San Francisco Team | U.S premiere of THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS

  • The San Francisco field marketing team recently collaborated with Warner Bros. Pictures on publicity and production of the U.S premiere of THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS at the historic Castro Theatre. It was a city-wide celebration and attracted global attention. Allied turned major landmarks like City Hall and Coit Tower “Matrix-green,” recruited and managed hundreds of fans to participate in the IGN livestream, and oversaw a green carpet with dozens of regional, national, and global press outlets. It was one of the most anticipated premieres in San Francisco history, and it culminated with an epic fireworks show over the San Francisco Bay.

Allied Team Members Lauded

  • Congratulations to the Allied San Francisco field marketing team’s Mike Olcese, Andrea Bertolini and Danielle Taormina-Keenan who were recently recognized with SFFILM’s Essential SF Award, which shines a light on the region’s most talented and dedicated contributors to film culture in the Bay Area.

  • Jill Wheeler, who leads our Chicago field marketing team, was nominated for the Chicago Indie Critics’ Impact Award, which celebrates a person whose work during the past year or beyond made a positive influence on society or the Chicagoland film community. Fellow nominees in her category included Steven Spielberg and Passing writer/director Rebecca Hall, so she was in fine company!

Dublin Team | Heineken 0.0 Campaign

  • Our experiential team in Dublin developed the creative positioning for the New Year Heineken 0.0 campaign. ‘This year, why have minus craic, when you can have zero craic.’ The campaign ran across TV, PR, Paid Media, sponsorships, Media Partnerships, Launch Stunt and Experiential. the team developed an interactive 48 Sheet where lucky passers-by won cash prizes for taking a chance and interacting on New Years Day. The team also produced video content for social, capturing the experience that will amplify the campaign in addition to working with Dublin street artists to create murals in key locations.


Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Parks Associates' latest survey reveals US broadband households have an average of 14.5 connected devices, with future purchase intentions still high as consumers continue to embrace entertainment technology: 41% of US broadband households have a streaming media player; 38% US broadband households have a gaming console; 36% of US broadband households subscribe to or are trialing a video gaming service; 31% of US broadband households or 30+ million households use free ad-based OTT services; and 50% of Cord-Cutters cite the high cost of traditional pay-TV services as the reason to cancel the service

  • NBCUniversal is hoping to seize what it sees as whitespace in the streaming and advanced TV advertising market, launching a first-party identity platform called NBCUnified meant to allow advertisers to track and monitor consumer relationships without the need for cookies or device IDs. (THR)

  • France has fined Google $170 million. French authorities hit Google with the record-breaking fine for making it too difficult for users to opt out of cookies. Facebook was fined for the same offense — and both companies now have three months to comply or risk fines of $113,000 a day. (Insider)

Awards / Festivals

  • The Grammy Awards are being postponed due to coronavirus-related concerns. “After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards" for a date to be determined. (Variety)

  • The 79th Golden Globe Awards, set for tonight, will highlight the philanthropic efforts of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — with winners announced intermittently throughout a 90-minute gathering at the Beverly Hilton. There will be no red carpet and no celebrities, non-HFPA members of the press or audience members in attendance — a reflection of both the grave COVID situation and the fact that the HFPA is currently personae non grata with many in Hollywood. (THR)

  • The in-person return of the Sundance Film Festival has been canceled due to the surge of COVID-19 cases, with the festival moving completely online. The news comes days prior to the festival’s start date of Jan. 20. (THR)

  • From December 26 to January 1, Riot Games ranked No. 19 on Pathmatics Explorer Top Advertisers list. As the company gears up for 2022 plans for League of Legends, it moved up to No. 3, investing around $12.4M on Desktop Video in the last 7 days. (Pathmatics)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Global cinema box office reached $21.4B in 2021, a 78% gain on 2020. But last year’s cumulative was less than half of the $41.3B average of the pre-pandemic years 2017-2019. The APAC region accounted for $11.3B of the total. Within that, China accounted for $7.4 billion, confirming its position as the largest single box office territory for the second consecutive year. The North American market weighed in at an estimated $4.5B. Europe, the Middle East and Africa counted for a combined $4.4 billion and Latin America $1.1 billion. EMEA’s share of the box office fell to 20.7% (from 23.1%) due to prolonged lockdowns in many territories in the early part of 2021. The year ended with 90% of cinemas by market share open globally, with North America lagging with an 85% open rate. (Variety)

  • Ontario is temporarily closing cinema screens in major markets amid a resurgent coronavirus outbreak. Cineplex, Canada's largest cinema operator, said its Ontario theaters will shut down in two days as the Canadian province takes measures to crack down on a dramatic spike in infection cases due to the emergence of the omicron variant. (THR)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Exhibit-based cultural organizations include entities such as museums, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, botanic gardens, and science centers. The actual attendance to these types of cultural entities in the United States averaged 79.7% of 2019 attendance in 2021 (up from 40.5% of 2019 attendance in 2020). As of January 2022, the current market potential for exhibit-based organizations for the calendar year 2022 is 95.5% of their 2019 attendance. In other words, a generic exhibit-based organization that welcomed 100,000 visitors onsite in 2019 should expect to similarly engage 95,500 visitors in 2022. (Colleen Dilenschneider)

