TL;DR

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

  • Here are seven of the biggest challenges facing the future of AI search — from B.S. to culture wars and the end of ad revenue. (The Verge)

  • Watch all of the ads from Super Bowl 57 in one place. (AdWeek)

  • Peacock is launching a new interactive experience later this month that lets fans livestream episodes alongside actors from the show who provide real-time reactions, commentary and a live Q&A. (TechCrunch)

  • Disney+ lost a net 2.4 million subscribers in the last three months of 2022, marking the streaming service’s first decline since launching in late 2019. (Variety)

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_Industry_ updates

Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Dentsu Media launched a 5-year initiative to measure attention in advertising. (Adweek)

  • Less than half (42%) of US marketers have a detailed understanding of programmatic advertising, yet nearly 60% have bought ads programmatically before. (Acast)

  • 44% of podcast ad spend lands on the top 2.5% of podcasts, indicating opportunity for marketers to leverage untapped shows and communities. (Acast)

Artificial Intelligence

  • Bing search is set to receive a boost in functionality, as Microsoft integrates ChatGPT into the platform. (The Information)

  • The creators of ChatGPT acknowledge the model may have been used to generate fake information. They are developing tools to prevent such misuse and ensure the integrity of the model. (Insider). Google is rolling out its AI tool, Bard, with a small disclaimer at the bottom of the search box stating “Bard may give inaccurate or inappropriate information." (PC World)

  • Quora opened its new AI chatbot app, Poe, to the general public. The app uses machine learning to provide personalized recommendations based on users' interests and activity. (Tech Crunch)

  • Google's CEO has asked employees to test the company's new voice-based AI assistant, Bard as part of a larger effort by Google to improve its AI-powered products and services. (CNBC)

  • A judge in Colombia admitted to using ChatGPT when deciding whether an autistic child’s insurance should cover all of the costs of his medical treatment. (The Guardian)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Jordan Peele's Knock at the Cabin grossed $120M in worldwide box office its opening weekend, surpassing Avatar: The Way of Water. (Variety)

  • AMC Theatres has introduced a new ticket pricing system with a "Seat and Sightline Surcharge," which charges customers based on the popularity of the seat location and view. (Polygon)

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the most watched Marvel premiere ever on Disney+ globally. Without supplying viewership figures, Disney said the claim is based on hours streamed for the movie over its first five days on the platform. (Deadline)

Gambling / Casinos

  • It's estimated Super Bowl LVII will attract a record 504M US bettors and a handle of $16B, a 15% increase in the number of bettors compared to last year and a 30% increase in the total handle. (Yogonet)

  • Texas has introduced a bill to expand gambling through destination resorts and legalize sports betting. (Yogonet)

  • Macau casinos remained busy following the Chinese New Year with the total number of visitors reaching over 1.4M, marking the region's best January in three years. (Casino.org)

  • The MGM Grand in Las Vegas has been declared the largest hotel structure in the world, sitting on 6.6 acres and spanning 380K square feet. However, by number of rooms, it is second to the First World Hotel in Malaysia. (Casino.org)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Nearly half (48%) of Americans are interested in watching the Super Bowl halftime show with Rihanna, driven by Gen Zers (66%) and Millennials (61%). (Morning Consult)

  • La La Land is being adapted as a Broadway stage show, though neither the date nor the cast have been announced. (Variety)

  • Americans continue to prefer some cultural activities over others when compared to life before the pandemic. Demand has been redistributed away from stationary indoor experiences and toward those that allow for freedom of movement, particularly those offering outdoor experiences. (Colleen Dilenschneider)

  • Las Vegas' MSG Sphere is expected to open in September. It's targeting four to six residency headliners a year and said it will share details on its “debut original attraction from a leading Hollywood director” in the coming weeks. (THR)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • The music industry has mixed opinions on the partnership between TikTok and Ticketmaster to sell concert tickets on the app. Some see it as an innovative way to reach younger audiences; others are concerned about the potential for scalping and fraud. (Bloomberg)

  • TikTok has launched its DIY distribution platform, SoundOn, in Australia and has also started limiting access to major label music to provide a more diverse and independent music library for its users, while also controlling the licensing costs associated with major label music. (Music Business Worldwide)

