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Why we are betting on ACI, not AI

by Adam Cunningham, Chief Strategy Officer

TL;DR

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

  • Apple's iPhone remains the preferred choice for Gen Z consumers. In the US, 76% of iPhone owners are 18-34, and 83% of current Western Europe iPhone users under age 25 plan to stick with iPhone. (WSJ)

  • OpenAI has made ChatGPT available to businesses and developers, allowing them to integrate the AI tool into their apps and services. (Bloomberg)

  • The movie theater industry is consolidating in the wake of the pandemic. Since 2019, the number of total screens in the US has decreased by around 3K. (CNBC)

  • Warner Bros. Discovery reported 96.1M streaming subscribers in Q4, up from 94.9M in Q3. While it still posted streaming losses (the division lost $217M), its losses in the direct-to-consumer segment were cut by nearly 2/3 compared to Q3. (THR)

  • TikTok announced a new integration with Mercedes Benz to display TikTok content on in-car screens. The new feature is only available when parked or stopped for safety reasons. (Social Media Today)

_Industry_ updates

Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • US social ad spend growth is expected to near 9% this year and return to double digits in 2024. (Insider)

  • The US advertising marketplace fell for the seventh consecutive month in January, declining 5.8% from January 2022. (Media Post)

  • Google has introduced new features to improve Performance Max campaigns, including campaign-level brand exclusions, page feeds, and easier video creation. (Search Engine Journal)

Artificial Intelligence

  • Snapchat has launched a new Chat GPT-powered feature called My AI Chatbot that lets users have personalized conversations with a bot for a monthly subscription fee. (The Verge)

  • Meta is unifying its generative AI work across the company into a new product team tasked with more quickly integrating the latest technologies into its products. (Axios)

  • Meta released a new AI language generator named LLaMA. LLaMA isn’t a system that anyone can talk to; rather, it’s a research tool that Meta hopes will “democratize access in this important, fast-changing field.” (The Verge)

  • Microsoft started adding its recently upgraded Bing search engine to Windows. (Reuters)

  • Microsoft has added a new feature to its Bing chatbot that lets users toggle between different tones for responses: creative, balanced, and precise. (The Verge)

  • YouTube will roll out new AI-powered tools for creators, including a feature that can automatically generate video clips from longer videos and a tool that can help creators optimize their videos for better engagement. (Bloomberg)

Awards / Festivals

  • Netflix’s presentation of the 29th SAG Awards garnered more than 1.1M views for the livestream on YouTube, and 1.5M overall in the first 12 hours across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. (Variety)

  • “Everything Everywhere All at Once" nabbed the best ensemble prize at the SAG Awards. It also broke records, becoming the biggest film winner in the history of the show after sweeping nearly every category. (Variety)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • “Cocaine Bear” saw $23.1M in its opening weekend while the Ant-Man sequel, hit with some of the worst reviews and audience scores of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dropped 70% in its second weekend. (AP)

  • AMC Theater's new line of microwave and ready-to-eat popcorn products will launch exclusively in select Walmart stores on March 11th as the company explores new revenue paths. (THR)

  • AMC Theaters revenues fell 15% in Q4, topping out at $990.4M. (Variety)

Gambling / Casinos

  • MGM Resorts International and its BetMGM unit announced the debut of MGM Riches Slots­ — the first slot machine offering available on BetMGM’s iGaming platform and at the parent company’s land-based gaming venues. (Casino.org)

  • MGM Resorts International predicted its China unit could spend up to $150M in capital expenditures in Macau this year. (Casino.org)

Live Events / Attractions

  • J. Cole and Drake will headline Dreamville Festival 2023, and Usher, Burna Boy, Sean Paul, and City Girls are also on the bill. (Pitchfork)

  • Netflix's stage play based on “Stranger Things” will premiere in London later this year and will shed light on the beginning of the franchise’s story. (WSJ)

