Churn charm! Magid's survey unveils the silver lining for streamers

In the fast-paced realm of streaming services, where the battle for subscribers is fierce, the term "churn" has often been deemed en ememy. However, a groundbreaking research from Magid suggests that churn is not bad after all. Just as there is good and bad cholesterol, there is bad churn and strategic churn, with the latter proving to be a catalyst for long-term health and growth in the streaming industry."Churn" has long been synonymous with subscriber losses and headaches for service providers. Magid's research challenges this narrative, introducing the idea of strategic churn.According to Magid's Subscription Science practice, not all churn is detrimental. In fact, certain high-value subscribers, even those prone to eventual departure, play a crucial role in shaping the success of a streaming service. Enter SubScape, Magid's innovative analytics tool, revealing distinct subscriber segments and shedding light on the strategic importance of appealing to specific audiences.One such segment, termed "Hypers," represents a goldmine for streaming services. These subscribers not only return for new and attractive programming but actively engage in word-of-mouth promotion on social media, creating valuable buzz. Characterized by their high-income status and a penchant for subscribing to multiple services, Hypers emerge as a strategic asset for streaming platforms.On the flip side, Magid identifies another group—freeloaders—who engage in temporary subscriptions, often relying on borrowed passwords and quickly dropping services after free trial periods. While they may contribute to subscriber numbers, their fleeting loyalty and spending habits on digital platforms like YouTube and TikTok make them less valuable for long-term growth.In a landscape where streaming services experience a delicate equilibrium of gains and losses, Magid challenges the conventional focus on churn rates, advocating for a shift toward the metric of total subscribed months. By enticing high-churn subscribers to return sooner and stay longer, services stand to unlock substantial revenue streams.The key, according to Magid, lies in consistently delivering culturally relevant content. It's not always the big-budget series that capture the elusive Hypers; rather, programmes like the World Cup, The Flash, Euphoria, and Ted Lasso have proven to be powerful magnets for this valuable segment. In the ongoing streaming war, understanding and leveraging the dynamics of strategic churn may well be the key to long-term success.

Hanson Search joins PRCA MENA as a new corporate member

The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has today announced the executive search and talent advisory consultancy Hanson Search, as its latest corporate member.The organisation specialises in mid-senior-level appointments across various communication domains including reputation management, investor relations, government relations, sustainability, brand communications, and influencer marketing. During their 20 years in the field, they have successfully recruited regional heads and CEOs, curated boards, and built executive and senior management teams for both agencies and in-house teams.Head of PRCA EMEA, Monika Fourneaux said:“We are thrilled to welcome Hanson Search to our network of members. Their expertise in executive search and talent advisory services will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of our industry in the MENA region. This collaboration aligns with our mission to foster excellence and innovation in public relations and communications.”Hanson Search CEO Alice Weightman said:“The team at Hanson Search has been working closely with the PRCA globally for many years, so we are delighted to be joining the PRCA MENA. We have been operating in the region for over a decade, and this membership supports our continued growth and expansion in the region. The Middle East is an important market for Hanson Search, and we are committed to supporting our clients in attracting and retaining the best people while always striving for recruitment excellence.”

