Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Due to AppTracking Transparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5, platforms with large amounts of first-party data, like Google and Amazon, have thrived amid the change while platforms which rely on iOS data, like Meta, face rising costs. (eMarketer)

  • Vox Media announced it had acquired Group Nine, the publisher behind TheDodo and NowThis. The newly combined Vox now reaches a domestic audience of 130M per month. (Vox)

  • Disney plans to integrate new cross-channel measurement solutions to reflect their larger vision of equipping advertisers with the tools to succeed in a privacy-centric, first-party-data-based future. (The Drum)

  • Nordstrom has just announced the Nordstrom Media Network, an advertising program that allows brand partners to connect directly with 32M Nordstrom customers to drive traffic, sales and customer engagement. (Marketing Dive)

Awards / Festivals

  • The presentation and acceptance of eight Oscars awards will be pre-recorded and edited into the live broadcast. The removal of these awards creates more time for comedy, film clips, and musical numbers. (THR)

  • The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards aired this past Sunday. The casts of "Ted Lasso" and "Succession" won best television comedy and drama categories, while the cast of "CODA" won best motion picture ensemble. (CNN)

  • SXSW, which begins this week, announced a star-studded lineup of keynote speakers including Ron Howard, journalist Audie Cornish, and musician Brian Eno. (Axios)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • In response to the war in Ukraine, Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony are pausing all of their upcoming theatrical releases in Russia. The affected films set to open in March or April include "Turning Red, "The Batman," and "Morbius." (Yahoo)

  • Cinemark reported an exceptional Q4 after a rebound in attendance led to positive cash flow. This is Cinemark's first profitable quarter since the start of the pandemic and subsequent closings. (THR)

  • Beginning February 25th, The Godfather returned to theaters for a limited time to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The film is screening exclusively in the U.S. for Dolby Cinema at AMC Theaters but is expected to release globally in additional venues. (Polygon)

  • AMC theaters reported Q4 revenue of $1.2 billion, its strongest quarter in two years due to increased attendance and excitement around its latest release: “Spider-Man: No Way Home." (Variety)

Gambling / Casinos

  • New Jersey residents are now able to bet on e-sports, thanks to betting platform, Bettors in New Jersey will now be able to bet on esports like Call of Duty, DOTA 2, and League of Legends. (Gaming Today)

  • Online casino company 888 will pay a £9.4m fine due to repeated mishaps related to lack of financial checks, which led to huge losses for customers during the pandemic. (The Guardian)

  • This week, legislation to legalize sports wagering in Kentucky was revealed. This legislation is part of a package of gambling-related bills. (Courier Journal)

  • Las Vegas gaming company, Scientific Games will be rebranding to Light & Wonder. This announcement comes after SG sold off its lottery and sports betting businesses for a combined $7.2 billion to pay off debt. (

  • Australia’s largest casino operator, Crown Resorts, has been sued by the country’s financial watchdog over alleged “widespread and serious” breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. (FT)

Live Events / Attractions

  • The GRAMMY museum has recently added a Terrace which adds 13K SqFt of event space to the Museum's existing exhibits and is available to rent for events. (GRAMMY)

  • MLB is now in a lockout after players and owners couldn’t reach a new collective bargaining agreement by this weeks deadline. Opening Day and several other games have been canceled. (ESPN)

  • Ellie Goulding, Kali Uchis, and Liz Phair are among the women-led lineup for the inaugural Versa, a “music + more festival” that will take place at Lincoln Park South Fields in Chicago June 11-12. (Stereogum)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Spotify recently debuted its first “bookcast,” a new audio experience combining narration and music. The bookcast featured Dolly Parton and James Patterson who reimagined their book “Run, Rose, Run.” (Axios)

  • Amazon will soon launch its live audio service which combines radio with a social component similar to Clubhouse. Celebrities and podcasters will host regular live shows and invite listeners to participate. (Bloomberg)

  • Neil Diamond, the singer and songwriter of hits including “Sweet Caroline,” sold his entire songwriting catalog to Universal Music Group as well as the rights to all recordings. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been released. (NY Times)

  • Dave Chappelle’s Pilot Boy Productions is investing in podcast platform, Luminary, which is behind his podcast, The Midnight Miracle. He will also become a member of the board, citing a shared vision of reimagining audio content. (THR)

  • BuzzFeed and Acast have struck a multiyear deal in which the two companies will be collaborating on a slate of six podcast shows. The upcoming slate will be BuzzFeed’s next shot at succeeding with podcasts. (THR)

  • Video game company, Epic Games, has bought Bandcamp, the online music store and community geared around independent musicians. (Variety)

NFT / Blockchain / Crypto

  • Sling customers are now allowed to pay for their subscription with cryptocurrency through a new partnership with BitPay, which allows them to pay the same dollar amount per month. Sling is the first streaming service to accept crypto. (Sling)

  • Quinten Tarantino’s plans to launch a full collection of Pulp Fiction NFTs are on pause following a legal debate with Miramax and reported “volatility in the market.” The first of the collection was sold in January for $1.1M. (Puck)

  • About 37% of underbanked people (who may have some banking services, but rely largely on cash) and 12% of completely unbanked people in the US own cryptocurrency. (Morning Consult)

  • Following sanctions on Russia, crypto is seeing a rebound with Bitcoin back over 40K. Many Russians are avoiding the effects of the falling Ruble by using cryptocurrency instead, with most transactions going towards Tether, a stablecoin. (CNN)

