Happy Wednesday, Future Party people. Deepfakes are running rampant online right now — these days, you’ve got to be pretty careful about what you see out there and whether it’s even real. It’s an especially big problem in the political world. Read more below.
In other news… theaters need more movies, deepfakes are plaguing politics, and TikTok tries on indie TV.
- YouTube → Ghosted
- Twitter → Ted Lasso
- Google → Perry Mason
- Reddit → John Wick: Chapter 4
- TikTok → “Language” - Paperboy Fabe
- Spotify → “Crash” - benches
Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe
Movie theaters beg for more movies to show
The Future. Thanks to the cost of making movies during COVID and the desire to pad new streaming services with fresh content, theater chains have far fewer films to show than typical… and that’s seriously hurting their earnings. Unless studios start making theatrical-bound movies and streamers start sending more marquee titles to play on the big screen (such as Amazon’s Air), cinemas may be in dire straits.
Where did all the movies go?
Theater chains are really hurting for movies.
- The four largest exhibitors — AMC, Cineworld, Cinemark, and Marcus — all reported losses for the fourth quarter of 2022 ( Cineworld is even going through bankruptcy).
- Each of them mentioned on their earnings calls that a major contributing factor to the missed expectations was that Hollywood just isn’t giving them enough movies to play.
- And the numbers don’t lie — only 71 films were released on more than 2,000 screens last year, compared to 112 in 2019 (the domestic box office is down 22% from that year).
The chains noted that the situation might be even direr because the revenue gains they did make were padded by “ticket price hikes, strong high-margin concession sales and premium big-screen play for tentpoles, according to THR.
Trying to strike a hopeful tone, the chains believe that a lot more films are coming this year, but a full recovery may not be made until 2024 or 2025 (if they can hold on). Additionally, the outsized grosses they made from Avatar: The Way of Water will be felt in the Q1 2023 report.
Not to pour cold water on cinemas, but every studio seems to be in a cost-cutting mode right now, so making more movies might be wishful thinking. But, with Wall Street turning on the economics of streaming, studios are now opting to release streaming-made movies in theaters first (see: Smile and Evil Dead Rises).
So, maybe the tide is finally turning in favor of theaters.
Political media needs to get real about deepfakes
The Future. As AI becomes more accessible and easier to use, upcoming elections are likely to be inundated with fake videos and audio recordings to tarnish politicians' reputations. Considering the headaches voters have already gone through with online misinformation, the rise of deepfakes may take things to another level… unless tech platforms can figure out how to to catch and take down fabricated content.
Elections are about to get even more fraught with the rise of deepfakes, reports Vanity Fair.
- In the run-up to Chicago’s mayoral election, a fake news organization called Chicago Lakefront News tweeted out a fake recording of candidate Paul Vallas that was seen widely before being taken down.
- Fact-checking nonprofit PolitiFact called out a fake MSNBC interview with Elizabeth Warren that made it seem like she said that Republicans shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
- And, not surprisingly, fake videos of President Biden run rampant on social media, crafting controversial comments around issues such as drugs to transgender rights.
To make things even more complicated, some politicians are just embracing deepfake technology as a means to really get their face out there.
Newsrooms are preparing for the deluge of fabricated content.
- Pod Save America showed a deepfake of Biden to show what it looks like when a fake video comes across your timeline.
- The Atlantic, The Verge, and BuzzFeed News are reporting on how deepfakes could impact coming election cycles and are training on how to vet for AI-generated content.
- PolitiFact is staffing up to better address a potentially major increase in deepfakes to sift through.
The key will be in how to vet for fake content quickly — in the world of political journalism, breaking a story is the goal, so the drive to be first will constantly be in tension with making sure a video is real.
TOGETHER WITH ADVISOR
Tax season is here
No one’s ever maintained financial wellness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February... or March.
Financial planning is the key to financial freedom.
Enter Advisor. Their mission is to help you plan, save, and invest for the future. They understand it’s not how much you make but how much you keep and how hard it works for you.
