Check out the latest Knowledge posts from AGM Leaders:

AGM's Best of CES 2023

by Ardalan Salam, VP, Data and Technology and Alyssa Caridi, Associate Director, Strategy & Innovation

How do you measure brand experience?

by Rory Millar, Creative Director, Brand Experience

_Industry_ updates

Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Meta is removing gender as an option for advertisers to target teens on Facebook and Instagram, part of a broader overhaul aimed at tightening the company’s advertising policy for young users. User activity on Facebook and Instagram will also no longer be used to tailor ads for teens. (WSJ)

  • Microsoft has been in talks to invest $10B into the owner of ChatGPT. Microsoft’s infusion would be part of a deal in which the company would get 75% of OpenAI’s profits until it recoups its investment. (Semafor)

  • OpenAI shared a waitlist for what the company is calling ChatGPT Professional — an “experimental” paid version of ChatGPT that will be “always available,” offer “fast responses” with no throttling, and give users “at least” twice the daily number of answers compared to the free version of the chatbot. (The Verge)

  • Apple is unveiling a free online tool that allows businesses to customize the information card shown by Apple Maps and other services with photos, details and even limited-time offers. Allowing businesses to better explain their services could help score some points with merchants and consumers and give Apple useful local info to power future services. (Axios)

  • After plummeting 39% in the US and 26% worldwide in 2020, digital out-of-home expanded in both 2021 and 2022 in the US and worldwide, respectively, reaching $3.9B in the US and $12.3B worldwide in 2022. (Media Post)

Awards / Festivals

  • About 6.3M viewers watched the return of the Golden Globes, a 9% drop from the last televised ceremony two years ago. The Globes were pushed to a Tuesday this year, instead of the traditional Sunday, so they would not clash with an extended National Football League season. (Reuters)

  • Netflix will continue its foray into livestreaming with a new multi-year partnership with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. Beginning in 2024, the SAG award ceremony will be broadcast live on the streamer, becoming the first major film and television awards show to air on Netflix. (Tech Crunch)

  • eOne’s big-budget adventure film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will open the 2023 SXSW Festival. Julio Torres A24 movie Problemista, and Eva Longoria's directorial debut Flamin' Hot are also set for the fest. (THR)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • M3gan, a PG-13 horror movie starring a mean-girl robot, sold an estimated $30.2M in tickets in the United States and Canada over its debut weekend, about 30% more than box office analysts had predicted. Universal Pictures has already fast-tracked a sequel. (NYT)

  • Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water has been given permission to extend its current run in mainland Chinese cinemas beyond the 30-day theatrical period normally granted to Hollywood films imported into the country. DreamWorks animation Puss in Boots: The Last Wish has also been granted an extension. (Yahoo)

  • MoviePass will use its latest round of funding to accelerate the beta relaunch of its movie theatre subscription service and to develop and implement the company’s Web3 strategy, including virtual reality cinema experiences and using technology to drive traffic to theaters. (Yahoo)

Gambling / Casinos

  • Las Vegas Sands will bid for a multi-billion dollar casino at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site in Long Island, New York. The move to pursue the opportunity follows a New York Gaming Facility Location Board vote that opened up the application process for three downstate NY casino licenses. (Yogonet)

  • Caesars Sportsbook at Caesars Windsor has now opened its doors. Caesars Windsor claims it has now become the first organization in Ontario to offer a full-service on-site sportsbook after Canada legalized single-event betting in 2021. (Yogonet)

  • Formula One Group, the operator of the F1 racing series, predicts its November 2023 race in Las Vegas will generate at least $500M in revenue. Should the series’ first race meet sales expectations, it’d likely represent a significant chunk of Formula One Group’s 2023 top line, as the company posted $1.8B in revenue through the first nine months of 2022. (Casino.org)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Disney is making a number of modifications to its reservation and ticketing system, as well as its annual pass membership perks, at its domestic theme parks. The changes are prompted by feedback from guests who have complained about rising prices and longer wait times. (CNBC)

