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TL;DR

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

  • 42% of Americans think AI-generated movies will have a negative impact on the industry, compared with 27% who think the opposite. (Morning Consult)

  • Spotify ended March with 210M paying premium subscribers, up from 205M at the end of 2022. (THR)

  • Netflix will invest $2.5B in Korean content over the next four years. (THR)

  • Time is fully removing its digital paywall beginning June 1st. (Axios)

  • Google’s latest attempt to embed generative AI tools into its ad products has some marketers skeptical about the level of transparency they will receive around campaign effectiveness. (AdWeek)

_Agency_ updates

  • Our BXP team took home 8 wins at the Association of Promotional Marketing Consultants Awards - 5 gold and 3 silver. AGM awards included Best Experiential, Best Integrated, Best Talent, and Rising Star, which our very own Eva Capelli won.

Audiences

  • Most US consumers aren’t sure what AI-related marketing phrases and buzzwords actually mean. (Morning Consult)

  • At least half of French, British and German business travelers who frequently took work trips before the pandemic say they never will again. (CNBC)

  • US Gen Z adults are nearly twice as likely as the general public to give passwords to those they don’t live with. (Morning Consult)

  • Despite slowing inflation, US consumer spending contracted in March after slower growth in February. (Morning Consult)

  • Nearly half of Netflix's new customers believe its advertising messaging is either “a bit too much” or “far too much.” (Media Post)

  • 52.4M Americans aged 50 or older and play games at least once a month — some 45% of all Americans that age. (Axios)

  • 69% of consumers globally would feel more confident about their purchases if they were able to virtually experience a product before buying it. (AdWeek)

Platforms

  • Netflix introduced improved video quality to its ad supported plan and renamed the plan to "Standard with Ads." (Streamable)

  • YouTube TV is experimenting with picture quality enhancements to provide an improved viewing experience. (Tech Crunch)

  • Shopify added direct bill payments in bid to be a single-stop fintech for merchants. (Tech Crunch)

  • Apple is closing a loophole where sites could pass off third-party partners as first-party cookies. (AdWeek)

  • Yahoo has acquired social sports betting app Wagr. (Tech Crunch)

  • DraftKings is planning to launch its own free ad-supported streaming video service. (Bloomberg)

  • EA released accessibility options for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, including a Slow Mode toggle to ease both combat and platforming. (EuroGamer)

  • Microsoft and Roku are collaborating to improve the ad buying experience and optimize ad performance by offering cross-channel data insights. (Search Engine Journal)

  • Global AVOD revenues are expected to climb by $50B by 2028, with the US contributing 41%. (Senal News)

  • Advertising investment jumped by 12% YoY in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan in 2022, led by digital advertising. (Senal News)

  • 85% of marketers in APAC included streaming in their media mix in 2022, but only 41% view the investment as “extremely, or very effective." (Mumbrella)

  • DAZN rolled out free channels on LG devices in Germany. (Sport Business)

  • UK ad spend growth is set to slow down in 2022 as social media advertising falls for the first time. (Performance Marketing World)

  • YouTube Music is officially rolling out podcasts in the US. (The Verge)

  • Meta says time spent on Instagram grew 24% thanks to TikTok-style AI Reel recommendations. (Tech Crunch)

  • UK regulators will seek to block Microsoft's $69B deal for Activision. (Axios)

  • 70% of US marketing leaders plan to increase their spending on direct mail in 2023. (AdWeek)

Content

  • “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” led US ticket sales for the third straight weekend, as the animation hit neared $1B after 18 days in theaters. (AP)

  • “House of the Dragon” and “This Is Going to Hurt” walked away with three awards each at the BAFTA Television Craft Awards. (Variety)

  • “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” replaced “Avatar: The Way of Water” as #1 on the VOD charts. (Indie Wire)

  • Pluto TV will stream the Tony Awards Pre-Show for the first time. (THR)

  • Winners at the Webby awards included SZA as Artist of the Year, Tracee Ellis Ross with a Special Achievement Award and Sharon Horgan as Best Actress. (Deadline)

  • BuzzFeed will produce more content via independent creators. (Axios)

_Tech_ _&_ AI

  • Grimes has given permission for her voice to be used on songs generated by AI. (Yahoo)

  • Snapchat saw a surge in 1-star reviews as users criticize the "My AI" feature and call for its removal. (Tech Crunch)

  • TikTok is working on a feature that will create AI-generated profile pictures. (The Verge)

  • YouTube introduced AI-powered music ad solutions to make it easier for brands to target Gen Z. (The Drum)

  • Spotify’s CEO says the music industry has “legitimate concerns” about AI-generated songs. (Insider)

Location-based _entertainment_

  • MoviePass has landed a deal with Walmart to sell subscriptions in stores across the US. (Insider)

  • Sphere Entertainment Co. and Live Nation announced dates for "U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere." (LiveNation)

  • Disney is suing Florida governor Ron DeSantis over control of Disney World. (NYT)

  • IMAX signed multi-theater deals in Florida and Mexico in partnership with CMX Cinemas. (THR)

  • IMAX is expanding its footprint in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, with new locations and several upgrades to existing locations. (Deadline)

  • New York's Nassau County struck a deal with Las Vegas Sands to bring a casino to the area. (ABC)

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