Merriam-Webster picks 'authentic' as the word of the year

Merriam-Webster has announced "authentic" as the Word of the Year for 2023, underscoring the term's significance in discussions ranging from AI to celebrity culture, identity, and the evolving landscape of social media.Widely searched in previous years, "authentic" witnessed a substantial surge in 2023, propelled by narratives surrounding AI advancements, the scrutiny of celebrity personas, explorations of personal and national identity, and the complex dynamics of social media interactions."Authentic" carries multiple meanings, encompassing "not false or imitation," synonymous with real and actual, as well as "true to one's own personality, spirit, or character." Despite its desirability, the term proves challenging to define definitively, sparking ongoing debates and prompting individuals to turn to the dictionary for clarity.The concept of authenticity often intertwines with matters of identity, be it on a national or personal scale. Frequently modifying words such as cuisine, dish, self, and voice, "authentic" has become a pivotal descriptor in various contexts. In 2023, high-profile figures like Lainey Wilson, Sam Smith, and Taylor Swift made headlines by emphasizing their pursuit of an "authentic voice" and "authentic self." Swift, in particular, has been associated with pop-culture authenticity, with headlines offering insights like "Three Ways To Tap Into Taylor Swift’s Authenticity And Build An Eras-Like Workplace."In an era dominated by artificial intelligence, the delineation between the "real" and the "fake" has become increasingly blurred, impacting areas such as deepfake videos, actors' contracts, academic integrity, and a myriad of other subjects."Authentic" has become an aspirational quality for brands, social media influencers, and celebrities alike. Elon Musk, a prominent figure in the tech industry, garnered attention by advocating for greater "authenticity" on social media platforms. Apps like BeReal have emerged, placing a premium on capturing "authentic" experiences. However, even as the pursuit of authenticity becomes a focal point, the line between genuine expression and calculated performance continues to be debated.Rebecca Jennings of Vox says: "Wherever people are supposedly being 'authentic' on the internet, the money will follow." The paradox of "authenticity" now being a performance underscores its transformation into a gold standard for building trust, particularly in the realm of "authentic content creators."

2024 International Critical Communications Awards open for entry, TCCA confirms

Dubai, UAE: The Critical Communications Association (TCCA) today announced that the 2024 International Critical Communications Awards (ICCAs) are officially open for entry. Presented by TCCA, the ICCAs are the most prestigious awards in the critical communications space.The event celebrates excellence and showcases innovation every year, honoring the success of products, individuals, and organizations that have broadened capabilities and delivered new value to the industry.This time around, the ICCAs are being held in Dubai on May 14, on the sidelines of Critical Communications World (CCW), the industry’s leading global conference and exhibition, running at Dubai World Trade Centre from May 14-16.With critical communications industry leaders and the world’s foremost experts, investors, and shareholders set to attend, the event will once again provide the ultimate stage for the sector’s leading lights to shine. “Highlighting the most innovative work and showcasing to the most groundbreaking critical communications breakthroughs, the ICCAs are iconic, special, and internationally respected,” said Kevin Graham, CEO, TCCA. “As digital transformation unfolds with unprecedented pace and demands for critical comms services and solutions increase all around the world, the need for fresh ideas, new creative concepts, reinvigorated practices, and next-generation projects that drive vital advancement has never been greater.“Each year we see individuals and organizations going above and beyond to meet these criteria – and every year our awards ceremony provides the ultimate recognition to those paving the way toward tomorrow’s increasingly vibrant, secure, and empowering industry. Our independent judges are looking forward to the challenge of selecting the best of the best!”With submissions open across 13 categories, an experienced panel of independent judges will take all aspects of entries under consideration to identify and reward the most outstanding projects, practices, and talent. From technology creation and deployment to critical communications utilization across industries, every area will be meticulously examined ahead of final shortlisting.Additionally, the ICCAs will acknowledge the most promising professionals and influential personalities driving innovation and fuelling the sector. The closing date for entries is Monday, February 12, 2024, and the ICCA categories are as follows:Emerging technology, product or solutionsBest Use of critical communications in public safetyBest use of advanced technologyBest use of critical communications in transportBest use of critical communications in utilitiesBest use of critical communications in industrial, manufacturing, mining resources, oil & gas exploration  Best TETRA product or solution of the yearBest MCX product or solution of the yearBest Hybrid deviceThe Phil Kidner Award for an Individual Outstanding Contribution to critical communicationsTCCA Young Engineer of the yearGovernment authority collaborationChampion for Social Value

