In this week’s Roundup: YouTube gets another TikTok-inspired makeover, a new report on the state of digital subscriptions and AI Tom Cruise goes in on the International Olympic Committee.
Call it ‘synergy’ if you must. TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez reports that Meta and Amazon are working on in-app shopping for Meta’s platforms. The reasoning is as follows: Meta keeps users on its platform for longer; Amazon makes lots of money. Simple.
In-app shopping has long been a target for social media platforms keen to leverage the vast amount of effectively free product placement they contain. To that end, US tech companies glance enviously over to their Chinese counterparts, for whom e-commerce is a huge money-spinner.
First it was Shorts. Now, YouTube is doubling-down on its TikTok-esque transformation with the introduction of an algorithmically selected For You feed.
As per The Verge’s Wes Davis, the feature will come with a few customization options. Viewers can select what types of video show up (Shorts, full videos etc.) as well as the recency of the content.
Chances are you work at a news publisher, so you’re probably all aboard the subscription train. But what does the state of subscriptions look like today? Funny you should ask.
Ex-Digiday big boss Brian Morrissey, writes that the market has matured enough that retention has become the name of the game. With the period of hyper-growth receding, the majority of publishers are now understanding the subscription biz as a developed part of their broader corporate strategy through which they can diversify their revenue.
TikTok is the platform du jour for younger audiences. But news publishers face a basic challenge in reaching them there: the lengthy and deeply-reported content that’s their bread and butter isn’t necessarily what younger audiences are looking for.
In this article for the Press Gazette Shira Jeczmien of Screenshot Media outlines their strategy on the platform – and that’s the right way of phrasing it. That’s because, “each platform requires subtle variations,” she writes. “Each platform pushes out content differently, and audiences go to individual platforms for different reasons.”
Being a publicly facing institution these days is a risky business. That’s because anyone and everyone now seems to be a potential target for a cocktail of AI and political propaganda.
Politico’s Seb Starcevic reports that a fake ad for a non-existent Netflix documentary, voiced by an AI Tom Cruise, is targeting the International Olympic Committee. It seems, according to the ad, that a nefarious element within the IOC is corrupting the work of a few good men within the organization. It’s unclear whether this cabal is only interested in the color of money or whether there are other considerations at play.
Regardless, the IOC called its top guns into action and removed the ad from YouTube. Even so, tackling the problem altogether may prove to be mission impossible.
SAG-AFTRA’s war with the Hollywood studios reached its conclusion this week, with news that a deal has been struck. However, one of the last issues to be squared away concerned AI.
Variety’s Gene Maddaus writes that an AI generated Frankenstein’s monster scenario was a serious area of concern. In this scenario, different parts of different actors are digitally glued together to form a good-looking Megatron. Under the deal reached, actors would have the final say over the use of their likenesses, even if partial. “If you’re using Brad Pitt’s smile and Jennifer Aniston’s eyes,” clarified SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, “both would have a right of consent.”