Ad Vendors / Platforms / Data

  • Google is introducing new options to reject tracking cookies in Europe. Its existing dialog boxes were found to be in violation of EU data laws, allowing users to accept all tracking cookies with a single click while forcing people to click through various menus to reject them all. (The Verge)

  • Unilever will no longer target any children under the age of 16 with its marketing. It will also stop working with celebrities and social media influencers who are themselves under 16 or whose fanbase is largely under that age. (The Drum)

  • Microsoft is considering how to expand natively integrated ads into gaming. Though Microsoft already advertises in the lobby and Xbox-owned media, it's looking to capitalize on in-game real estate such as billboards and wall scapes. (Deluxe)

  • Goldman Sachs will invest $325M in, which is aiming to overtake Nielsen as the go-to measurement system used by media companies. (THR)

  • Ogilvy UK will no longer work with influencers who distort or retouch their bodies or faces for brand campaigns. The new policy comes as the UK government reviews the Digitally Altered Body Image Bill that would require an influencer to disclose edited content. (The Drum)

  • Buzzfeed has released a slate of new ad products including an ad network for creators called Catalyst and an enhanced version of its first-party data platform Lighthouse. (AdWeek)

  • Google is introducing new user controls to allow people to limit the number of ads they see about pregnancy, parenting, dating and weight loss. The controls will apply to Gmail, YouTube, and third-party sites where Google serves ads. (Tech Crunch)

Awards / Festivals

  • The Tony Awards postponed the announcement of this year's nominees following a string of COVID-related performance cancellations to allow nominators time to see all eligible productions and performances. The ceremony remains set for June 12 at Radio City Music Hall. (Playbill)

  • Winners of the 26th annual Webby Awards include Drew Berrymore for bringing “joy" to the internet and Adam Scott for his performance in Severance on Apple TV+. Takashi Murakami was also recognized for his experimental art and entering the NFT space. (Billboard)

  • The 2022 Tribeca Festival revealed its official Games selections which includes Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, from Canadian developer and publisher Studio MDHR and survival game A Plague Tale: Requiem, from French video game developer Asobo Studio. (THR)

Cinemas / Theatrical

  • Sony announced an El Muerto movie is in development with Latin artist Bad Bunny in the leading role. He will become the first Latino to have a leading role in a Marvel film. (Deadline)

  • The Easter holiday weekend delivered Australia’s biggest cinema audience of the year to date, beating 2021 by 32%. (Val Morgan)

  • National Association of Theatre Owners chairman John Fithian says simultaneous theater and home release is “dead as a serious business model,” citing piracy as a massive problem for studios going straight to the home with their movies. (THR)

  • For the third week in a row, 3 in 5 Americans saying they’re comfortable heading to a movie theater. The public’s comfort with going to the movies has increased 16 percentage points since the beginning of the year. (Morning Consult)

Gambling / Casinos

  • Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas reopened its doors to the public last week after being closed for two years. The reopening officially makes Palms the first casino in Las Vegas to be 100% owned by a Native American tribe. (Yogonet)

  • The Virginia state Lottery Board has voted to grant the states' first casino license to Hard Rock Bristol. The casino will start out in a temporary site at the old Bristol Mall and is scheduled to open in July. (WTOP)

  • Nevada came close to beating its last casino gross gaming revenue record from July 2021. Casinos clocked in $1.35B in total gross gaming revenue for the month of March 2022. (Gambling News)

  • Malta-based Evolution, the main vendor providing live dealer services to US online casinos, reported 54% growth during 2021. The company added 300 dealer tables during the year, bringing its global total to more than 1K.(AdWeek)

Live Events / Attractions

  • Taco Bell is taking a drag show on tour at its Cantina locations in cities around the US to reaffirm Taco Bell’s support for the LGBT community. Each show will be hosted by drag performer Kay Sedia and feature appearances from local drag talent. (Marketing Dive)

  • Comfort with museums has hit a new high since the start of the pandemic. About 68% of adults are OK visiting a museum. (Morning Consult)

  • Disneyland will no longer require most visitors to wear a mask in enclosed transportation settings. The mask mandate remains in place for visitors who enter certain indoor health settings such as First Aid. (LA Times)

  • BravoCon will make its return to New York City this October. Fans can expect a weekend full of interactive experiences, live performances, and never-before-seen content. (Page Six)