  • 2023’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will feature its most global and diverse slate of headliners to date. Bad Bunny, K-pop girl group Blackpink and Frank Ocean are scheduled to headline. (LAT)

  • Kendrick Lamar, Odesza and the Foo Fighters will topline this summer’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The performance from the Foo Fighters will mark only the second announced set from the group since the shocking death of drummer Taylor Hawkins last March. (Billboard)

  • Nick Jonas and Eva Longoria are among the SXSW 2023 speakers, meanwhile Unfold The Universe: NASA’s Webb Space Telescope is a new keynote session at the event. (THR)

  • Universal Parks is opening a year-round take on its “Halloween Horror Nights” in Las Vegas. The new horror experience will be the anchor tenant in a new 20-acre expansion of Las Vegas’ Area15. (Casino.org)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Universal Music Group has opened its first music-based experiential hotel in Madrid. Unlike traditional hotels, the UMUSIC hotel offers fans, guests and artists an immersive music experience, incorporating elements of the local music scene. (Music Business Worldwide)

  • Almost half (46%) of US podcast listeners prefer consuming them with video, compared with 42% who would rather listen without video. Additionally, 15% of podcast listeners would pay between $10 and $25 to attend a live recorded event, while 46% wouldn’t pay to see a live podcast recording. (Morning Consult)

Crypto / NFT / Metaverse

  • Coinbase is cutting a fifth of its workforce following an 18% staff reduction in June. CEO Brian Armstrong pointed to recent pressure on the crypto sector thanks to “unscrupulous actors in the industry,” referring to bankrupt exchange FTX and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. (CNBC)

  • Apple will launch its Reality Pro mixed reality headset in the spring and ship the product by fall 2023. The new headset will run on a new operating system, dubbed xrOS, and Apple already granted a select group of software developers access to the platform. (CNBC)

  • Mastercard is harnessing web3 in an effort to support up-and-coming musical artists. The Mastercard Artist Accelerator will include “a first-of-its-kind curriculum [that] will teach the artists how to build (and own) their brand through web3 experiences like minting NFTs, representing themselves in virtual worlds and establishing an engaged community." (The Drum)

  • El Salvador approved a law to allow it to Issue Bitcoin Denominated Bonds. President Nayib Bukele initially announced bitcoin-backed bonds in November 2021 along with intentions to establish the world’s first “Bitcoin City." He plans to fund the development of the city by raising $500M through Bitcoin-backed bonds. (CryptoNews)

OTT / Streaming

  • For the second time in eight months, fuboTV has raised its monthly subscription rates by $5/mo. The Pro plan has increased from $69.99 to $74.99/mo and the Elite plan has jumped from $79.99 to $84.99. (The Streamable)

  • YouTube will start sharing ad money with Shorts creators on February 1st. The change is coming as part of a broader update to YouTube’s Partner Program, which will require everyone who’s currently part of it to sign new agreement terms, whether or not they’re looking to make money from Shorts. (The Verge)

  • DirecTV will lay off about 10% of its management staff as consumers continue to shift away from paid linear TV. The company has also been the subject of a possible merger with fellow satellite TV provider Dish Network. (THR)

  • Warner Bros. Discovery will raise the monthly price of HBO Max to $15.99 effective immediately for new subscribers, with it taking effect for existing subscribers beginning in February. The ad-supported tier of the service will remain at $9.99 per month for the time being. (THR)

  • Roku announced that the number of global active accounts now exceeds 70M. Globally, streaming hours were 87.4B for full year of 2022, a 19% increase YoY. Roku remains the #1 TV streaming platform in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico based on hours streamed. (Business Wire)

  • Warner Bros. Discovery has teamed up with Amazon Prime Video to launch a new offer bringing together a collection of Warner Bros. Discovery’s programming in France. The Warner Pass will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video Channels in France will offer viewers access to all of HBO and 12 channels including Warner TV, Eurosport, Discovery Channel, Cartoon Network and CNN, as well as their associated on-demand services. (Digital TV Europe)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Amazon is laying off more employees in its retail business. It will eliminate just over 18K roles, primarily in its Amazon Stores, and People, Experience and Technology divisions. (Retail Dive)

