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In the press

Our Chief Strategist, Adam Cunningham, was featured in this article by The Hollywood Reporter for his upcoming talk at the 2024 Banff World Media Festival entitled “Disrupt or Be Disrupted: The Media Industry in the Age of Enshittification.” The talk about the deterioration of platforms as we know them speaks to media companies, letting them know what they're up against and how they can adapt.

TL;DR

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

  • Instagram confirmed it is testing unskippable ads after screenshots of the feature began circulating across social media. (Tech Crunch)

  • With Apple's iOS 18, Mail, Messages, and Siri will receive a new “Smart Reply” feature, giving users the option to reply with an instant AI-generated response to an email or message. (9to5Mac)

  • Young people in the US are increasingly using social apps, TikTok and Instagram in particular, for brand discovery as opposed to Google. (Marketing Dive)

Audiences

  • 51% of US consumers are planning to stream the Olympics this summer, up 82% YoY. (Advanced TV)

  • While most Americans plan to travel in the next 12 months (69%), 44% will travel in the fall, which means "shoulder season" may be catching on. (The Points Guy)

  • More than 1 in 3 American travelers plan to go into debt for their summer vacations this year. (Bankrate)

  • The share of US adults who prefer streaming to theaters for movie premieres held steady through Q1. (Morning Consult)

Platforms

  • Apple is in talks with China Mobile to bring Apple TV+ to China, which would make it the only US streaming service available there. (The Information)

  • Spotify Premium will soon cost $11.99/mo, up from the $10.99 increase announced last year. (The Verge)

  • Spotify customers are the least likely to cancel among major video or audio streaming services. (Bloomberg)

  • This month, YouTube will be showcasing LGBTQ+ creators on its spotlight channel and will also highlight LGBTQ+-owned businesses via its shopping elements. (Social Media Today)

  • Max will raise the prices of its ad-free options by $1/mo, and $10-$20/yr for its annual offerings. (CNBC)

Content

  • "The Garfield Movie" passed "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" to top last weekend's chart with an estimated $14M for a US tally of $51.6M. (THR)

  • The NBA is close to signing new rights deals with Disney, Amazon and NBC that would bring in nearly $76B over the next 11 years. (Forbes)

  • The Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black”, which saw low performance in US theaters, is making a quick debut on digital streaming. (Forbes)

  • American streaming platforms have been ordered to direct 5% of their Canadian revenues into local content production. (THR)

  • Twitch DJs will now have to pay music labels to play songs in livestreams. (Tech Crunch)

Tech & AI

  • YouTube's “Inspiration” tab in the Studio Analytics section now gives AI recommendations for new video ideas. (Social Media Today)

  • Meta's VR/AI conference, Connect 2024 will be held on September 25th and 26th, with both IRL and webcast components. (Social Media Today)

  • US regulators will proceed with antitrust investigations into the dominant roles that Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia play in the AI industry. (NYT)

  • Apple is ready to launch a standalone password and passkey manager that works across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Vision Pro and Windows PCs. (The Verge)

  • A new study has found significant discrepancies in how models from different regions handle sensitive topics like LGBTQ+ rights, social welfare, surrogacy and more. (Tech Crunch)

Location-based entertainment

  • With fewer big movies out as a result of the strikes, theatrical revenue is plummeting every week as fans grow accustomed to staying at home. (THR)

  • Broadway had been making progress toward an industry-wide recovery, but momentum is halting with overall grosses for the most recent season down 2.5% YoY. (THR)

  • Disney could be adding a fifth Orlando theme park soon, pleasing the roughly 50M guests who visit Walt Disney World annually. (Forbes)

  • Demand for summer concerts is cooling after last year's Taylor Swift and Beyoncé megatours. (Fortune)

Travel & hospitality

  • Marriott is tapping AI to reinvent itself as a travel retailer, letting customers create bespoke experiences much the way they do today when booking an airline ticket. (Skift)

  • Chinese tourists are making up for lost vacation time in recent years, splurging on travel at home and abroad and putting spending on track to exceed pre-pandemic levels for the first time. (Bloomberg)

  • Global tourism is exploding, but there is a growing grievance in some countries where large numbers of tourists have been the norm. (BBC)

  • Airbnb is rethinking the strategy for their Experiences offering because it has not consistently met performance expectations. (Yahoo)

Gaming

  • Laced Records declared that game companies miss significant revenue by not properly monetizing their soundtracks through correct digital releases, metadata and royalty collections. (gamesindustry.biz)

  • Young Filipinos have created an inclusive virtual Catholic community on Roblox, role-playing as clergy and holding online services. (Rest of World)

  • Supercell's "Squad Busters" game generated $1.1M on its launch day. (PocketGamer)

  • An "Eco Detectives" Minecraft game is helping kids become environmental activists. (blooloop)

  • Lego has debuted its first Minecraft set for adults, which will be released on August 1st. (The Verge)

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