Google stands by its 2024 cookie deprecation deadline: Dan Taylor

Amid the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit against Google and the imminent self-imposed deadline for removing third-party cookies from its Chrome browser, Google's Vice President of Global Advertising, Dan Taylor, asserts that the company is unwavering in its commitment to the timeline for cookie depreciation."Cookies will be phased out completely from Chrome at the end of 2024." Despite the challenges posed by the antitrust suit, which alleges Google's violation of U.S. antitrust laws and manipulation of the search ad auction market, Taylor remains confident that the advertising business will persevere. We disagree with the DOJ's claims. We have no intention of selling or divesting this business. In fact, we're focused more than ever on helping our publisher partners and our advertiser partners deliver great ROI and great monetization," said Taylor.Discussing the ongoing efforts to introduce alternative solutions to third-party cookies, Taylor highlighted the importance of adapting to the changing landscape of online privacy. He urged stakeholders to move beyond legacy technologies, emphasizing the inevitability of a more private internet that still facilitates advertising use cases.Regarding the impending real-world testing environment in January 2024, when 1% of cookies will be deprecated from Chrome, Taylor expressed anticipation. This environment will allow a comprehensive understanding of how campaigns, performance, volume, and ad relevance will be affected in the absence of a third-party cookie signal.Reflecting on recent experiments, Taylor shared promising results from a Q2 experiment in Google Ads on Topics, where third-party cookies were replaced with Topics. The experiment demonstrated high fidelity in terms of scale, performance, and relevance, indicating positive progress with API alternatives.Taylor said: "That gives us a good signal that we're on the right path with regard to these APIs, but seeing them testing in a real-world environment is something we're looking forward to."

Media experts consider attention strategy important: IAS study

A study by IAS in partnership with YouGov has revealed that 83% of media experts think it’s important for their company to have an attention strategy. The research aimed to assess the current state, perceptions, and future outlook of attention measurement and optimization in digital media.In this study, IAS surveyed US digital media experts from both the buy- and sell-side to reveal the most important KPIs tracked by attention users and shed light on the business results and success rates attributed to attention strategies.All eyes are on attention. Although it’s one of the most widely discussed topics in digital media, marketers remain divided on how to properly harness it. Attention scores, methodologies, and key performance indicators are increasingly diversified — so how can marketers best measure and optimize their campaigns for higher attention?Key discoveries:83% of media experts think it’s important for their company to have an attention strategy.79% of media experts report substantial improvement in revenue opportunity since implementing an attention strategy.78% of attention measurement users are prepared to evolve to optimization in the next 12 months.

The impact of AI on contact center solutions

In the ever-evolving landscape of customer service, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a transformative force, reshaping the way contact centers operate and interact with customers. As businesses strive to enhance efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and stay ahead of the competition, the adoption of AI in contact center solutions has emerged as a pivotal strategy.Empowering Agents with AI AssistanceOne of the primary ways AI is making waves in contact centers is through the empowerment of customer service agents. AI-powered tools, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, are revolutionizing how agents handle customer inquiries. These technologies are designed to augment human capabilities, providing instant access to relevant information and streamlining routine tasks. Consequently, this allows agents to focus on more complex and emotionally nuanced customer interactions, leading to improved service quality.Enhanced Customer ExperienceAI's impact on contact centers extends beyond agent support to significantly enhance the overall customer experience. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis capabilities enable AI systems to understand and respond to customer queries with a level of sophistication that rivals human interaction. This not only reduces response times but also ensures that customers feel heard and understood, fostering stronger connections between businesses and their clientele.Predictive Analytics for Proactive Customer ServiceContact centers are leveraging AI-driven predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and issues before they arise. By analyzing historical data and patterns, AI algorithms can predict potential issues, enabling proactive customer service. This not only prevents problems from escalating but also demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction by addressing concerns before customers are even aware of them.Optimizing Workforce ManagementAI is proving instrumental in optimizing workforce management within contact centers. Through advanced algorithms, AI assists in forecasting call volumes, determining optimal staffing levels, and scheduling breaks to ensure agents are available when needed most. This level of precision enhances operational efficiency, reduces costs, and ensures that customer service levels remain consistently high.Personalization at ScaleThe era of one-size-fits-all customer service is rapidly fading, thanks to AI's ability to deliver personalized experiences at scale. AI analyzes customer data to understand preferences, behaviors, and history, allowing businesses to tailor interactions to individual needs. This not only increases customer satisfaction but also strengthens brand loyalty by demonstrating a deep understanding of each customer's unique requirements.Security and ComplianceAI plays a crucial role in ensuring the security and compliance of contact center operations. Advanced authentication processes, such as voice biometrics and facial recognition, enhance security measures, protecting sensitive customer information. Additionally, AI algorithms help monitor and enforce compliance with regulatory standards, reducing the risk of data breaches and legal issues.Looking Ahead: The Future of AI in Contact CentersAs AI continues to evolve, so too will its impact on contact center solutions. The integration of technologies like machine learning, natural language understanding, and predictive analytics will become even more sophisticated, enabling contact centers to adapt to changing customer expectations and market dynamics.In conclusion, the impact of AI on contact center solutions is profound and multifaceted. From empowering agents to delivering personalized experiences, AI is reshaping the customer service landscape. As businesses recognize the value of these advancements, the adoption of AI in contact centers is set to become not just a competitive advantage but a fundamental necessity for success in the modern business environment.

