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TL;DR

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

  • While some may assume a majority of users who sign-up around tentpole events (like big NFL games) will quickly cancel, the data shows otherwise. At the end of February, 65% of Paramount+'s Super Bowl LVIII sign-up cohort either remained subscribed to their paid subscription or had converted their free trial to paid. (Antenna)

  • Ad budgets for games are growing for 40% of US marketers as the growing number of US gamers tops 212M. (Marketing Dive)

  • Amazon is spending $2.75B on AI startup Anthropic in its largest venture investment yet. (CNBC)

Agency updates

  • We have been named finalists in the Ex Awards for our Brand Experience team's work on the Claritin Clear 500 campaign and Pet Semetary SDCC stunt. The awards take place on April 24th and a full list of finalists can be viewed here.

Interesting campaigns / creative

  • Cadbury celebrated Easter’s biggest egg with the smallest billboard, just 3cm tall. (The Drum)

  • Absolut is returning to Coachella with a metaverse activation called Absolut.land. (Marketing Dive)

  • Mtn Dew is targeting gamers and outdoor enthusiasts with rewards programs, letting consumers collect points for their drink purchases. (Marketing Dive)

Audiences

  • US adults will spend 55 minutes more per day with digital video than with traditional TV in 2024. (eMarketer)

  • 18% of Americans under 41 years old say ads on SVOD services influence their purchasing decisions, compared to 54% who say ads on social media influence their purchasing decisions the most. (Deloitte)

  • 67% of Millennial and Gen Z adults worldwide are interested in traveling for sporting events in 2024, compared to 58% of all adults. (American Express)

Platforms

  • Universal Music Group and Spotify announced a vague expansion of their strategic relationship that probably signals a unified effort against TikTok. (Variety)

  • HYBE has struck a deal with Universal Music Group that will see UMG invest in, and further collaborate with, HYBE’s global superfan platform, Weverse. (MBW)

  • Snap is rolling out new AI powered Lenses and allowing longer video uploads. (Social Media Today)

  • Reddit is rolling out some new ad creation updates, including AI generated headline suggestions, custom asset cropping, improved bid management options and more. (Social Media Today)

Content

  • Sony will expand its FAST channel business with the launch of the Sony One Channel Portfolio in Europe. (BroadbandTVNews)

  • Kayo Sports said the weekend of March 22nd was the biggest-ever weekend of viewership on the platform, thanks to viewers of Formula 1 races. (Media Week)

  • The NFL announced two exclusive streaming games for the 2024 season, including one postseason game. (NFL)

  • For the first time, Crunchyroll will stream new episodes of Kaiju No. 8 live every week in more than 200 countries and territories at the exact same time as it broadcasts in Japan. (Games Radar)

Tech & AI

  • Google is rolling out AI tools to help consumers build full travel itineraries. The move puts Google squarely in the travel planning process and gives it a lot more insight into purchasing intent in the travel sector. (TechCrunch)

  • BBC said its ambition for AI is "significant," and it's developing unique ethical algorithms that dramatically increase personalization. (Variety)

  • Accenture is teaming up with Adobe and Nvidia to fuel brand content with generative AI. (Marketing Dive)

  • X’s Grok chatbot will soon get an upgraded model, Grok-1.5. (Tech Crunch)

Location-based entertainment

  • The Wheel at Icon Park in Orlando, the highest observation wheel on the US East Coast, was purchased by Merlin Entertainments. (Icon Park Orlando)

  • Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” debuted atop the UK and Ireland box office, bringing in £4M over its first weekend. (Variety)

  • A Chicago manufacturer is hosting sold-out plays, joining driving ranges and empty malls as new offbeat show venues. (WSJ)

  • The local economic impact of Major League Baseball's tour in Seoul is expected to be 200B won ($150 million), thanks largely to the appearance of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. (Nikkei Asia)

Travel & hospitality

  • In 2023, New South Wales’ overseas visitor spend reached 96% of pre-pandemic levels. (Karryon)

  • This year, 84% of travelers globally plan to spend as much as they did last year on travel. (Seattle Times)

  • The global culinary tourism market is experiencing steady growth, driven by a growing desire for cultural exploration and authentic experiences among the masses and the increasing impact of social media on shaping travel behaviors. (GlobalNewswire)

Gaming

  • Take-Two will acquire developer Gearbox from Embracer for $460M. (Gamesindustrybiz)

  • SEGA cut 240 jobs in the UK and sold off Relic Entertainment, which will go independent. (Polygon)

  • The first human recipient of a Neuralink brain implant pulled an all-nighter playing Sid Meier's Civilization 6. (IGN)

  • The "Legend of Zelda" movie director Wes Ball wants to make a "serious" adaptation that feels "real" to audiences. (IGN)

Mental health

  • Here's an interesting read on how mastering the art of being alone can boost your mental health.

  • Here's a list of the 13 best podcasts to follow in 2024 for motivation, mental health, and laughs.

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