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)

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)

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