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    Roundup: Harry and Meghan’s new Netflix projects, Neighbours shock death, Publicis Health to pay US$350 million

    Business of Media

    Rupert Murdoch postpones Australia homecoming

    Rupert Murdoch has postponed his first return to Australia for more than five years, pushing back a dinner planned for The Australian’s 60th anniversary that was due to be held later this month, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

    News of the rain-check filtered through News Corp networks over the past 24 hours, prompting arched eyebrows and hushed WhatsApp gossip about what caused the 92-year-old’s diary move.

    But the decision to postpone the event for Murdoch’s favourite local masthead, we’re assured, was due to scheduling conflicts.

    [Read More]

    AI fuels a new era of product placement

    Product placement, one of the oldest tricks in advertisers’ toolbox, is getting an A.I. makeover, reports The New York Times’ Sapna Maheshwari.

    New technology has made it easier to insert digital, realistic-looking versions of soda cans and shampoo onto the tables and walls of videos on YouTube and TikTok. And a growing group of creators and advertisers is grabbing at the chance for an additional revenue stream.

    A recent TikTok from the dancer Melissa Becraft featured a poster for Bubly, the sparkling-water brand owned by PepsiCo, hanging on the wall of her apartment as she shimmied to a Shakira song. A duo known as HiveMind chatted about bands while an animated can of Starry soda, another brand owned by PepsiCo, landed on a table between them. And a YouTube video of the “AsianBossGirl” podcast recently displayed a table of Garnier hair products.

    [Read More]

    Nine News’s doctored photo of Georgie Purcell reveals AI’s big problem

    Finally, fake AI-generated news has come to Australia. In the nation’s first high profile case, Nine News staff automated the re-sizing of an image featuring Georgie Purcell, which ended up re-sizing the Victorian Animal Justice MP’s breasts. The program went further, it also bared the politicians midriff, cutting a hole in her dress to create a revealing outfit, reports The Australian’s Jared Lynch.

    Microsoft named its AI-powered assistant Copilot, because it is designed to work alongside humans, not replace them. “We think the human is the pilot. Without the pilot, the co-pilot isn’t really as effective,” Microsoft global head of marketing for search & AI Divya Kumar said.

    “We do think there is a huge responsibility on the person using the tool, regardless of the tool being able to do the verification.”

    [Read More]

    See Also: 9News boss apologises to Victorian MP Georgie Purcell after airing gaffe

    Ad agency Publicis Health to pay US$350 million over opioid marketing

    Publicis Health, part of ad giant Publicis Groupe, has agreed to pay $350 million to settle claims that its advertising campaigns for Purdue Pharma played a role in the opioid crisis, according to the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Katie Deighton and Patrick Coffee.

    The agreement also prohibits Publicis from accepting any future contracts or engagements related to the marketing or sale of opioids, James said in a statement on Thursday. Publicis must pay the settlement within 60 days and release hundreds of thousands of documents detailing its past work for Purdue, according to the statement. The total will be divided among all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, according to a spokeswoman for James’s office.

    [Read More]

    ‘Just a lot of issues’: Netflix film chief on axing nearly finished Halle Berry movie

    Netflix’s decision to scrap a nearly completed movie starring Halle Berry has been described as “a rare thing” during a preview event this week, reports The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee.

    Post-production on The Mothership, a sci-fi thriller that finished filming in 2021, was scrapped last week with rumours of “significant reshoots” being too expensive and problems over using child actors who have since aged.

    On Wednesday’s event, Bela Bajaria, the streamer’s chief content officer and interim chief of the film division, said: “If you think about how many things we make, it’s a rare thing.”

    [Read More]

    Harry and Meghan working on movie, TV series and other shows at Netflix

    Harry and Meghan are working on a number of projects at Netflix despite speculation that the pair’s deal was in jeopardy, reports The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee.

    During a preview event of Netflix’s 2024 content, it was revealed that the pair have a movie, a scripted series and some more unscripted content on the way, according to Deadline.

    “Oh, what are they working on?” said Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer. “They have a couple of unscripted things they’re working on with Brandon [Riegg]. And they actually have, like, a bunch of development: they have a movie in development, a [scripted] series that they’re working on. So all very early development, with a movie, a TV show and a couple of unscripted shows. But yeah, the movie’s great.”

    [Read More]

    Bad Blood: Why TikTok videos with Taylor Swift and other Universal artists are now silent

    Universal Music Group’s songs were gone from TikTok Thursday after the world’s largest music company said it failed to reach a contract to license its music to the app, report The Wall Street Journal’s Alyssa Lukpat, Julia Munslow, and Joseph De Avila.

    The missing songs have left a void on TikTok, where users often create videos featuring audio from popular tracks. Videos across the social-media platform that had Universal’s songs are now silent with a message at the bottom saying, “Sound removed due to copyright restrictions.”

    “My jaw dropped,” said Emma Noyes, 28 years old. “The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was open TikTok just to see how my videos were doing and a bunch of videos had suddenly become muted out of nowhere.”

    [Read More]

    Entertainment 

    Margot Robbie addresses Best Actress Oscars snub for Barbie movie: ‘No reason to feel sad’

    Margot Robbie has spoken out one week after being overlooked for a nomination at the 2024 Oscars, reports News Corp’s Mikaela Wilkes.

    “There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed,” the Robbie said during a panel at a special SAG-AFTRA screening on Wednesday night.

    An audience member had asked the 33-year-old, who both produced and starred in the blockbuster film, how she felt about being overlooked.

    Robbie said, if anything, she was more upset that Gerwig, 40, failed to score a nomination.

    [Read More]

    Television

    Neighbours shock death: “It felt like a true ending for the character.”

    Warning: Don’t read until you have seen Neighbours episode Thursday February 1.

    Fans of Neighbours have today witnessed one of the show’s favourite characters meet their demise, reports TV Tonight.

    [Read More]

    Sports Media

    Craig Hutchison’s Sports Entertainment cashes in on sports teams

    Craig Hutchison’s Sports Entertainment Group is selling off stakes in its sporting business, which includes basketball’s Perth Wildcats and new Melbourne Mavericks netball team, to reduce its $28.7 million debt before looming repayment deadlines, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan and Carla Jaeger.

    Corporate filings that were published late on Wednesday reveal the sports media business has raised $1.5 million in exchange for a minority share in its sports teams division, with the funds put directly towards repaying its financier, Commonwealth Bank.

    The company said it was looking to raise further funds through the sale of shares in its sporting teams business.

    [Read More]

    NRL rolls out Las Vegas red carpet for Lachlan Murdoch and hopes Tom Brady comes with him

    News Corp chair Lachlan Murdoch will be the guest of honour at the NRL’s season-opening double-header in Las Vegas — and officials are banking on him dragging along NFL legend Tom Brady as his plus one, reports Andrew Webster.

    Apart from being a diehard Brisbane Broncos fan, Murdoch is a close friend of ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, who is rolling out the red carpet for News’ top brass, including chief executive Robert Thomson and Foxtel Australia boss Patrick Delany.

    A News spokesman insisted Murdoch had not invited Brady, but the NRL certainly hopes he can convince the legendary quarterback to come along.

    [Read More]

    The post Roundup: Harry and Meghan’s new Netflix projects, Neighbours shock death, Publicis Health to pay US$350 million appeared first on Mediaweek.

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