_Industry_ updates

Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • In the latest penalty against Meta for violating European privacy rules, it was fined roughly $275M last week for a data leak that led to the PII of over 500M Facebook users being published online. The penalty, imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, brings the fines the regulator has imposed on Meta since last year to over $900M. (NYT)

  • Yahoo is taking a roughly 25% stake in Taboola. The deal is part of a 30-year exclusive partnership that lets Yahoo use Taboola’s technology to manage its native advertising business. (NYT)

  • The European Commission confirms that TikTok’s data transfers are under investigation and the object of several ongoing proceedings. This comes after concerns raised by Members of the European Parliament about data access from inside China. (FCC via Twitter)

  • Consumers continue to increase the time they spend watching video on mobile phones, while time spent watching on TVs, tablets, and computers continues to decline. AVOD accounts for the largest share at nearly two hours per week, but consumers also spent more than one hour each watching SVOD and livestreaming content on their mobiles. (Parks Associates)

  • CBS has drawn almost as much US watch time as Netflix has with its original series. Nielsen figures for the first nine weeks of the 2022-23 season show Netflix and CBS well ahead of other broadcasters and streamers in time spent with original programming: Netflix amassed 221B minutes of viewing, with CBS right behind with 216B. (THR)

  • Half of Americans say mid-November is the ideal time for Holiday Advertising to begin. Early November (39%) and early December (36%) saw the next-highest levels of “just right” support. (Morning Consult)

  • This year, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Apple will get 68% of the $500B in online advertising revenue that companies, excluding those in China will receive. (Financial Times)

  • Apple unveiled a new App Store policy decreeing that paid social post “boosts” within platforms operating on iOS must be treated as in-app purchases, entitling the company to a 30% cut, per its updated guidelines. (Marketing Dive)

  • The number of same-sex households in the US increased 120% from 2008 to 2021 to surpass 1M for the first time. (NBC)

  • Online video advertising will generate an estimated $331B in 2027, and 37% of those revenues will belong to TikTok alone. (PR Newswire)

Awards / Festivals

  • The 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards announced its 2023 nominations. A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once leads the nominations with eight nods including best feature, directing and screenplay. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu were also honored for their performances. Other nods include Focus Features’ Tàr (seven nominations), and United Artists’ Bones and All and A24’s The Inspection (three nods each). (THR)

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once was the big winner at the 2022 Gotham Awards including best feature and best supporting performance for Ke Huy Quan. Till‘s Danielle Deadwyler won best lead performance. Tár won for best screenplay and Aftersun helmer Charlotte Wells won the breakthrough director award. (THR)

  • The Oscars will air all 23 categories during the 2023 telecast. The news comes after eight categories were cut from the main telecast at the 2022 Academy Awards, leading to much outrage across the film industry. (Variety)

  • Emmy-winning actor, director and educator LeVar Burton will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first-ever Children’s and Family Emmys, taking place Dec. 11th in Los Angeles. (THR)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Disney's Strange World is expected to lose $100M in its theatrical run. It debuted behind expectations, earning $11.9M from 4.1K North American theaters over Thanksgiving weekend and $18.6M over the five-day holiday frame. (Variety)

  • Netflix's Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery made $9.2M over Thanksgiving weekend at an average of $13,200 per North American screen, a higher per-screen performance than any other movie in the US and Canada that weekend. (WSJ)

  • Top Gun: Maverick is returning to standard and IMAX US theaters from December 2nd-15th after grossing $1B+ at the box office. The theatrical re-release comes just before the film finds a streaming home on Paramount+. (Collider)

  • Amazon plans to spend $1B+ a year to produce movies that it will release in theaters. It aims to make between 12 and 15 movies annually for theatrical release. (Bloomberg)

Gambling / Casinos

  • Six casino operators in Macau - including MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts, won provisional licenses to continue operating in the Chinese gambling hub for the next 10 years. (WSJ)

  • Real estate investment trust VICI Properties has agreed to buy Blackstone’s stake in MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay. It's already Las Vegas Strip’s biggest property owner and, with this deal, further expands into gambling properties. (Yogonet)

  • Wynn Resorts has finalized the sale of Encore Boston Harbor to Realty Income Corporation for $1.7B. The company is also planning on an expansion in the UAE with the Wynn Marjan set to open in 2026. (Gambling News)

