🙅 Amazon is disrupting the streaming market

PLUS: TikTok is launching digital avatars; AI-generated candidate Steve running for UK parliament

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🙅 Amazon is disrupting the streaming market

As we all know by now, Amazon is a great disruptor. First, it came for books, then for retail, and now, it’s coming for the streaming ad market.

Earlier this year, Amazon transitioned its entire Prime Video subscriber base to an ad-supported model. 

💬 Amazon Prime Video's ad-supported tier reaches 115 million monthly viewers in the U.S.

Wall Street Journal

These aren’t your grandmother’s run-of-the-mill ads, though:

  • Amazon has created Shoppable Ads, which allow viewers to purchase products featured directly through a link.

  • Products or brands are now being integrated into the content itself, seamlessly appearing within the storyline of shows and movies. 

  • Brands are even sponsoring live events on Prime Video like PepsiCo sponsoring Thursday Night Football.

Great, so Amazon’s making cool ads. Is that really such a big deal? Yes, it is.

Amazon's foray into the ad-supported streaming market has increased ad inventory and driven down ad prices. 

This means that because there are more streamers and more unique ways to advertise, Amazon’s competitors, like Netflix and YouTube, have to lower their own rates.

Netflix, for instance, is reportedly asking some brands to pay roughly $29 to $35 to reach 1,000 viewers, a massive drop from the $39 to $45 it charged some advertisers last summer. 

The new price range is no coincidence; it’s right around what Prime Video is looking to charge, with advertisers actually pressuring Prime for even cheaper pricing.

💬 Netflix's ad tier reaches 40 million global monthly active users, up from 23 million in January.

Wall Street Journal

But wait, wouldn’t driving down ad prices hurt Amazon, too? In the short term, perhaps.

However, Amazon can handle losing a bit of money in the short term; the company likely sees this as a strategic move to achieve long-term dominance.

And it's already working. 

Several major advertising agencies are competing to win Amazon's lucrative ad-buying account, worth a whopping $20.3 billion annually.

📈 Amazon ($AMZN) stock is up 22.76% this year.

🪞 TikTok is launching digital avatars

These potential game-changing avatars will be created through Symphony, TikTok's brand-new generative AI ad suite.

TikTok’s goal with this initiative is to make marketing and business-oriented videos a little less blah and a little more interesting.

Here’s how:

  • First, these avatars come in two varieties: stock or custom.

  • Stock avatars are based on a wide range of real-life paid actors (as seen above) and are available for commercial use.

  • And don’t worry; the actors are getting paid for their IP.

Custom avatars are, well, customizable; they can resemble a specific creator or brand spokesperson and speak multiple languages.

💬 The custom avatars are not made from real people.

In addition to avatars, TikTok has created a complementary AI dubbing tool.

  • This tool dubs content into over 10 languages, including French, Spanish, and Korean.

  • Video makers have the option but not the obligation to use the tool, which automatically detects the spoken language in videos and then transcribes, translates, and produces dubbed videos.

The translation isn’t exactly a perfect science, but the best-case scenario of reaching millions far outweighs the worst of something you actually said, translating to something you really, really didn’t intend to say. 

Dubbing avatars will be a real game changer for companies and brands, allowing them to expand into multiple regions worldwide and also providing a great way for creators to earn some passive income.

🇬🇧 AI-generated candidate, Steve, is running for UK parliament

📸 Singularity Hub

AI Steve” is an avatar inspired by real-life businessman Steven Endacott.

  • Endacott is “a capitalist with a socialist conscience” and the chairman of Neural Voice.

  • Neural Voice, which creates personalized AI avatars for businesses, is powering AI Steve.

📸 AI Steve

Why do this?

Endacott started the AI Steve project to make politics more interactive and responsive, letting voters constantly engage and shape potential policies.

How does it work?

  • First, AI Steve engages with voters through its website, where people can ask questions or share their opinions on various issues.

  • This process encourages voters to suggest new policies and engage with Steve, who is available 24/7.

Next, there is “Direct Democracy.”

  • Direct Democracy is a program in which Proposed policies are regularly evaluated by a group of selected voters or "validators."

  • These validators score the policies on a weekly basis, and if a policy receives more than 50% approval, it becomes an official party policy.

Endacott is hellbent on making a party “for the people,” and it seems like he’s well on his way, despite this scheme reminding me of an episode of 'The Simpsons.’

Think we’ll see more AI politicians in the future?

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