  • Dolly Parton is partnering with FOX Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) to launch “Dollyverse,” an audience-centric Web3 experience, at SXSW. (SXSW)

  • Wrangler is celebrating 75 years with a "Mr. Wrangler" NFT campaign, entering the metaverse in a partnership with musician Leon Bridges, who helped conceptualize and choreograph the effort. (Marketing Dive)

OTT / Streaming

  • Disney+ and HBO Max both showed strong performance in Q4 compared Netflix, whose shares fell by 18% this year after acquiring just 2.5M subscribers in Q4. HBO Max has been growing steadily QoQ, up 4M subscribers from last quarter while Disney+ gained over 11M. (CNBC)

  • Paramount+ recently announced that Showtime subscriptions will be accessible within its platform beginning this Summer. There has been no word on whether Showtime will remain a standalone offering after the integration. (Streamable)

  • After several quarters of limited growth, Netflix increased the price of its standard plan from $14 to $15.50. Consumers ideally want to pay $12/month for a streaming service, meaning Netflix is over the limit for most. (Morning Consult)

  • Amazon and Apple are currently outbidding Disney for the right to NFL Sunday Ticket. If Amazon wins the rights, it would have both Thursday Night Football and Sunday Ticket. (Bloomberg)

  • Crunchyroll has announced that the entire library of Funimation anime will now live under the Crunchyroll brand, with pricing remaining unchanged. This follows the acquisition of Crunchyroll by Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., who last year purchased the anime streaming service from AT&T and WarnerMedia for $1.175 billion. (Polygon)

  • HBO Max is entering the world of live sports, signing an eight-year deal with the U.S. Soccer Federation. It will air 20 U.S. National Team matches annually beginning in 2023, half of which will be exclusive to HBO Max. (THR)

  • DirecTV now a offers five-day streaming trial, the first free trial offered by the service. (Streamable)

  • Discovery+ announced an ad-lite version of its service for the UK and Ireland starting in March. The service will cost £3.99 or €4.99 a month versus the ad-free version that costs £4.99 or €5.99 a month. (Discovery)

  • Netflix halted future Russian projects and acquisitions after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. (Variety)

  • CNN+ is offering a “50% off for life” promotion for early signups when they launch late this march, putting the subscription at just $2.99 a month. Afterwards, plans will become $5.99 a month. (Los Angeles Times)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • After a period of pandemic-related avoidance, consumers have recently indicated increased comfort with in-store shopping, as well as preference for brick-and-mortar stores. Failure to differentiate could be the death knell for physical stores. (Morning Consult)

  • Target is planning to invest up to $5B to continue scaling operations. The investment will be toward its physical stores and fulfillment capabilities to differentiate its retail offering and drive growth. (Yahoo)

  • The governors of a few U.S. states have ordered government-run liquor stores to stop selling Russian-made vodka in solidarity with the Ukrainian people following Russia's invasion. (Reuters)

  • Amazon is closing all of its brick-and-mortar stores including Amazon 4-Star locations. The company opened a variety of physical shops in the last few years; however, the revenue has not kept up with Amazon's other businesses. (Reuters)

  • After spending almost 700 days behind a hard border during the coronavirus pandemic, the “hermit” state of Western Australia has finally welcomed vaccinated travelers. (The Guardian)

Social Media

  • TikTok will be extending max video lengths to 10 minutes to expand beyond short-form content. Though TikTok's claim to fame is bite-sized videos, this change will allow TikTok to rival the likes of YouTube and Facebook. (Variety)

  • Major social media giants including YouTube, Facebook and TikTok have banned Russian state media outlets in Europe in an attempt to block Russia's biggest means of influencing public opinion. (Washington Post)

  • Following a lawsuit over a fake skincare ads, Facebook Ireland has agreed to establish an additional scam ad reporting tool, allowing Irish users to report misleading ads for review. (Irish Times)

  • Reddit has rolled out its first new surface in nearly two years, the Discover Tab, that provides redditors with an engaging way to find content and communities across the platform. (Mumbrella)

  • TikTok has released their 2021 reports looking into the moments that drive culture on Facebook, which are broken out by region and provide great insight into cultural nuance. For example in Europe, Italy and Spain rejected old school beauty standards, rewarding more diverse looks, leading the charge on the ‘wellness over beauty’ movement in Europe. (TikTok)

Video Games

  • Shareholders are suing Activision, demanding the halt of a $69B sale to Microsoft. The lawsuit comes amid claims of sexual harassment and discrimination in the gaming company's workplace. (THR)

  • Amazon’s cloud-based game streaming service, Amazon Luna, officially launched in the US. The launch comes with three “channels” or bundles of games: Prime Gaming Channel, Retro Channel, and Jackbox Games Channel. (Tech Crunch)

  • Netflix has acquired Finnish game developer, Next Games. With this acquisition, Netflix plans to bolster its mobile game efforts. (DigitalTV Europe)

  • Second Life, an online metaverse, has announced it will start charging US users local sales tax on many in-game purchases, including land. (ArsTechnica)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

  • Jack in the Box will take over, a website that helps consumers find out whether their local McDonald's has a working ice cream machine. If it does not, it will direct consumers to their nearest Jack in the Box location. (Marketing Dive)


  • 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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