Live Events / Attractions

  • SXSW has revealed the first round of performers for its 37th annual festival, taking place March 13-18, 2023. Highlights include South Korean artists Balming Tiger and Beenzino, Calle 13’s iLe (Puerto Rico), Ladaniva (France), Max Cooper (England), Mightmare, Núria Graham (Spain), the Orielles (England), Otoboke Beaver (Japan), RVG (Australia), Son Rompe Pera (Mexico) and dozens more. (Variety)

  • After several closures and reopenings throughout the pandemic, Shanghai Disneyland resumed operations on November 25th and will continue to operate with limited daily capacity as it implements enhanced health and safety measures. (Deadline)

  • In 2023, Jack Harlow will begin a Las Vegas residency at Zouk Nightclub with at least two planned shows. (Rolling Stone)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Actor and director Konkona Sen Sharma (“A Death in the Gunj”) will join the likes of Dave Chappelle, Lena Dunham and Russell Brand as podcast platform Luminary launches an India unit. Launched originally in the U.S. in 2018, Luminary says its move into India will see it “extend its content legacy” and that it will “develop and curate localized stories with a global appeal.” (Variety)

  • Spotify said Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny was its most-streamed artist this year for the third time in a row, highlighting the growing popularity of Latin music. Joe Rogan‘s podcast was the service's most popular. (WSJ)

  • SiriusXM plans to fire staff amid faltering sales growth, though it is still assessing the extent of the cuts. The company had 5.6K employees at the end of 2021. (Bloomberg)

  • Spotify added one-click audio enhancement for podcast creators that reduces background noise in the Anchor app. (Engadget)

  • The New York TImes podcast The Trojan Horse Affair topped the list of top new podcasts of 2022. NBC's Ultra and Wondery's Twin Flames follow directly behind. (Podtrac)

Crypto / NFT / Metaverse

  • Women are spending more time in the protometaverse than men and are more likely to spearhead and implement metaverse initiatives. However, as in the tech sector as a whole, women represent a minority in the metaverse economy. Both the entrepreneurial capital and the CEO roles in the metaverse space remain disproportionately reserved for men. (McKinsey)

OTT / Streaming

  • Netflix’s Wednesday had the biggest ever opening week on the service for an English language series. It racked up 341M hours of viewing worldwide last week, topping the 335M hours for Stranger Things 4 the week of May 30-June 5. Squid Game holds the all-time mark on Netflix with 572M hours viewed for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2021. (THR)

  • Disney is offering third and fourth guests of Disney+ subscribers free sailing with 2 full-fare guests during select cruises on the Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. (Disney)

  • WarnerBros Discovery offered Black Friday promotions for both HBO Max and Discovery+, with an 80% savings on the first three months of ad-supported subscriptions to each platform. (HBO Max on Twitter)

  • 88% of Canadian Internet users are now reachable by CTV, with 60% of these consumers using ad-supported CTV apps and channel. Additionally, 58% of Canadian consumers prefer ad-supported models of CTV. (Advanced Television)

  • 83% of US internet households now subscribe to at least one OTT service, while 45% still subscribe to the traditional linear pay-TV service model. (Advanced Television)

  • Almost a third of US internet households are ‘service hoppers’ or streaming video subscribers who frequently switch services and re-subscribe multiple times. (Advanced Television)

  • Peacock offered new subscribers 12 months at $0.99/mo for a limited time beginning November 18th. The promotion has since expired. (Twitter)

  • AMC Networks will lay off 20% of US workers to conserve resources as the company struggles to generate revenue from its streaming services. (WSJ)

  • Netflix is planning to expand its group of early-previewers beyond its current base of 2K+ subscribers to include tens of thousands of users around the world early next year. (WSJ)

  • Premium video usage and subscriber takeup rebounded across Southeast Asia in Q3, rising by 6% and led by Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and Viu. (World Screen)

  • Warner Bros Discovery is currently negotiating the destination of HBO’s content in Australia from the end of 2024 when its deal with incumbent Foxtel expires. Contenders are Nine Network and its SVOD, Stan, and Foxtel, with D2C also being considered. (SMH)

