Spotify In-House Agency AUX to Connect Brands with Music

Spotify is rolling out AUX, an in-house music advisory agency for brands. “With AUX, we’ll use our deep expertise to counsel brands about how best to use music to enrich their campaigns and connect them with emerging artists to help them reach new audiences,” Spotify announced, joining Meta Platforms, YouTube, Snapchat and others in connecting creatives with brands. AUX aims to provide emerging artists with an avenue to another potential income source, as well as a path to wider exposure, as the idea is to get brands to pay Spotify to access the new service. Continue reading Spotify In-House Agency AUX to Connect Brands with Music

Qloo Raises $25M for Ad-Targeting Using AI Taste Predictions

New York-based Qloo has raised $25 million to fund an artificial intelligence-powered analytics engine. Drawing on consumer behavioral data from around the globe, Qloo uses proprietary algorithms to filter through more than half a billion attributes, including brands, music, film, TV, podcasts, dining, travel and more. Qloo’s AI models “are capable of identifying trillions of connections between these entities,” the company says, listing Netflix, Michelin and Samsung among those already using the service to find connections between customers who frequent Starbucks and the kind of movies they like. Continue reading Qloo Raises $25M for Ad-Targeting Using AI Taste Predictions

Walmart Bolsters Advertising Business with Vizio Acquisition

Walmart is acquiring Vizio in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. The retail giant is following a template established by Amazon by expanding into entertainment media and connected TV advertising. The majority of Vizio’s growth from the last five years has come from ads on its WatchFree+ platform, which offers more than 260 channels, Walmart said touting a deal point. Vizio’s primary business is manufacturing value-priced TV sets. It also makes soundbars. The deal will instantly vault Walmart into a mix of players including Amazon, Roku, Samsung Ads and Google’s YouTube. Continue reading Walmart Bolsters Advertising Business with Vizio Acquisition

OpenAI’s Generative Video Tech Is Described as ‘Eye-Popping’

OpenAI has debuted a generative video model called Sora that could be a game changer. In OpenAI’s demonstration clips, Sora depicts both fantasy and natural scenes with photorealistic intensity that makes the images appear to be photographed. Although Sora is said to be currently limited to one-minute clips, it is only a matter of time until that expands, which suggests the technology could have a significant impact on all aspects of production — from entertainment to advertising to education. Concerned about Sora’s disinformation potential, OpenAI is proceeding cautiously, and initially making it available only to a select group to help it troubleshoot. Continue reading OpenAI’s Generative Video Tech Is Described as ‘Eye-Popping’

Cineverse to Launch cineSearch Powered by Google’s Vertex AI

Global streamer Cineverse has launched an AI-powered search and discovery tool called cineSearch. Developed using the Vertex AI platform from Google Cloud, cineSearch will be released in public beta this spring. A waitlist has already been started, and Cineverse says it will be made more widely available in partnership with OEM and third-party streaming platform partners in the coming months. Simultaneously, the Los Angeles-based firm is rolling out a new ad platform called Cineverse 360, or C360 for short, that will connect brands across omnichannel services reaching 82 million monthly viewers at launch. Continue reading Cineverse to Launch cineSearch Powered by Google’s Vertex AI

Apple’s Keyframer AI Tool Uses LLMs to Prototype Animation

Apple has taken a novel approach to animation with Keyframer, using large language models to add motion to static images through natural language prompts. “The application of LLMs to animation is underexplored,” Apple researchers say in a paper that describes Keyframer as an “animation prototyping tool.” Based on input from animators and engineers, Keyframer lets users refine their work through “a combination of prompting and direct editing,” the paper explains. The LLM can generate CSS animation code. Users can also use natural language to request design variations. Continue reading Apple’s Keyframer AI Tool Uses LLMs to Prototype Animation

IAB and MRC Join Forces to Develop AR Advertising Guidelines

The global augmented reality market is expected to reach $289 billion by 2030, according to a recent study by Research and Markets, and advertisers have taken notice. While the majority of revenue is generated by software, then hardware, the augmented reality advertising market is projected to generate $1.2 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2024, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. To help foster growth in that nascent sector, the IAB has teamed with the Media Ratings Council to create consistent definitions and measurement guidelines for ads within AR campaigns. Continue reading IAB and MRC Join Forces to Develop AR Advertising Guidelines

