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TL;DR

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

  • TikTok sued the US government over a law that would force Chinese parent ByteDance to sell the app or face a national ban. (CNBC)

  • Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery are planning to offer their streaming services, Disney+, Hulu and Max, in a bundle mirroring the traditional cable TV package. (CNBC)

  • While engagement is still a factor, social platforms themselves are moving beyond prompting likes and comments and are refocusing on time spent in each app. (Social Media Today)

  • OpenAI is dropping an AI-powered search product that could threaten Google’s dominance. (The Verge)

Audiences

  • In the US, Gen Z's spending power is predicted to increase by 48% by the end of this decade. (Fast Company)

  • Young adults in the US prefer malt seltzers to ready-to-drink cocktails. (eMarketer)

  • In January 2024, streaming made up 45.4% of Asian Americans’ TV usage, compared with 36.0% for the general US population. (Nielsen)

Platforms

  • After a tough 2023, Southeast Asia has delivered record VOD subscription numbers and revenues in the first quarter of the year. (Variety)

  • Pinterest has reached a UK audience of 16M with a significant Gen Z demographic and is focusing on transforming browsing into buying. (Campaign UK)

  • Warner Bros. Discovery will launch its streaming service Max in France on June 11, following a rollout in 22 countries across the Nordics, Iberia, and Central and Eastern Europe on May 21. (Variety)

  • Meta confirmed that it’s testing a new option that will let Instagram users cross-post their updates to Threads. (Social Media Today)

  • Threads added view counts to individual Threads to help users understand broader reach and engagement. (Social Media Today)

Content

  • DAZN has secured the broadcasting rights for Formula 1 in Portugal for the 2025–2027 seasons, expanding its sports streaming portfolio. (Sportcal)

  • Sky Sports+ is set to launch in August, featuring a new channel and enhanced app to offer fans additional live sports coverage. (SkySport)

  • Marvel is launching an MR interactive experience for the Apple Vision Pro called "What If...? An Immersive Story" that pulls on different threads in the Marvel universe. (PC Mag)

  • Warner Bros. will release the first of its new batch of live-action “The Lord of the Rings” films in 2026, which will focus on Andy Serkis’ Gollum. (Variety)

  • The popular Australian animated show "Bluey" recently introduced its first LGBTQ+ characters. (The Western Journal)

Tech & AI

  • Due to lack of clarity on compensation and how the material will be used, Singapore's literary community is pushing back against an official effort to train multilingual LLMs using their published works. (Rest of World)

  • Meta unveiled a set of new generative AI features for advertisers, including image and text generators that speed up creative production. (Marketing Dive)

  • TikTok will start labeling AI-generated content as the technology becomes more universal. (AP News)

Location-based entertainment

  • In June 2025, SXSW is set to make its European debut in Shoreditch, London. (The Guardian)

  • The European leg of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour will bring five times more US luxury travelers to the city than the upcoming Olympics. (Bloomberg)

  • WNBA ticket sales are up 93% as Caitlin Clark fuels demand. (Sports Pro Media)

  • Formula 1 has altered its approach to ticket sales for the 2024 Las Vegas Grand Prix, issuing 10K “backpacker” tickets to attract "a wider variety of fans." (Motorsport)

  • Disneyland has dropped ticket prices to as little as $50 a day for the entire summer, stretching from the springtime Pixar Fest to Halloween Time. (San Diego Tribune)

Travel & hospitality

  • Airbnb is shifting its focus to loyalty, considering an Amazon Prime-like subscription model that would help provide a better overall service. (View From The Wing)

  • International travel to the US is up 31% YoY, with 66.5M visits to the US in 2023. (NTTO)

  • Gen Z tends to choose hotels and airlines for price and uniqueness of experience rather than for the brand. (Fast Company)

Gaming

  • Xbox shut down 4 Bethesda-run studios, including the studio behind award winning "Hi-Fi Rush". (Forbes)

  • The early access launch of "Hades 2" reached a peak of 79,276 concurrent players within 24 hours, doubling the peak of the original game. (IGN)

  • Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments will roll out AR games to lure visitors. (FT)

  • The computer gaming industry is starting to embrace AI amidst escalating production costs for AAA titles. (BBC News)

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