  • Museums around the world saw a growing number of visitors in 2021. The top 100 art institutions in the world enjoyed a combined total of 71M visitors compared with 54M in 2020. (Blooloop)

  • All 35 Broadway productions were up and running for the second week in a row, grossing a total of $34M with about 84% of available seats filled. (Deadline)

Music / Audio / Podcasts

  • Spotify reached 182M paid subscribers at the end of Q1, up from 180M at the end of last year. Though it saw YoY growth, Spotify comes in below its original 183M forecast that was made before its exit from Russia. (Yahoo)

  • Amazon announced the launch of Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) on the Fire TV Cube for compatible Bluetooth hearing aids from Starkey. This will be the first-ever streaming media player in the U.S. to support ASHA. (Tech Crunch)

  • Streaming now accounts for 11% of total AM/FM radio listening among 12+ Americans, and 12% among persons 25-54. About 23% of news/talk AM/FM station listening comes from streaming, with adult contemporary second at 13%. (Insider Radio)

NFT / Blockchain / Crypto

  • The Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia) voted to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. The issue of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s reliance on energy-intensive mechanisms was a top complaint, as WMF worries it could damage their reputation. (Bloomberg)

  • Degree Deodorant hosted the first marathon in the metaverse in partnership with Decentraland, rapper Fat Joe and paralympic athlete Blake Leeper. (Marketing Dive)

  • A phishing link sent from the Bored Ape Yacht Club's official Instagram transferred millions of dollars in NFTs to a hacker’s wallet. (The Verge)

  • Metaverse platform Decentraland recently hosted a four-day virtual fashion week. It recruited fashion brands such as Etro, Dundas, Dolce & Gabbana and Estée Lauder, and the event received far more industry attention than any digital fashion event before. (Vogue)

  • Fort Worth has become the first city in the US to mine bitcoin. Mining rigs will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the information technology wing of its City Hall. (CNBC)

  • A new startup, called Revise, is attempting to productize the ability to make NFTs change their properties based on events. For instance, a soccer NFT could hypothetically interact with data from FIFA and change its property or media content based on the real-world performance on the field. (Tech Crunch)

  • Texas grid operators expect crypto miners to increase electricity demand by up to 6 gigawatts by mid-2023, generating more than enough electricity to power every home in Houston. (Yahoo)

OTT / Streaming

  • Netflix is updating its interface, trading its old row of categories for a “Category Hub” menu on the left rail that highlights genre recommendations tailored to your viewing habits. (The Verge)

  • The Verge is now available on smart TVs. Viewers can watch product reviews, in-depth tech and science explainers, exclusive documentaries, and more on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV. (The Verge)

  • HBO added nearly 13M subscribers last year across both traditional HBO and HBO Max. Q4 alone saw growth of 3M subscribers. (The Verge)

  • About 43% of US streamers prefer subtitles when watching foreign content while 36% prefer dubbing. European streamers also prefer dubbing while Asian streamers prefer subtitles. (Morning Consult)

  • Discovery, including Discovery+, reached 24M streaming subscribers worldwide at the end March, up from 22M at end of 2021 and 20M in Q3. (THR)

  • Roku has signed a multiyear deal with Lionsgate to exclusively offer the studio’s theatrical releases for free on its ad-supported Roku Channel immediately after their showing on Starz, starting with its 2022 release slate which includes "John Wick 4" and “Borderlands." (The Verge)

  • AGM client, AMC+ will be the exclusive streaming home of AMC Networks Film Group (IFC Films, IFC Midnight and RLJE Films) films following theatrical and digital distribution, 90 days after release. (AMCN)

  • Peacock added 4M paid subscribers in Q1, ending the quarter with 13M paid subs and 28M monthly active accounts in the US, up from 24.5M at the end of 2021. However, NBCU reported a Q1 loss of $456M related to Peacock. (THR)

  • Amazon has signed a deal to bring One Championship MMA Fights to Prime, pushing the service deeper into the world of live sports. (Bloomberg)

  • Comcast and Charter Communications are developing a streaming platform on 4K streaming devices and smart TVs. The goal is to give consumers a "state-of-the-art streaming experience" to access their favorite apps, based on Comcast’s Flex product. (THR)

