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TL;DR

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

  • President Biden has signed the TikTok ban bill into law, meaning TikTok now has 9 months to be sold to a US-based owner or be banned in the nation. (Social Media Today)

  • Meta is opening up its Horizon OS, the operating system that powers its Quest units, to third party hardware partners, which will let more companies build devices that can link into Meta’s VR offerings. (Social Media Today)

  • The FCC voted to restore net neutrality, classifying the internet as a public utility, which will make it harder for providers to play favorites with certain websites. (WSJ)

  • Southwest Airlines is pulling out of four US airports, including Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, amid Boeing’s delivery issues. (WSJ)

Audiences

  • 71% of Britons feel overwhelmed by the number of platforms available for streaming TV. (YouGov)

  • More than 29M Americans - about a quarter of paying US streaming subscribers - have canceled three or more services over the last two years. (NYT)

  • Pinterest says that “adventure travel” is getting more attention from its users this year, which includes searches for “Scuba diving photography” (up +60%), “Mountaineering” (+40%), and "Water park rides (+170%). (Social Media Today)

Platforms

  • X, formerly Twitter, is continuing its video push, launching a dedicated app for smart TV sets. (THR)

  • Threads is seeing a steady rise in daily active users and is now beating X in daily actives in the US market. (Social Media Today)

  • The UK SVOD market is facing a potential decline as 39% of consumers consider cancelling streaming services due to rising costs, market saturation and evolving content consumption patterns. (YouGov)

  • Spotify wants to include pricing information for direct subscriptions inside its iPhone app, but Apple rejected the EU-compliant request. (The Verge)

Content

  • The success of India’s Oscar-winning 2022 movie "RRR" has pushed Netflix to triple the number of Telugu films available to US consumers. (Rest of World)

  • Limited series "Baby Reindeer" is currently the No. 1 English-language Netflix show in the world. (Morning Brew)

  • Over a quarter (27%) of Britons rewatch episodes of TV at least once a week. (YouGov)

  • Amazon will produce and exclusively broadcast select performances from Primavera Sound in Barcelona worldwide on Prime Video and Twitch. (Amazon)

  • FIFA is close to an agreement with Apple that would give the tech company worldwide television rights for a major new tournament. (NYT)

Tech & AI

  • The Rabbit R1, an AI-powered gadget that can use your apps for you, is available for preorder now. (The Verge)

  • Synthesia’s AI video avatars now feature more emotion and have better lip tracking. (Tech Crunch)

  • The UK is launching initial inquiries into Amazon and Microsoft over partnerships with AI companies Mistral, Anthropic and Inflection. (Tech Crunch)

  • AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing business, wants to become the go-to place companies host and fine-tune their custom generative AI models. (Tech Crunch)

Location-based entertainment

  • India’s cinema-going population topped 157M, a 29% increase YoY, and sees an average of 6 films per year. (Ormax Media)

  • Visitors to UK museums, galleries, cathedrals, zoos, castles and country houses are increasing but remain stubbornly below pre-pandemic levels. (Guardian)

  • Disney plans to invest $60B over 10 years in its "experiences" division, which includes its theme parks, resorts and cruise line, as well as merchandise. (LA Times)

  • Musicians are offering tickets in person to protect fans from online bots and fees. (Scripps News)

  • Ricky Martin is set to headline this year's LA Pride in the Park festival. (Rolling Stone)

Travel & hospitality

  • Overall international and domestic air capacity reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time in Q1, with average airfares to New Zealand, Japan and the US falling by more than 20% YoY. (Karryon)

  • The top new menu trends in the restaurant industry have been identified and include new flavors, locally sourced options and plant-based items. (FSR Magazine)

  • Amsterdam is looking to fight off mass tourism by blocking new hotel development. (CNN Travel)

  • Wyndham is expanding their presence in EMEA by expanding the Trademark Collection, which already boasts 96 hotels. (Hospitality Investor)

Gaming

  • Gaming giant Embracer has split into three companies, now specializing in AAA titles, independent titles, mobile gaming and tabletop games. (The Verge)

  • Amazon’s "Fallout" has revived interest in Fallout games, with 5M players playing the games in one single day. (Twitter)

  • Asus is working on a VR headset built on Meta’s Horizon OS. (PCGamer)

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