this year. In 2021, traditional ad, digital ad, and total ad spending will all post their highest rates of increase since eMarketer began tracking these categories internationally in 2011. Thanks to 2021’s extraordinary rebound, total spending by the end of this year will exceed 2019’s pre-pandemic figure by more than $120 billion. (eMarketer)

  • Meta has been ordered to sell Giphy. Meta — formerly Facebook — bought gif database Giphy for $400 million in May 2020. Now, the UK's top antitrust watchdog has ruled the deal could harm social media users and wants Meta to sell. (Insider)

  • Twitter is prohibiting the sharing of private images and videos without consent of the people involved. Previously, sharing of personal information and nudes were prohibited on Twitter - the new policy will cover images and videos of people in ordinary settings too. (Sky News)

  • Yahoo has expanded its strategic partnership with BuzzFeed to provide advertisers premium access to BuzzFeed’s inventory, while ensuring post-cookie addressability. With the partnership, BuzzFeed will leverage Yahoo’s unified advertising technology stack, and provide Yahoo with preferred programmatic access to deals via the Yahoo SSP. BuzzFeed will also adopt Yahoo’s people-first identity solutions, Yahoo ConnectID and Next-Gen Solutions for mobile app, pairing its first-party data with Yahoo’s. (Yahoo)

Awards / Festivals

  • The Daily Show host and comedian Trevor Noah will repeat as emcee for the 64th annual Grammy Awards, taking place Monday, Jan. 31, at Staples Center (which is being renamed Arena on Dec. 25) in Los Angeles. It will air live on CBS and be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Noah previously hosted the 63rd Grammys, which were held in March. (THR)

  • As if on cue and amid an alarming rise in COVID-19 infections in Germany, the European Film Awards have canceled the planned in-person ceremony for this year. Like last year’s honors, the 34th European Film Awards will be an online-only affair, preproduced and streamed live from Berlin on Saturday, Dec. 11. (THR)

  • The National Board of Review has named Paul Thomas Anderson’s coming-of-age comedy Licorice Pizza as its best film of 2021. The MGM/United Artists feature scored two more wins, including best director for Anderson and breakthrough performance for stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman. (THR)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • The US's return to the movies generally reflects the varying restrictions around reopening at the state and local level, and the degree of comfort citizens feel around virus risks. Generally, audiences have returned most strongly in areas of the country that relaxed Covid-19 restrictions more quickly. That often tracks with political views, the data show. The chart below shows the change in box-office revenues this year compared with 2019, plotted against the 2020 presidential-election margin of victory. (WSJ)

  • After just nine weeks in cinemas, No Time To Die has surpassed the UK lifetime gross of Spectre. (Screen Daily)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Adele is set for a four-month Las Vegas residency, entitled Weekends With Adele. The show, which will run from Jan. 21 to April 16, will see the British star performing two shows nearly every weekend at the Colosseum venue inside the Caesars Palace Hotel. (THR)

  • A Game of Thrones studios tour is set to open in the UK in February 2022. The attraction (which cost £24M to build) will feature sets, props and costumes from the show. (The Sun)

  • Drake and Ye may have put aside their beef in performing a concert together next week, but the ticket pricing strategy seems to have gone very wrong despite the presence of two mega-stars on the bill. Sky-high ticket prices as well as liberal use of “dynamic” and “platinum” pricing schemes have left the event far away from anything even close to sold out with just days to go before the performers take the stage in California. With more than 70,000 seats available at the spacious venue, the get-in price was set at a minimum of $200, with lower level seats going for more than $400 at “standard” prices, with dynamic price surging and “platinum” tickets closer to the stage reaching well over $1,000 on the primary market, including some at $4,000 even before fees are added. (TicketNews)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Spotify named Puerto Rican Reggaeton star Bad Bunny as the most-streamed artist in the world on its platform for the second year in a row. He's received over 9.1B streams in 2021 so far, without having released an album this year. He's followed by Taylor Swift as the second-most streamed artist in the world on the platform. BTS was third, Drake was fourth, and Justin Bieber was fifth. (Music Business Worldwide)

  • Joe Rogan had the Number 1 podcast in 2021 on Spotify. 'Call Her Daddy', 'Crime Junkie', 'Ted Talks Daily' and 'The Daily' made up the other spots in the top 5. (Variety)

OTT / Streaming

  • As leading streaming providers expand globally while national media companies spin up their own domestic streaming services, the amplified competition is creating abundant consumer choice—and churn is accelerating as a result. Deloitte predicts that in 2022, at least 150M paid subs to SVOD services will be cancelled worldwide, with churn rates of up to 30% per market. The better news: overall, more subs will be added than cancelled, the average number of subs per person will rise, and, in markets with the highest churn, many of those cancelling may resubscribe to a service that they had previously left. (Deloitte)