  • The US Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop last Wednesday morning following an outage to a system that provides pilots with notices they need before flying. Normal operations are resuming, but delays from the ground stop created over 10K flight delays and more than 1.3K cancellations. (CNN)

  • Livestream ecommerce conducted via retail websites or social networks is expected to outgrow overall ecommerce this year in APAC (19% vs 8%). Though slowing, social will still outpace total ecommerce, growing 13% YoY, and livestreaming via social media will grow fastest of all, by 23%. (Insider)

Social Media

  • Instagram will remove its Shop tab from the homepage navigation bar in February. However, people will be able to continue to shop in the moment across feed, reels, stories, explore, and ads. (Retail Dive)

  • Twitter now defaults to a For You page and is making the algorithmic feed the default, though users can still switch to the chronological feed with a swipe. The star icon that used to let users swap feeds is now gone. (The Verge)

  • US adults are more inclined to browse content on social media than to post their own content to them. The vast majority of those who say they use these platforms have accounts with them, but less than half who have accounts, and even smaller proportions of all US adults, post their own content. (Gallup)

  • TikTok paused its US security deal amid rising questions about the app’s connection with the CCP. It has paused its hiring process for a group of US-based consultants that would help to implement the final requirements of its potential security agreement with the US Government. (Social Media Today)

  • Clients of WPP-owned GroupM, the world’s largest ad-buying firm, have cut their spending on Twitter by between 40% and 50% since Elon Musk took control of the company. Standard Media Index says it is seeing a smaller amount of forward bookings for Twitter for this month and February compared to past years. (The Information)

Sports

  • Amazon's Thursday Night Football audiences missed estimates by up to 25%, forcing the tech giant to compensate advertisers. For the season, TNF on Prime Video averaged 9.6M viewers, the lowest figure since the NFL began selling it to media partners ahead of the 2014 season. (Insider)

  • Over 60% of soccer fans are highly likely to pay more than $20 per month for all games, the highest of any sport. MMA/Boxing and Tennis fans follow closely behind. (World Soccer Talk)

  • DAZN streamed 1.2B hours globally across 130M connected devices in 2022, a rise from 1B hours and over 100M devices in 2021. DAZN is now the largest digital sports broadcaster in Europe, having added over 75 rights to the platform over the past 12 months and having 15M subscribers. (Yahoo)

Video Games

  • Roblox is completing its rollout of the Creator Hub, a new hub that gives developers more tools and centralizes things like documentation and a developer forum into one place. (The Verge)

  • Roblox might be planning to come to Meta's Quest VR headset in late 2023. While Roblox is already compatible with various VR headsets, including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, gamers currently need to connect their PC to a VR headset to play. (Tech Crunch)

  • Valve’s game distribution platform Steam had a record-breaking weekend from Jan 7-8, exceeding 10M concurrent in-game players for the first time, while also surpassing 32M concurrent online users. (The Verge)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

  • In a new Mint Mobile spot, Ryan Reynolds says he asked ChatGPT to write a commercial for Mint Mobile in his voice, with a checklist including using a joke, a curse word, and letting people know that Mint’s holiday promo is still going. The result, in Reynolds’s words, is “eerie” and “mildly terrifying," yet..."compelling." (Fast Company)

_And now_ the good stuff

  • The UK government published its national AI strategy, which outlines its long-term vision for the technology and its impact on society.

  • Rodney Brooks, the creator of the Roomba, throws cold water on the idea that AI will surpass human intelligence in the near future.

  • A unique look behind the curtain at how one VC fund increased returns.

  • How Peloton uses design and gamification to keep people on the exercise platform.

  • If you think gentrification is about new coffee shops and high rents, you are missing an essential aesthetic element.

  • Watch out for the Trisolarians! Scientists might have found the first-known planet orbiting three stars at once.

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