CNN heads to Dubai for COP28 for dedicated, multi-platform coverage

CNN will bring full coverage of COP28 across TV and Digital with a range of live programming, reporting and features content, as global leaders and industry representatives gather in Dubai for the critical climate summit. In the run up to the summit, CNN will broadcast a series of TV packages titled Road to COP, spotlighting some of the key topics on the agenda this year and analyzing what is at stake. Then, as COP itself kicks off on 30 November Becky Anderson will anchor CNN International’s flagship Middle East program Connect the World with Becky Anderson, live from the Dubai Expo site.Anderson will be joined on the ground by David McKenzie and Eleni Giokos, providing regular updates throughout and bringing their own experience of reporting on the climate crisis around the world.Christopher Lamb, CNN’s Vatican correspondent, will also join the team this year to cover the historic visit of Pope Francis, the first pontiff to attend a COP meeting. CNN Digital will bring daily stories on the latest developments and feature in-depth content on the key issues on a dedicated page at year, CNN’s multi-platform coverage is also complemented by several events and activations on the ground at COP. The team behind As Equals – CNN’s cross-platform series dedicated to reporting on gender inequality – is collaborating with CNN Photos to host a photo exhibition and panel discussion on 4 December.  Moderated by Eliza Anayngwe, Editor of As Equals, the panel will explore how the climate crisis is affecting women and girls in the global south. On 30 November, Eleni Giokos will also moderate a discussion at Goals House ahead of a screening of highlights from Blue Carbon, a documentary co-produced by CNN Films about the coastal ecosystems that are crucial to the fight against climate change. Lastly, CNN’s Call to Earth Day, the network’s annual day of action to raise awareness of environmental issues, will take place on 28 November and serve as a perfect segue into CNN’s COP coverage.

Radio Bahrain launches inaugural Business Club

Radio Bahrain Company introduces Radio Bahrain Business Club, launched with an exclusive 3-day Business Growth Event held at the InterContinental Bahrain on 20-22 November 2023. The event was specifically designed to equip local businesses with new and innovative marketing ideas on how to engage and connect with more customers in 2024.The inaugural Business Growth Event was a resounding success with over 375 businesses from various industry sectors attending. Over the three days, multiple advisory workshops were presented to the participants, highlighting the latest marketing techniques to future-proof their businesses in the ever-changing business environment. The attendees were also introduced to the power of radio and the tangible impact it creates, showcasing the strength of the digital age radio industry.Commenting on the occasion, Omar Khalifa Shaheen, Radio Bahrain Company CEO, said: “We are delighted with the success of our first Business Growth Event where local businesses took advantage of free marketing advice and discovered who Radio Bahrain is and what Radio Bahrain Business Club has to offer, the impact, outcome and the unbeatable benefits it gives to the members. Limited number of Radio Bahrain Business Club memberships were available for the first year, and the demand exceeded our expectations with 90 per cent of the memberships taken before we were half way through the event. We look forward to working with our members for years to come and welcoming new members in future.”The event brought to light the value and growth Radio Bahrain and its services bring to businesses of all sizes, across all industries, and the mileage and reach Radio Bahrain boasts as a leading institution among the regional media. Radio Bahrain Business Club is a concept set to tremendously develop and boost the sales and marketing of all industries, strengthening the dynamics of businesses, ensuring guaranteed reach to their target consumers and retaining them. This includes harnessing the integrated power of broadcast and digital which Radio Bahrain strongly possesses following its digital transformation. Radio Bahrain offers three types of annual membership packages (Silver, Gold and Platinum) for its Business Club members, and a studied and exercised strategy ensuring a great return on investment for all businesses throughout the 12-month agreement. Memberships and services will come into effect from January 2024 – December 2024.The Business Growth Event is set to become an annual occurrence. Businesses that attended the event were given exclusive access to savings of up to 80% on their future marketing campaigns with Radio Bahrain.