  • Hoping a diversified approach is more lucrative than streaming only, A+E, Fox, and AGM client AMC Networks are leaning into cable bundles. Consumers with a subscription to Sling TV, Dish Network, or Xfinity can get AMC+ as an add-on for $7 a month. (THR)

  • Netflix layed off a significant portion of newly hired writers and editors who were working on its fan site project, Tudum. The reason for the layoffs is unknown, but Netflix claims there are no plans to mothball the site. (Engadget)

  • Discovery is shutting down scripted television series development at TBS and TNT. It's unclear how these cuts will affect already-existing scripted series including Chad, and American Dad at TBS and Snowpiercer and Animal Kingdom at TNT. (Vulture)

  • Australian telco Telstra, whose connected TV service currently runs on Roku hardware, is investing A$50M into rival Fetch, and in the process acquiring a 51% stake in the company. (Mumbrella)

  • Viacom18 is launching as a TV and digital streaming giant in India following $1.78B in investment from James Murdoch, Uday Shankar (president of Walt Disney in Asia Pacific) and Paramount Global. (THR)

Retail / Lifestyle / Travel

  • Meta will open its first retail store on May 9th in Burlingame, CA to display its products, such as the Quest 2 virtual reality goggles and Portal video-calling device. (CNet)

  • In Australia, New South Wales and Victoria are changing vaccine mandate rules and ending quarantine for unvaccinated travelers, who from April 30 will no longer be required to do hotel quarantine. (9News)

  • Aussies are itching to travel overseas again according to Taboola reporting showing that views for travel and tourism related topics in January and February 2022 increased 124% on the previous 45 days. (B&T)

Social Media

  • Twitter announced it will ban advertisements that contradict the "scientific consensus" on climate change in an effort to curb the reach of groups seeking to downplay or deny climate change. (Washington Post)

  • Elon Musk has bought Twitter for $44B or $54.20 per share. He will have total control of the company, and upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a private company. (The Verge)

  • YouTube is rolling out its new Search Insights feature to all creators. It will provide stats on the key topics of interest among viewers, overall search volume, and the amount of traffic to one's channel. (Social Media Today)

  • Instagram is testing a feature that lets users pin posts to their profile grid, allowing creators to draw attention to content without asking followers to scroll down through past posts to look for it. (The Verge)

  • YouTube is expanding its Super Thanks feature, which lets viewers tip creators, to all eligible creators in the YouTube Partner Program. Previously, the feature was available to a randomized number of creators. (Tech Crunch)

  • Snapchat reached 332M daily active users as of the end of March, up 13M from Q4. Snap also saw Q1 revenue of $1.06B, up 38% from Q1 2021. (AdWeek)

  • Meta reported $27.9B in revenue for the first quarter, falling within the low end of its projections. It also saw a 21% YoY drop in net income after slowing growth in Q1. (THR)

  • Twitter's daily active users hit 229M in Q1, up 16% from a year ago. Twitter also saw revenue growth of 16% to $1.2B. (THR)

  • Twitch is considering offering incentives to top streamers to run more advertisements among other potential changes to the way it pays creators. (Engadget)

  • is now the official Creative Partner and a Campaign Management Partner for TikTok. Beta testing is launching in May, allowing advertisers to create authentic TikTok assets and launch, measure, and optimize TikTok campaigns alongside other social platforms in one place. (Yahoo Finance)

  • Snapchat announced a range of new tools and features, including advanced AR tools for eCommerce brands, improved systems to help more businesses create AR experiences, and a little drone called ‘Pixy’ that will follow you around and upload the video to the app. (Social Media Today)

Video Games

  • Ubisoft announced its upcoming “team battle arena game,” with two major disclaimers: it’s not just a battle royale and there aren’t any NFTs. Instead, the game will feature a variety of PvP modes with “one single goal in mind: FUN!” (The Verge)

  • World of Warcraft is bringing back dragons in its newest expansion, Dragonflight, in which players will be able to ride dragons and explore the lost Dragon Isles. (The Verge)

  • Riot Games announced a slate of changes to “Valorant” esports, including the introduction of international and domestic leagues as well as a new competitive game mode for aspiring pro players. All changes are scheduled for 2023. (Washington Post)

Interesting Campaigns / Creative

  • KFC has teamed with Proflowers to introduce the Kentucky Fried Buckquet just in time for Mother's Day. It's a DIY floral arrangement that includes both flowers and fried chicken.


  • 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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