Advisor doesn’t lose interest. They...
- Offer expert financial planning and advice
- Provide white glove service
- Work for you (not commissions)
You deserve to feel well-resourced by your work, so get some financial advice today.
It just makes sense.
TikTok tries out being indie TV
The Future. TikTok is taking on YouTube by introducing Series — large paywalled collections of videos that can be double the length of a normal TikTok. That’s a lot of premium content, which could be a boon for big creators who want to better monetize their output. With TikTok talent leveling up bonafide Hollywood careers, don’t be surprised if some enterprising creators use Series to distribute a scripted show directly to their audience.
A little money for a little extra
TikToks are getting much longer… for a price.
- Each individual “Series” can consist of up to 80 videos, with each video allowed to be up to 20 minutes long (double the length of a typical TikTok).
- Creators can then sell each Series for a one-time payment of anything between $0.99 and $189.99 — available via a direct in-video link or on creator pages.
- For a limited time, creators will be able to keep 100% of the revenue from Series collections.
- The feature is only available to a small batch of creators, but applications will soon open for others.
Series joins the Creator Fund, the Creator Marketplace, and the Creativity Program Beta as ways for users to make money on the platform. But are all those ways still enough?
Unskippable inbox material
We're newsletter people (in case you didn't get the memo). And we have a super cool recco for you today. It's called Scott's Newsletter, and it's written by – you guessed it – Scott D. Clary.
Scott's the CEO of OnMi Patch, a transdermal vitamin patch company + the host of the Success Story podcast. So yeah, he's a big deal.
His newsletter talks about mental models, performance, business, and entrepreneurship. In other words: You def want to join the 100,000+ readers and get his daily low down.
The best curated daily stories from around the web
Is Twitter rearranging chairs on the Titanic?
In case you haven’t heard, Twitter 2.0 has shed a lot of employees. So many, in fact, that Monday’s outage saw links, photos, and other features no longer working — because there’s only one site reliability engineer overseeing Twitter’s change from free API access to a monetized one (yes, Twitter is looking for more ways to make a penny here and there). When the engineer made a “bad configuration change,” multiple parts of Twitter broke down like dominoes. We wouldn’t be surprised if Musk has already fired that engineer.
Read more → theverge
Social platforms struggle to verify your age
Various platforms may be rolling out features to better protect young users (or comply with new laws)… but their first hurdle may be in accurately verifying a user’s age for these features to actually work. The problem is that platforms face pressure to not use things like facial recognition or too much data collection to verify ages, but they also can’t just rely on kids and teens being honest when they sign up. With no standard best practices on how to verify ages, every platform is experimenting with their own versions… to mixed results.
Read more → axios
Figma designs its own app store
Figma, which was recently snapped up by rival Adobe for a cool $20 billion, is rolling out Community 2.0 — a digital marketplace for users to post widgets, plug-ins, and other files for sale. The new Community feature also gives users native payment tools, bringing the whole experience in-house (and netting Figma a 15% fee). Sounds like Figma is a must-have for designers.
Read more → fastcompany
Slack doesn’t want you to talk to your colleagues
Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement. But the Salesforce-owned Slack is plugging in an AI-chatbot tool into the workspace platform that will give users the ability to craft simple messages, quickly find messages on any project in the workspace, or even summarize meetings. Now the true test of its usefulness is if it can write reply messages faster than you can. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Read more → theverge
Meta forces users to post to Facebook
To their shock and frustration, many Gen Zers and Millennials have discovered that their Instagram posts have been automatically sharing to Facebook, giving them a lot of very unwanted notifications and activity from an app that they probably haven’t opened in years. That’s because of a new design in Instagram that prompted users to share to Facebook, giving users a big blue button to accept and make the pop-up go away or a barely visible link to opt out. Let’s just call this a hilarious play on Meta’s part to get young people using Facebook again.
Read more — nyt
Like what you see? Subscribe Now or Partner With Us
Today's email was brought to you by David Vendrell.
Edited by Nick Comney. Publishing by Sara Kitnick.