Accenture Song to Drive Content Production Transformation for Accor

Accenture has been appointed by global hospitality group Accor to support its content production capability, driving scale and establishing consistency in local and global marketing communications across its hotel brands, tailored to guests’ evolving needs.Accenture Song, Accenture’s tech-powered creative group, created the ‘Content Atelier’, a new data-driven content supply chain model that aims to create personalized, flexible, efficient and high-quality marketing and communications content across every customer touchpoint, whilst reducing costs.Spanning both physical and digital communications, the ‘Content Atelier’ will be available to all Accor marketing professionals worldwide, enabling content production management from the initial brief to performance measurement and content optimization. The service has been developed with leading design principles and utilizes Accenture’s SynOps platform for marketing and content operations, whilst being integrated into Accor’s infrastructure.Against a backdrop of changing guest expectations and global macroeconomic shifts, the ‘Content Atelier’ uses a data-led approach to enable Accor brand marketers to focus on their most important activities, whilst aiming to increase the effectiveness of its digital marketing programs, drive more traffic to its branded website, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.Technological innovation is key to the design of the service, with generative AI part of the strategic content production roadmap. In support of Accor’s commitment to shape the future of travel, sustainability sits at the core of all content production activities through brand and marketing strategy to marketing content activation.Stéphanie Jaffré, SVP Digital Marketing & eCommerce, Premium, Midscale & Economy Brands at Accor, said: "Accor is committed to extending hospitality and inspiring new opportunities and experiences for our guests. So, it is crucial we have the right framework in place to reach our guests in the right way at the right time on the right channels, to inspire and support their travel needs and desires. Consumer attention is not agnostic, it spreads across multiple digital channels and we need be able to communicate with our guests on all relevant platforms, particularly at the research and inspiration stage of the customer journey. Hospitality is all about connecting with people and through our new digital content strategy we can better connect with, inspire and serve our guests.”Martial Viudes, managing director, Accenture Song, said: “Together with Accor, we have redesigned the experience for Accor marketing professionals, aiming to optimize efficiency on a global level and ensure locally relevant, ultra-personalized experiences for its guests. We are proud to support Accor in creating a new generation of content production, harnessing our deep industry, creative and technical expertise. The development of the ‘Content Atelier’ serves each brand within the group according to their marketing ambitions, delivering bespoke and creative points of delight worldwide.”Accenture Song, which has been working with Accor's marketing and content teams for almost four years, is already producing the Group’s content in multiple countries in Europe.

