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After Deal Dreakdown, TikTok Removes Universal Music content.

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The Beginner Guide to TikTok Marketing
The Beginner Guide to TikTok Marketing

TikTok has begun removing Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) content from its video app after failing to secure a new license arrangement with the music label, the social media company announced on Tuesday.

TikTok has also begun to silence videos on its site that use music created by any songwriter signed to UMPG, as the licensing agreement expired on January 31st, reported Reuters.

A source familiar with the subject told Reuters that the corporation is expected to remove all UMPG content by the end of February due to legal concerns. According to the source, TikTok has contacted UMG and is still interested in negotiating a new arrangement.

Macy’s Forecasts Lower Annual Sales, will Close 150 Stores

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Macy’s estimated yearly revenues below market expectations due to lackluster demand for its apparel and shoes, and it announced plans to eliminate 150 locations by 2026 as part of a new turnaround plan, sending its shares down around 2% before the bell on Tuesday.

The department store chain did not disclose information on shop locations or whether there would be additional layoffs, reported Reuters. It also intends to monetize $600 million to $750 million in assets over the next three years.

During the holiday season quarter, comparable sales fell 4.2%, beating analysts’ expectations of a 5.8% decrease, as severe discounts enticed customers., as severe discounts enticed customers, noted the report.

Retail Media will Account for One-Fifth of Global Digital Ad Spend this Year

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Global retail media spending will reach $140 billion this year, according to a December 2023 forecast by Insider Intelligence/eMarketer.

Examples of retail media websites are Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.

Retail media is expanding faster than any other type of ad spend, at 21.8%.

According to Insider Intelligence eMarketer’s October 2023 forecast, Amazon will account for 74.2% of retail media ad expenditure in the United States but approximately 42% worldwide.

Companies like Mercado Libre in Latin America and Alibaba, JC.com, and Meituan in China will account for a significant portion of the retail media business globally.

Etsy Expects a Slow First Quarter Due to Weak Demand

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Etsy warned Wednesday of a drop in first-quarter gross merchandise sales due to lackluster demand for handcrafted goods and personalized presents sold through its online marketplace.

Etsy shares fell roughly 4% in extended trading after the firm published fourth-quarter gross sales results that fell short of market estimates, reported Reuters.

Consumers in the United States are avoiding buying non-essential goods sold on Etsy due to limited disposable income.

In response, noted the report, Etsy has worked to assist its sellers with marketing and has invested in testing promotions throughout its site to attract more shoppers.

Consumers Value Points and Rewards Over other Loyalty Benefits

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More than half (55%) of adults worldwide believe that offering points or incentive systems is the most effective approach to keep them coming back, according to a Marigold-Econsultancy survey conducted in November 2023.

According to Deloitte’s 2024 US Retail Industry Outlook, three-quarters of consumers remain concerned about rising prices.

As a result, reports Insider Intelligence/eMarketer, half of retail executives expect shoppers to prioritize price over loyalty by 2024.

“Retailers may consider bolstering their loyalty programs by giving customers more opportunities to score points or offering them more personalized discounts,” stated the Insider Intelligence/eMarketer report.

Retailers can also provide customers with special product or service discounts, which are ranked second for the most wanted loyalty rewards (54%).

Amazon Tops List of Best Online Shops in US

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According to the number of unique monthly visitors, Amazon’s website is by far the most visited e-commerce site in the United States, according to Similarweb data from November 2023.

Website visits may not always lead to sales. Etsy is fourth in visits but will account for less than 1% of total US retail e-commerce sales this year, according to a November 2023 prediction by Insider Intelligence/eMarketer.

While Amazon and Walmart compete for sales, Amazon has significantly more online visits, which bodes well for its retail media business.
In fact, all of the top five retailers own large retail media companies, noted Insider Intelligence/eMarketer.

Getting Social Media Branding Right

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In today’s market, no company can afford to ignore social media.

“Your social profiles are often the first touchpoint customers have with your organization – and as such, social media is a potent branding tool that affects brand perception, sentiment, authority, and trust,” according to an article at Search Engine Journal.

According to the article, some key factors to consider when building a social media strategy are brand identity, voice, content strategy, and audience engagement.

Brand identity comprises logos, colors, and fonts, while the brand voice is the language you use to communicate with your target audience.

Your content strategy deals with the kinds of formats and topics that are best for your message.

Audience engagement is how you interact with your followers in a way that represents your brand.

According to Search Engine Journal, knowing your target audience, including their demographics, interests, desires, and problems, is critical.

Another critical point is to know which social media platforms your target audience is present.

OpenAI Launches an AI Model that Converts Text into Video

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Microsoft-backed OpenAI is developing software that can generate minute-long videos based on text cues, the company announced on Thursday.

The program, known as Sora, is currently available for red teaming, which helps discover problems in the AI system and access by visual artists, designers, and filmmakers to provide feedback on the model, their website stated.

“Sora can generate complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background,” the company said.

The existing model has flaws. It may struggle to simulate a complicated scene effectively and may not comprehend precise examples of cause and effect. For example, the company noted that a person may bite a cookie, yet the cookie may not show any biting marks afterward.

“We’ve also developed robust image classifiers that are used to review the frames of every video generated to help ensure that it adheres to our usage policies before it’s shown to the user,” it added.

Google’s AI Detects Fake Online Reviews Faster

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Google is using new AI technologies to combat an increase in bogus internet reviews, which mislead shoppers and harm local businesses.

In a blog post, Google announced its progress in 2023 against fake reviews, including blocking over 170 million bogus reviews, representing a 45% increase over the previous year.

Business owners were safeguarded against nearly 2 million efforts by bad actors to claim Business Profiles that did not belong to them, more than 1 million more than in 2022. After Google’s systems spotted suspicious behavior and exploitation attempts, they temporarily protected over 123,000 businesses.

Google stated, “We’re committed to combating fake reviews while continuing to collaborate with regulators and the broader industry on this important issue. “

Top Ways Adults in US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil Use to Find Products

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Shopping has become more complex as it occurs on so many different types of websites and still in physical stores.

Insider Intelligence/eMarketer presented its 2024 Retail Road Map to help merchants stay ahead of the curve in today’s ever-changing retail world.

The survey carried out by PwC in June 2023 among adults in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil found that search engines (54%) are the most popular channel used to research products to purchase.

Amazon and retail websites (43%) were the second most popular channels for consumers, followed by 29% who read customer product reviews on retail websites or spoke to others about the product. Social media and price comparison websites tied at 26%.