1) Peacock, owned by NBCU, has announced that it will no longer offer its free tier for new subscribers, a surprising move. The change in strategy may be due to Peacock not being NBCU’s main focus and instead, the company is focusing on Xumo, which has recently been revived as the foundation of a smart TV and connected device venture between Comcast and Charter.

2) Amazon’s plans to enter the brick-and-mortar retail market have been delayed, with the company shutting down its bookstores, 4-star stores, and pop-up shops last spring. The opening of new Amazon Fresh stores in the US has also come to a halt. The company was previously targeting January 2023 for the opening of its first big-box store, which would have used high-tech systems from its Amazon Go chain for checkout, but it is no longer working on the project, code-named Reese.

3) Apple’s revenue declined 5% in Q4 of 2022 due to a 8% decrease in iPhone sales due to supply constraints in China. The company’s net income dropped 13% to $30 billion. Although iPhone production is back on track, executives predict a similar performance for Q1 2023 as the December quarter. The services division showed growth, with revenue increasing 6% to $21 billion. The stock saw a 3% decrease in after-hours trading.

4) Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado has called for Google and Apple to ban TikTok from their app stores due to national security concerns. The call follows similar efforts by Democratic Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Republican lawmakers who have sponsored legislation supporting a ban. TikTok is working to increase its transparency and lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. as it faces negotiations about its future in the U.S.

5) The co-founders of Instagram have started a new venture to create next-generation social apps, with their first product being Artifact, a personalized news feed that uses machine learning to understand user interests and allows discussion with friends. Artifact is described as a “TikTok for text” or a mobile app version of Google Reader, or a potential threat to Twitter. It opens to a feed of popular articles from a curated list of publishers and serves similar posts based on user interest. The waiting list for Artifact is now open to the public and the app is available on Android and iOS.

6) In 2022, 227 million people in the US were estimated to play video games, with 46% of those being women. Game revenues are projected to reach $285 billion by 2027, presenting a large opportunity for advertisers. In-game advertising allows businesses to reach a diverse audience through promoting almost any product, as gaming has become a universal pastime. The gaming industry is being embraced by search marketers and celebrities as a way to reach their target audience, making it a significant opportunity for advertisers in 2023.

SIDENOTE this is why it is my personal beliee that the first group of crypto currency to have mainstream adoption will be Metaverse Coins from the gaming industry.