Growth in Ad Sales, AWS Drive Amazon Profit Up 200 Percent

Amazon’s net sales for Q4 were $170 billion, a 14 percent increase year-over-year. For the full year 2023, net sales were up by 12 percent to $574.8 billion. “This Q4 was a record-breaking holiday shopping season and closed out a robust 2023 for Amazon,” CEO Andy Jassy said in the recent earnings release. The results included October Prime Day and holiday season shopping. Outstanding Q4 performers included ad sales, up 27 percent to $14 billion, and Amazon Web Services, which brought in $24.2 billion, growing 13 percent.”What we’re most pleased with is the continued invention and customer experience improvements across our businesses,” Jassy added. Continue reading Growth in Ad Sales, AWS Drive Amazon Profit Up 200 Percent

Consumers More Attentive to FAST Channels Than Linear TV

As the number of free ad-supported streaming TV channels continues to grow, FAST services are outperforming more traditional linear television and CTV when it comes to capturing and keeping consumer attention, according to two separate studies — one from Samsung, the other from Vizio. Samsung Ads’ report, “Decoding FAST: A Comprehensive Guide to the Free Ad-Supported Streaming Landscape,” reveals that the number of FAST services — among them Fox’s Tubi, The Roku Channel, Paramount’s Pluto TV, Vizio’s WatchFree+ and Samsung TV Plus — has tripled in the past four years, as consumption has grown. Continue reading Consumers More Attentive to FAST Channels Than Linear TV

Yelp Adds 20 Features Plus AI to Help Users and Businesses

Yelp is introducing more than 20 new updates to improve the experience for community members and business owners. Included are AI-powered summaries that make it easier to find businesses, an updated Yelp Elite badge for reviewers who are passionate about specific subjects, and a new visual home feed and search experience geared toward discovery. For those seeking services, the new “Request a Quote” and “Projects” features are available. Artificial intelligence will also power market and competitive insights for business owners, while AI-powered smart budgets provide recommendations to optimize ad spend, “helping local businesses grow.” Continue reading Yelp Adds 20 Features Plus AI to Help Users and Businesses

TikTok Tests a Feature That Tags Videos with Shopping Details

TikTok is testing a feature designed to make all posts shoppable as it goes all-in on creating what the company hopes will be a multi-billion-dollar U.S. e-commerce business. The new technology uses machine learning to identify objects in a video then prompts viewers to “find similar items on TikTok Shop” using links and in-app search. The ByteDance-owned social platform is also reportedly planning to launch multiple live-streaming studios in cities including Los Angeles where creators can go to stream shopping-themed content. The facilities are expected to be able to host multiple studios servicing dozens of creators per day. Continue reading TikTok Tests a Feature That Tags Videos with Shopping Details

Hulu Is Joining Netflix in Cracking Down on Password Sharing

Hulu has revised its Terms of Service in an effort to ban password sharing amongst friends and family members outside of a subscriber’s primary personal residence. Hulu has been announcing via email that subscribers will have until March 14 to comply. According to the revised Terms of Service: “If we determine, in our sole discretion, that you have violated this Agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this Agreement.” The move by Hulu follows what has been reported as a successful crackdown on password sharing by Netflix in addition to a record number of subscribers in the fourth quarter. Continue reading Hulu Is Joining Netflix in Cracking Down on Password Sharing

Instagram Threads Reaches the Top of App Store Downloads

Instagram’s Threads app, an X competitor designed for sharing text updates and joining public conversations, is now gaining traction after an inconsistent 2023. New data from app intelligence firm Appfigures reveals that Threads is growing, tripling its number of downloads month-over-month in December, positioning it as one of the Top 10 most downloaded apps for Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. Ahead of Threads in downloads for December were popular apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and WhatsApp (Instagram took over the No. 1 spot from TikTok). Meanwhile, X continues to decline. Continue reading Instagram Threads Reaches the Top of App Store Downloads

Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Amazon this week began serving advertising to Prime Video customers who did not elect to pay an additional $2.99 per month in addition to the basic annual Prime membership of $139 per year or $14.99 per month. Adding commercials is estimated to potentially bring in more than $3 billion a year for Amazon, which is expected to have 2023 revenue of around $567 billion. The surplus will come in handy to pay out $1 billion a year over 11 years for the rights to NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.” The ad-supported Prime Video service launches in the U.S., Canada, UK and Germany, with Mexico, France, Italy, Spain and Australia following later in the year. Continue reading Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Netflix Adds WWE, Touts 12.5 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4

Netflix added 13.1 million subscribers in Q4 2023, its biggest gain in a year-end quarter, and the streamer continues to try to broaden its demographic reach by investing in new content, including a new deal for live WWE wrestling matches. The expansion into live-streaming provides an opportunity to draw regular, appointment viewers, something advertisers like. “No entertainment company has ever tried to program at this scale, and for so many tastes and cultures,” Netflix wrote in a shareholder letter that says it plans to spend up to $17 billion on content in 2024. Continue reading Netflix Adds WWE, Touts 12.5 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4