  • On November 23 Spotify introduced a new “Netflix Hub” on its app, which will offer a centralized place for finding the official soundtracks, playlists and podcasts for top shows and movies on Netflix. At launch, the Hub offers soundtracks and playlists from Stranger Things, La Casa De Papel, Narcos: Mexico, Outer Banks, Squid Game, tick, tick…Boom! Bridgerton, Cowboy Bebop, Virgin River, On My Block and others. It will also include Netflix-tied podcasts. (TechCrunch)

  • AVOD network operator Chicken Soup for the Soul has announced a new collaboration with Nielsen-owned Gracenote for content discoverability. Crackle Plus systems will use Gracenote entertainment metadata and unique Gracenote IDs to make Crackle, Popcornflix and Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service titles more searchable and discoverable by viewers across streaming, MVPD, CTV, and digital search platforms. Crackle Plus will also work with Gracenote on distribution of FAST channels starting with its upcoming Crackle and Popcornflix launches. (DigitalTVEurope)

  • UK TV audience measurement outfit BARB is now able to measure the reach and total time spent viewing SVOD services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix, and video-sharing platforms including TikTok, Twitch and YouTube. The measurement capability does not depend on whether services have chosen to subscribe to BARB, but relies on data collected from router meters installed in BARB panel homes. (DigitalTVEurope)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Traffic at retail stores on Black Friday dropped 28.3% compared with 2019, but was up 47.5% compared with year-ago levels. Online, retailers rang up $8.9B in sales on Black Friday, down from the record of about $9B spent on the Friday after Thanksgiving a year earlier, according to data from Adobe Analytics. (CNBC)

  • Nevada may begin allowing remote sign-up and verification of cashless payment accounts in the state’s casinos, to lessen the bottleneck customers face when they try to do so in person. The request was made by Sightline Payments, which in June launched the world’s first property-wide casino cashless payment system at Resorts World Las Vegas. This would not cover allowing remote registration for sports and horse wagering accounts, which are expected to continue requiring in-person set up in casinos. (CDC Gaming Reports)

  • UK, Japan and Israel have implemented new travel restrictions in response to Omicron variant, which has driven an increase in hotel and restaurant cancellations. On the other hand, it's also led to an increase in vaccinations. (CNBC)

  • The US announced last Thursday that passengers flying to the country will need to show a negative Covid-19 test performed within one day of departure as the spread of the Omicron variant continues to raise concerns. In addition, the US extended the federal mask mandate on flights, trains, and other forms of public transport through March 18, 2022. The mandate was previously set to expire on January 18. (Skift)

Social Media

  • The Australian government is set to introduce some of the toughest “anti-troll” legislation in the world, announcing legislation that would make social media companies reveal the identities of anonymous trolling accounts and offer a pathway to sue those people for defamation. (The Guardian)

  • A recent study has revealed that 8 in 10 Gen Zers say that social media distracts them from schoolwork. The study (by Tallo) also reported that Twitter and Facebook are the least popular platforms amongst this audience. (Business Wire)

Video Games

  • Overwolf has raised $75M in funding to jumpstart community-created mod experiences for games. Overwolf makes a modding platform for game developers and publisher. It enables those companies to take advantage of user-created content based on popular games. Overwolf has more than 87,000 creators and 20 million monthly active users. (VentureBeat)

  • Niantic, developer of the world’s first and only planet-scale AR platform, announced today that Coatue has made a $300M investment in the company at a valuation of $9B. Niantic will use the funds to invest in current games and new apps, expand the Lightship developer platform, and build out its vision for the Real-World Metaverse. “Niantic is building a platform for AR based on a 3D map of the world that we believe will play a critical role in the next transition in computing,” says Coatue. "We see this infrastructure supporting a metaverse for the real world and helping to power the next evolution of the internet.” (Niantic)

  • Epic Games has acquired Harmonix, creator of the popular Rock Band and Dance Central franchises. Epic's flagship game Fortnite has served as a well-attended virtual performance and video premiere space for a number of major stars, while its Unreal Engine is used as the foundation for 3D music videos created by Sony Music‘s Immersive Music Studios. Epic says it will collaborate closely with Harmonix “to develop musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite” and that Harmonix will continue to support existing titles including Rock Band 4. (Music Business Worldwide)


  • The UK government published its national AI strategy, which outlines its long-term vision for the technology and its impact on society.

  • Rodney Brooks, the creator of the Roomba, throws cold water on the idea that AI will surpass human intelligence in the near future.

  • A unique look behind the curtain at how one VC fund increased returns.

  • How Peloton uses design and gamification to keep people on the exercise platform.

  • If you think gentrification is about new coffee shops and high rents, you are missing an essential aesthetic element.

  • Watch out for the Trisolarians! Scientists might have found the first-known planet orbiting three stars at once.

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