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TL;DR

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

  • At least 7 in 10 Americans have AI-related concerns about data privacy, foreign influence, and misinformation, with personal data privacy topping the list. (Morning Consult)

  • Spotify launched a new personalized music lineup called DJ, which includes AI-powered commentary, letting users hear their favorite songs with added context and insights. (Tech Crunch)

  • Netflix is dropping its prices in over 100 global territories to attract more subscribers and compete with other streamers; the new pricing plan ranges from $7.49 to $17.99/mo, depending on the country. (Streamable)

  • The NBA app has added an "avatar" feature which lets users virtually sub in for a player during a live NBA game. (NPR)

  • Americans over 35 spend more than double the time on TV shows that Gen Z does. Gen Z spends more time on gaming (22%) and non-premium videos on platforms like TikTok and YouTube (21%) than they do watching traditional TV (17%) or video-on-demand movies (14%). (Media Post)

_Industry_ updates

Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • iOS 16.4 will let web apps on a user's homescreen send push notifications, though users have the ability to turn notifications off in settings. (The Verge)

  • Global advertising revenue for publishers is forecast to decline by 7.7% this year to $47.2B as publishers compete with the likes of Amazon, which alone made $37.7B in advertising services in 2022. (Press Gazette)

  • Gen Z appears to be switching off, with their interest in environmental issues ticking downward. Interest in news and current affairs and the number who like to know what’s going on in the world has also decreased by 7% in the past year. (GWI)

Artificial Intelligence

  • ChatGPT has sparked a boom in AI-written e-books on Amazon. Using the AI software, users can create 30-page e-books in a matter of hours. (Reuters)

  • Bing’s chat mode is now available on mobile, and users can speak to it. Bing is also integrating the bot into Skype. (The Verge)

Awards / Festivals

  • HBO's "The White Lotus" is no longer eligible to compete in the Emmys' limited series category and must move to the drama series, a controversial decision that has sparked debate among TV critics and industry insiders. (Variety)

  • Antiwar German movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” won seven prizes, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards. Irish tragicomedy “The Banshees of Inisherin” and rock biopic “Elvis” took four prizes each. (AP)

  • The Batman leads the nominations for the Critics Choice Super Awards, garnering 6 nods including one for best superhero movie. (THR)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania landed with an estimated $225.3M over its global opening weekend. The split is $104M US and $121.3M from the international box office. (Deadline)

  • Regal Entertainment Group-parent Cineworld has received around 40 non-binding bids from potential buyers, but with none showing interest in the exhibition giant’s UK or US assets. (THR)

Gambling / Casinos

  • Cesars Entertainment saw revenue on the Las Vegas Strip jump 11% in Q4, helping to offset a modest drop in sales at the company’s regional casinos. (Casino.org)

  • Penn Entertainment has completed its $388M acquisition of Barstool Sports as part of the company's expansion into online gaming and sports betting. (Yogonet)

  • Churchill Downs reported $1.8B in revenue for the full year 2022, up 13% from 2021 and marking a record for the racing giant. (Gambling Insider)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Thousands of ticket holders who descended on Las Vegas for a Pokémon Go Live! event battled connectivity issues instead of each other. Though 50K tickets were sold for the Pokémon event, a “large amount of nonticketed trainers arrived” and overloaded the system. (Casino.org)

  • Guns N’ Roses are heading out on a multi-continental arena tour, kicking off in Israel on June 5 and playing in North America in August. (Pitchfork)

  • Usher announced 15 new dates in June and October 2023 for his Las Vegas residency, which sold out all 2022 dates and is on track to sell out all previously announced 2023 dates. (Music Universe)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Amazon Fire TV has expanded its audio streaming capabilities for hearing aids and cochlear implants, making it easier for people with hearing disabilities to enjoy movies, TV shows, and music. (Amazon)

  • YouTube is testing new podcast management options in YouTube Studio, allowing creators to upload, schedule, and manage their podcast content directly on the platform. (Social Media Today)

Crypto / NFT / Metaverse

  • More than $480M worth of NFTs have been traded in the past month. Marketplace Blur, which only launched in October, now has about 40% of the retail NFT market. (Axios)

  • Mastercard is partnering with Circle to allow crypto payments in Web3, settling transactions in USDC stablecoin, which will enable users to make instant and secure purchases using digital currencies. (Coin Telegraph)

  • The crypto space is showing healthy growth, with developer activity increasing by over 25% in the past year, as more people are using and building on blockchain technology. (Coindesk)

OTT / Streaming

  • AMC Networks hit 11.8M streaming subscribers in Q4, up from 11.1M paid subscribers in Q3, as streaming revenues rose 35% to $502M. (THR)

  • Amazon Prime Video is offering a new Starz MGM+ bundle, which will include hundreds of movies and TV shows from both channels. (NextTV)

  • The share of US Gen Z adults who said smartphones were their preferred device for video streaming was 13 points higher than the share of all Americans overall who said the same. (Morning Consult)

  • TelavisaUnivision's streaming service, Vix, now has more than 25M monthly active users on its free tier alone. (Bloomberg)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • United Airlines has introduced new family seating options, letting families purchase seats together and board the plane before other passengers, which is expected to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. (CNN)

  • Target is investing $300M in e-commerce and supply chain operations, including building new delivery hubs in New York City and Philadelphia, to improve its online shopping and same-day delivery services. (CNBC)

  • British retail sales held steady in February after falling in January but stores expect sales volumes to slip again in March as rising costs of living eat away at disposable incomes. (Reuters)

Social Media

  • TikTok now has over 150M monthly active users in Europe. Compared to Facebook’s 255M and Instagram’s 250M, TikTok is behind. (The Drum)

  • Beginning March 20th, Twitter Blue subscribers will be the platform’s only users able to use text messages as a two-factor authentication method. (CNN)

  • The new Meta Verified service for Facebook and Instagram will grant users a blue check that confirms their identity, starting at $11.99/mo. (Bloomberg)

  • 14% of US Gen Z adults say TikTok is where they start researching major news events, while 13% leverage YouTube. (Morning Consult)

Sports

  • Eurosport and BT Sport will be rebranded as TNT Sports, a new sports broadcasting network that will combine live sports events with original programming and digital content. (The Guardian)

Video Games

  • Blumhouse Productions launched a new video game division to develop and publish original games based on its film and TV properties, as well as original IPs. (CNBC)

  • Microsoft has signed a deal with Nvidia, which provides the company with AI and graphics processing capabilities, as part of its efforts to acquire Activision Blizzard. (Bloomberg)

  • Roblox is using generative AI to create new gaming experiences, such as virtual worlds, in which users can create their own games, characters, and stories. (Wired)

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