  • The remainder of Justin Bieber’s Justice World Tour dates have been canceled, though a reason for the cancellation hasn't yet been revealed. (CNN)

  • MGM Resorts International announced that tickets for the exclusive Bellagio Fountain Club spectator area for the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix are now available for purchase. (Yogonet)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Audible has launched a new audio-only singing competition series, "First Note," featuring celebrity judges Kelly Rowland and Sara Bareilles, and a $50K prize for the winner. (Tech Crunch)

  • Spotify has partnered with the creators of the NFT-based game Creepz to launch a new pilot program that will allow NFT holders to access exclusive music playlists and other content on the streaming platform. (Decrypt)

  • UMG generated more than $1B per quarter, on average, from recorded music subscription streaming in 2022, up 10% YoY. (Music Business Worldwide)

Crypto / NFT / Metaverse

  • Meta plans to release its first pair of smart glasses with a display in 2025 alongside a neural interface smartwatch designed to control them. (The Verge)

  • Crypto casino Roobet has partnered with rapper Snoop Dogg to expand its presence in the Web3 space. (Yogonet)

  • The NFT market surpassed $2.04B in February, up 117% from $941M in January thanks in part to the new Blur marketplace. (DeCrypt)

OTT / Streaming

  • FuboTV closed 2022 with 1.445M subscribers in North America and passed $1B in annual revenue. (Deadline)

  • Netflix is looking to enhance its first major foray into live content by adding pre- and post-show programs to complement Chris Rock’s standup special “Selective Outrage.” (Variety)

  • SE Asia added 4.6M net new paying SVOD customers in Q4 2022. The Indonesian market contributed 50% of the new additions, with Indonesia and Thailand accounting for 75% of all SVOD subs in the region. (World Screen)

  • Two of Japan’s leading video streaming services, U-Next and Paravi, will merge to create the largest local company in the market with a combined 3.7M subscribers. (Variety)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Americans still love to tie the knot in Las Vegas. Roughly 4% of US marriages in 2021 took place in Nevada. (Axios)

  • Virgin Atlantic has joined the SkyTeam alliance as the group’s first and only UK-based carrier, which will allow it to expand its network and offer more travel options for its customers. (BTN Europe)

  • US retailers are abandoning malls and large-format stores in city centers in favor of neighborhood locations that aim to serve the work-from-home generation. (Bloomberg)

Social Media

  • The White House has mandated that TikTok be removed from all US government devices within 30 days. (News3LV)

  • TikTok will set one-hour daily screen time limit by default for users under 18 to prevent teens from endlessly scrolling. (CNN)

  • Twitter Blue is now available to more than 20 new countries in Europe, making the plan available in 35 countries globally. (Tech Crunch)

Sports

  • A new survey has the Super Bowl reaching around 200M unique viewers who watched at least one minute of the event, up 9% from the 183M that originally was reported. (SBJ)

  • The NBA and iHeartMedia are expanding their slate of basketball podcasts with 11 new shows, including shows about the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets. (Deadline)

  • New streaming service MSG+ will cost $29.99/mo or $309.99/yr, and users will get live coverage of in-market games along with 24/7 live feeds of MSG Network and MSG SportsNet. (Streamable)

  • LIV Golf has launched a global streaming service, LIV+, as well as signed several international TV deals, in a bid to expand its reach and bring more visibility to women's golf. (Sport Business)

  • ESPN held conversations with major sports leagues and media partners about launching a feature on ESPN.com and its free ESPN app that will link users directly to where a live sporting event is streaming. (CNBC)

Video Games

  • Fashion brands are entering the video game industry to reach younger audiences and expand brand recognition. (The Guardian)

  • Microsoft is expected to secure EU antitrust approval for its $69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard with its offer of licensing deals to rivals. (Reuters)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

  • In a new ad campaign, Maybelline aims to shine a light on the toxic environments that exist online with a specific focus on the Australian gaming universe. (The Drum)

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