  • Paramount and Virgin Media extended their UK deal to incorporate streamers. The renewed partnership will see SVOD platform Paramount+ debut on Virgin TV in 2023. (Digital TV Europe)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • US consumers spent $11.3B on Cyber Monday this year, a 5.8% increase from last year, making it the biggest shopping day ever. Heavy discounting helped drive sales, which were higher than expected this year.
    During the peak hour of 8-9pm PT, consumers spent $12.8M every minute. Curbside pickup was used less this year than last, while mobile shopping increased. (Insider Intelligence)

  • What brands need to know about travel in 2023: Staycations are still big, overseas travel is back in vogue, and reassurance is a must (the most important thing to vacationers is the flexibility to have free cancellation or rebooking). (GWI)

  • In a partnership with major landlords, Airbnb launched a platform allowing renters to host apartments. To start, Airbnb is showcasing 175 apartment buildings in more than 25 major markets. Typically, rental buildings prohibit tenants from subletting for short stays. (CNBC)

  • Amazon unveiled a new drone for 30-minute urban deliveries while it prepares to debut its long-delayed Prime Air drone delivery service. (Axios)

  • The majority of adults worldwide prefer to buy from brands that reflect their social values. Chinese adults currently top the list at 76% in favor while the US, Japan and the UK sit at the bottom. (Morning Consult)

  • Harry Reid International Airport set a new monthly passenger record, surpassing 5M passengers (arriving/departing) in October for the 1st time ever. The previous record of 4.86M was set in July. (KTNV)

  • A record 196.7M Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, up nearly 17M from 2021. (NRF)

Social Media

  • Apple named BeReal its iPhone App of the Year, saying "Innovative social app BeReal gives users an authentic look into the lives of their family and friends." (Apple)

  • Elon Musk has once again postponed the launch of Twitter Blue. The delay comes after Musk accused Apple of censorship and monopolistic practices. (Insider)

  • Twitter’s ad revenue in EMEA is down 15% YoY, and weekly bookings are down 49% YoY due to advertisers pausing their campaigns amidst Elon Musk’s takeover of the company. (Platformer)

  • A top EU official warned Elon Musk that Twitter needs to beef up measures to protect users from hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content to avoid violating new rules that threaten tech giants with big fines or even a ban. (Huff Post)

  • YouTube is testing adding quizzes as a community post option, giving users more ways to have direct engagement and interaction with their favorite content creators. (Social Media Today)

  • An internal risk assessment conducted at ByteDance found systemic issues with fraud and inappropriate data management, creating new concerns for lawmakers, politicians, and advertisers. (The Drum)

Video Games

  • Major video game developers including Activision Blizzard, EA, and SquareEnix are expanding the tools players use to create characters: downplaying gendered terms and untethering options for body types, voice and other characteristics from gender selection. The shift is part of an industry trend to be more inclusive to a wider set of players by letting them see themselves in the games they play. (Axios)

  • Nintendo's sales of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games for the Nintendo Switch surpassed 10M units in the first three days of their global launch, setting a new record for the company. (CNBC)

  • Riot Games and Ubisoft are teaming up on a tech partnership called Zero Harm in Comms to gather in-game data to help better train AI-based preemptive moderation tools that detect and mitigate disruptive behavior in-game. (Riot Games)


  • About 3 in 5 US soccer fans planned to watch this year’s World Cup. That’s up from the 48% who said they watched in 2014, and the 45% who reported watching in 2018. (Morning Consult)

  • Disney has acquired 100% of BAMTech, the streaming video technology company it acquired majority ownership of in 2017 from Major League Baseball. (THR)

  • NFL Sunday Ticket negotiations are expected to continue into 2023, though talks were supposed to be settled by the end of this year. The Sunday Ticket deal is expected to be worth somewhere around $2.5-$3B annually. (Mactrast)

  • More Americans tuned in to watch the US World Cup match against England than any other men’s soccer match in history. Fox Sports drew a television audience of nearly 15.4M people for the game, 6% more than the previous viewership high. (Bloomberg)

  • Fox’s Thanksgiving NFL telecast of the Dallas Cowboys’ win over the New York Giants was the most watched regular season game on record, with 42M viewers tuning in to watch. (THR)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

_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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