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Business Features

Biden’s TikTok Dilemma: Go After China or Pursue Social Media Antitrust Claims

In big tech, data is currency, and TikTok is printing money. Once known for viral dance videos, the platform has built itself into a digital advertising juggernaut. The app has more than 150 million monthly users and 5 million businesses it can harvest information from to sell ads, it disclosed March 21. It’s the leading video-sharing app in […]

Hollywood Is Hoping Its Bank Relationships Are Too Big to Fail

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank has sent shock waves throughout U.S. financial institutions. And nowhere was that felt more than at other regional banks. At New York’s Signature Bank — which is one of the two main banks that works with Broadway productions — the board spent days grappling with the repercussions.  Yes, there […]

Want to Impress Wall Street? Just Add Some AI

When Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel opened his company’s earnings call with prepared remarks Feb. 28, a casual listener hearing him tout the UFC and WME might have missed the most interesting part: Emanuel wasn’t speaking at all. Well, he sort of was. The words were his, and the voice was his, but rather than Emanuel speaking […]

Theater Chains to Studios: Please Send Us More Movies

After a disappointing late summer and fall, major movie theater chains pinned hopes on a run of tentpoles that could help prop up the box office — and their bottom lines — from Black Adam to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water. But, one by one, in reporting fourth-quarter earnings in […]

VFX Workers’ Union Effort Picks Up Where Last Reckoning Left Off

A decade ago, the visual effects industry hit a creative high note when Ang Lee’s adaptation of Life of Pi — highlighted by an extraordinary photoreal CG Bengal tiger — won the VFX honor at the 2013 BAFTA awards. But the celebration quickly turned to devastation when, shortly after, in Los Angeles, the film’s lead […]

Red Carpet Influencers: Behind a Lucrative (and Growing) Niche for Creators

The hottest red carpet accessory in 2023? The influencer. With the explosion of TikTok, content creators have become mainstays at big premieres and awards shows, popping up at events for all the major studios and streamers as well as at Cannes, the Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars. Film and TV red carpets in particular have […]

Shadows of the Last Strike: Writers Debate ‘07 Walkout Ahead of Contract Talks

As Hollywood’s writers prepare for a round of union negotiations that is expected to be especially combative and potentially even trigger a strike, some are revisiting the wins and losses of their last work stoppage, in 2007-08. The 100-day Writers Guild of America strike more than 15 years ago rocked the industry as the union […]

Hollywood’s Agency Landscape Reshaped by Battle to Be No. 4

The closing of CAA’s closely watched megadeal for rival ICM last June and the reverberations of the Writers Guild’s years-long standoff with agencies over packaging fees and affiliate production have reshaped Hollywood’s representation landscape. With only three majors left — CAA, Endeavor-owned WME, and UTA — there’s now a race among midsize firms to become […]

Disney’s New Balance of Power Raises Succession, Spinoff Questions

In his first earnings report back as Disney CEO, Bob Iger unveiled a structure that places power back in the hands of the creatives but also raises questions about succession and the fate of two key company assets. Under Iger’s Feb. 8 plan, the empire is divided up three ways: Disney Entertainment, including the company’s […]

Amid Linear TV’s Slow Slide, New Warning Signs Emerge

The past five years has seen every major Hollywood giant lean into streaming entertainment, pulling programming budgets from broadcast and cable channels and funneling them into wholly owned streaming services. But there also have been exceptions: sports and news, which TV executives have long argued hold the legacy pay TV bundle together. Warner Bros. Discovery […]

Super Bowl Ads 2023: The Year When Brands Split Costs

When viewers watching the Feb. 12 Super Bowl stick around for the always anticipated commercial breaks, they may find a bit more than they bargained for. With the advertising market in a downturn (Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said Nov. 15 it was “very weak” and worse than it was during COVID-19 amid a brief, […]

Big Tech’s “Year of Efficiency” Hasn’t Come for Content Spending, Yet

It’s not cost-cutting, it’s efficiency. That’s the idea Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg aimed to sell to investors Feb. 1, when he outlined 2023 as the “Year of Efficiency” for the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. It came after Meta had laid off 13 percent of its workforce and downsized its office space in light of the […]