  • Universal Music Group has partnered with TIDAL to devise a new streaming model that better rewards the value provided by artists and enhances the engagement of TIDAL subscribers. (RA)

  • Podcasting has emerged out of years of rapid growth and a pandemic boom to face an identity crisis as its ecosystem contracts, advertisement slows and the medium eases into maturity. (Axios)

  • Beyoncé is officially the Grammy's most decorated artist ever, winning her 32nd award at the 2023 show. Harry Styles won album of the year for “Harry's House," and Lizzo won record of the year for "About Damn Time." (CNN)

Crypto / NFT / Metaverse

  • The NFL has teamed up with Intuit to activate on Roblox, including by bringing the first Super Bowl concert to the platform. The concert featured Saweetie and the Warner Music Group’s Rhythm City served as the virtual venue. (Marketing Dive)

  • Broadway's upcoming Bad Cinderella is launching a series of NFTs. The collectibles, dubbed Queen's VIP Pass, is available for free and will include exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content and other fan material between now and the musical's Broadway opening night. (Playbill)

  • Meta will open up Horizon Worlds to teens aged 13 to 17 as soon as March after making improvements the app's design and safety. Horizon is currently only available to people 18 and older. (WSJ)

OTT / Streaming

  • Warner Bros. Discovery plans to keep Discovery+ as a stand-alone streaming service. Instead of combining HBO Max and Discovery+ in their entirety, the new platform will feature HBO Max content and most Discovery+ content. (WSJ)

  • Netflix's Wednesday, which released over 80 days ago, ascended into the top 5 shows, and at #4, was just one spot away from the show that ruled all of the month of January on Netflix, Ginny and Georgia season 2. (Forbes)

  • In 2022, the number of paid-for video streaming subscriptions in the UK fell by 2M to total 28.5M. Cancellations were especially prominent among those with three or more different streaming services in the same household. (BBC)

  • After backlash surrounding what appeared to be the first signs of Netflix's upcoming password sharing crackdown, it clarified no official announcements have been made outside of the current test countries. A help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, went live in other countries and Netflix has since updated it. (Yahoo)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • In 2022, Amazon increased its worldwide advertising and promotion spending by 22% to $20.6B, breaking a record for annual spending by any marketer. (AdAge)

  • The US Federal Trade Commission is exploring a rule that would crack down on hidden charges across many consumer industries, including airlines and hotels, giving the agency the ability to fine first-time violators and obtain refunds for customers. (Washington Post)

Social Media

  • The majority of US adults (53%) believe the changes happening at social media platforms are on the wrong track. Said changes include new security measures and additional features. (Morning Consult)

  • When looking at alternative and startup social media platforms, Telegram stands out as the nonmajor platform on which the most US adults (12%) having an account. (Morning Consult)

  • Twitter is considering charging brands up to $1K/mo to maintain their verified status on the platform. This move is part of Twitter's broader efforts to generate more revenue. (The Information)

  • Around 180K people in the US were paying for subscriptions to Twitter, including Twitter Blue, as of mid-January, or less than 0.2% of monthly active users. The US is about 62% of Twitter’s global subscriber total, which implies Twitter has 290K global subscribers. (The Information)

  • Pinterest has reached 450M monthly users and is focusing on making videos shoppable to provide a more seamless and integrated shopping experience for its users, as well as to increase revenue. (Tech Crunch)

  • TikTok’s new ad tools let users boost other people’s videos, turning them into ads without leaving the app. (The Verge)

Sports

  • The NFL and DAZN Group have agreed to a 10-year partnership to deliver NFL Game Pass International (NFL GPI) beginning with the 2023 season. NFL GPI lets fans outside the US watch every NFL matchup. (NFL)

  • fuboTV users in the Great Lakes and San Diego regions will not have access to Bally Sports until baseball season. The reason for these delayed launches is currently unclear. (Streamable)

  • It's expected that the Super Bowl will see its TV audience nudge north of 100M viewers in the US for the first time since 2018. (Variety)

Video Games

  • Almost two-thirds of US adults (63%) play video games in an average week, while 30% consider themselves gamers. In an average week in January, 14% of US adults played between three and six hours a week. (Morning Consult)

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