  • New South Wales has implemented new venue restrictions after the state reported 38,525 new cases of COVID-19 on January 7 as the Omicron variant continues to surge. Singing and dancing will be prohibited in hospitality venues (including bars and nightclubs) and entertainment facilities. The restrictions will be in place from January 8 until January 27 at least. (NME)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Audio of all kinds has thrived under lockdowns, and will continue to do so. Based on average time listening per day, music streaming is the only media type to be outperforming its lockdown peak from Q2 2020. (GWI)

  • CD sales have increased for the first time in 17 years. The year-end statistics show compact disc sales reached 40.59M units last year, up 1.1% from 40.16M units in 2020. The jump in CD sales is due to a few top-selling artists, namely Adele and Taylor Swift. Adele’s new hit album 30 was the top-selling CD in the US, with a total of 898K units sold. Swift took the second and third slots with her recently re-recorded versions of Fearless (263K CDs sold) and Red (237K). (Pitchfork)

OTT / Streaming

  • When it came to the Wednesday through Sunday viewership of Disney+/Lucasfilm's "The Book of Boba Fett," 1.7M U.S. households tuned in to learn more about the mysterious bounty hunter's origins in the first episode, which dropped on Wednesday, Dec. 29. The audience, measured by Samba TV across 46M TV devices with a panel of 3 million Smart TV households who watched at last five minutes, was 13% higher than the 5-day premiere of Disney+/Marvel’s Hawkeye, which was watched by 1.5M HHs from Nov. 24-28. (Deadline)

  • The CW, home to shows like Batwoman and Walker, is being shopped by its corporate owners, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia. Local TV giant Nexstar is among the potential suitors. Nexstar, which owns 199 local TV stations as well as the cable channel NewsNation and The Hill, is one of the largest owners of The CW stations. It isn’t immediately clear whether ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia plan to sell the entire network, or retain minority stakes. (THR)

  • Brands like Muzak have made a big business out of building catalogues of licensed audio content for commercial venues. Last week a company aiming to do the same for video picked up a big round of funding as its business continues to see strong momentum. Atmosphere, which creates and streams ad-supported, free licensed video channels — often without any sound — for broadcast in public places like bars, restaurants and doctors’ offices, has raised $100 million — $80 million in the form of a Series C and a further $20 million in debt. (TechCrunch)

  • NBCU is looking to the Winter Olympics to give its Peacock streaming platform a boost. Peacock will stream every event live, as well as NBC’s primetime show and studio programming, on the streamer's premium tier. All paid subscribers (the premium tier costs $4.99 per month with ads) will have access, with no pay TV subscription required. (THR)

  • The Latin American streaming market has distinctive features. Mobile VOD streaming there dominates CTV and desktop. Another local market attribute is the lack of high-quality cellular coverage in the region. Coupled with little patience for buffering, this translates into high stream abandonment rates. In fact, for over 40% of users, only 2 buffers were enough to drop their stream. Consequently, video download functionality came into play and became a must for the majority of users with 70% of them willing to pay extra for it. (Entrepreneur)

  • The Indian pay TV market lost almost a million subscribers in Q3 2021. The DTH sector ended Q3 with a total active subscriber base of around 68.9M. This was down from 69.9M at the end of Q2 2021, and down from 70.7M year-over-year. The Indian DTH market peaked in Q1 2019, with a total of 72.4M subscribers. (DigitalTVEurope)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Hong Kong has banned flights from the U.S., U.K. and six other countries for two weeks from Jan. 8 and shut leisure venues including bars and gyms. It's imposing strict new virus controls for the first time in almost a year as omicron seeps into the community and threatens to spur a winter wave. (Bloomberg)

  • EU consumers are warming to contactless payments, and retailers are getting the message. In Germany, a combined 46% of adults ages 16+ said they use a contactless card in-store once a week, daily, or several times a day. In the UK, 48% of consumers said they either began using contactless payment methods, or used them more often, because of the pandemic. In France, 40% of adults cited speed as a big advantage of contactless payments and 29% noted their simplicity. Supermarket chain Aldi is testing an app which lets shoppers pay via autonomous checkout. (eMarketer)

  • Shopify filed a patent that reflects its growing interest in in-person retail as its rivalry with Amazon heats up. The patent application, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office and published November 25, 2021, describes a system of sensors that could measure the density and behavior of shoppers in specific areas of a retail store. The idea is that measuring traffic density could help a store owner determine what it is worth to display products on particular shelves or in specific areas of the store. (Insider)

Social Media

  • Instagram has brought back the chronological feed. The platform had previously been criticised for sorting the feed algorithmically. Instagram is also testing a “favourites” section on the homepage. (The Verge)

Video Games

  • AGBO, the indie banner led by Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo, has received a $400 million minority investment from Nexon Co., the Japanese video game maker. The Tokyo-listed company's 38% stake values AGBO at a whopping $1.1 billion. (THR)


  • 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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