Evolution in tennis, tomorrow’s sports economy, audio engagement and the atrophy of digital platforms are just a few of the themes in this week’s batch of Trippant Takeaways, a selection of stories on communications trends across sport, entertainment, technology and culture.
The New York Times on a deuce point in tennis
The first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, wraps up in Melbourne this week to bring tennis back to global attention. And between a generational shift on the court, a new Netflix series, and sometimes testy debates over the influence of athletes and the future structure of major tours, there is plenty of change to observe.
Speaking to investors and leading administrators, The New York Times has been building a picture of a sport trying to find its place in the future.
Unofficial Partner on AI-generated content and sport’s Napster moment
The Unofficial Partner podcast is a reliable source of absorbing sports industry conversation and there are two media-based episodes are well worth checking out this week.
First, former Spotify chief economist Will Page talks about the prospect of a ‘Napster moment’ for sport, sharing lessons from an era of music business disruption that are both straightforward and counterintuitive.
Then, Google’s Marvin Brischke and WSC Sports’ Vadim Drozdovski explain how AI-produced clips of the Fifa World Cup capitalised on sport’s relationship with search.
The Drum on the latest sounds in audio marketing
The rapid development of the audio sector in recent years may be slowing, insofar as fewer new podcasts are being released. But that is also a sign of the space settling and maturing, so brands need to apply as much consideration to what their audiences hear as they do to other types of digital marketing.
Steve Dunlop and Paul Kelly of the specialist agency A Million Ads break down the year ahead.
Marketing Week on B2B strategies in a recession
Every economic downturn comes with reminders to brands that cutting marketing spend comes at a cost; that those who keep communicating with potential customers through difficult times eventually feel the benefit. And according to Marketing Week, that may hold doubly true in the B2B space, where companies often overlook the opportunity to reach future buyers.
The Financial Times on the wider consequences of generative AI
Another week, another longread on ChatGPT and the implications of generative AI.
The FT has pulled back for a helicopter view of its coming role in society and communication, taking in issues like the potential spread of misinformation and the human reaction to software-led content.
The Information on the TikTok layoff livestream
One after another, tech giants have enacted massive rounds of redundancies to cut tens of thousands of jobs.
It’s a trend with a clear economic impact – even if it arguably follows overexpansion through the pandemic era – but as the difficult stories of a whole class of tech workers begin to emerge on social media, there will be reputational effects as well.
Wired on how digital platforms decay
Here’s a theory about the lifecycle of digital services from Cory Doctorow.
‘First, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.’
It’s a theory he calls, er, ‘enshittification’, and it makes for a persuasive argument about what’s happened to everything from Facebook to Amazon – and could be coming for TikTok.
Gizmodo on the worst of metaverse cringe
It’s fair to say that advocates of the metaverse have not yet made a bulletproof case to consumers. But some brands have done a worse job than others, and Gizmodo has rounded up a few of the very naffest commercial ventures into shared digital space so far.