Knowledge Summit 2023 discusses significance of enhancing cybersecurity

Dubai, UAE - On the sidelines of the eighth edition of the ‘Knowledge Summit,' a panel discussion titled ‘Shielding the future: Cybersecurity imperatives in the 5th industrial revolution’ stressed the current cybersecurity landscape, AI-driven threats, as well as essential defenses and tools necessary to counter cyber-attacks.The speakers of the sessions were Kawther Haciane, Security Leader for Gulf, Levant, and Pakistan, IBM; Sebastian Madden, Chief Corporate Development Officer, PGI, and Middle East Lead, CREST; and Salwa Alessa, Director of Information Security and Quality Governance, DETASAD. The session was moderated by Maliha Rashid, Managing Director and Security Lead, Accenture Middle East.Salwa Alessa underscored the need for organizations and individuals to possess enhanced cyber resilience, highlighting that the Middle East is the second-most targeted region globally for cyberattacks. She further highlighted the significance of channeling collective efforts to counter these threats.Alessa further emphasized the importance of ensuring that all employees in companies receive cybersecurity training to effectively combat and prevent cyber-attacks. She also highlighted the pivotal role of collaborations between governmental entities, several companies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to build a unified defense in cybersecurity.For his part, Sebastian Madden underlined the need for providing continuous cybersecurity training for all professionals, highlighting the need to possess the necessary skills to combat cyber threats. He also elaborated on the importance of communication, collaboration, writing, documentation, and leadership skills in combating cyber threats, pointing out that there is a significant need for a secure space for information exchange and sharing experiences.Madden further shed light on some cybersecurity initiatives in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, all of which aim to enhance cyber resilience in the Arabian Gulf region. He highlighted the necessity of keeping pace with various cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies and the need to enhance relevant skills.Kawther Haciane illuminated the central role of human interaction in enhancing cybersecurity. She underscored enhancing supply chain resilience, as a threat impacting a specific company could affect all other interconnected institutions.Haciane explained that the increasing volume of data presents significant security challenges, necessitating the integration of modern technologies like AI and machine learning into cybersecurity strategies, with human intervention being the primary defense.Haciane also emphasized concentrating on time in cybersecurity management, especially given the rapid changes in today’s technology.The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) is organizing the eighth edition of the ‘Knowledge Summit’ in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the theme ‘Knowledge Cities and the Fifth Industrial Revolution.’ The summit is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Center between November 21 and 22, with virtual sessions continuing on November 23, 2023. The summit features a broad participation of experts, leaders, government officials, and specialists from various fields worldwide.

Dubai’s OSN to merge OSN+ with streaming app Anghami

Dubai-based broadcaster OSN is to merge its streaming platform OSN+ with streaming app Anghami after signing a conditional binding agreement. Dubai-based OSN, a subsidiary of Kuwait-listed KIPCO, will inject up to $50 million into Abu Dhabi-based Anghami for a majority stake in the app. The transaction is subject to approvals and is expected to be finalised in early 2024, a Boursa Kuwait filing from KIPCO said Tuesday. The new entity will have more than 120 million registered users, 2.5 million paying subscribers and $100 million in revenue, the companies said in a joint statement. Abu Dhabi-based Anghami received $5 million in investment from Saudi Arabia’s SRMG Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tadawul-listed Saudi Research and Media Group SJSC, in August.Anghami has a number of regional investors including Middle East Venture Partners, Mobily Ventures Holding WLL, with Shuaa Asset Management holding the largest share at 15.55% according to Refinitiv data.

Spica Media Intelligence, Huawei Technologies unveil media partnership

Spica Media Intelligence and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. have unveiled a groundbreaking media partnership at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre during the World Media Congress. This collaboration represents a significant advancement in media technology, with a focus on television broadcasting quality monitoring.Key highlights of the partnership and featured technology include:1. Media Cooperation:The collaboration aims to promote media cooperation at the World Media Congress, concentrating on presenting cutting-edge technology in television broadcasting quality monitoring. This technology, developed by Spica Media Intelligence, is showcased through Huawei's "Broadcast quality control system."2. Technology Display:Huawei will showcase Spica's advanced technology, highlighting innovation in television broadcasting quality monitoring. The "Broadcast quality control system" streamlines the monitoring and recording process of signal strength and broadcast quality for television channels transmitted via satellite or OTT platforms.3. Achievement for Regional Companies:Spica's CEO, Mr. Bahaa Qasim, sees this partnership as a significant achievement for regional companies, demonstrating their ability to develop advanced technologies recognized by international giants like Huawei.4. Real-Time Monitoring:The Spica-developed system enables real-time monitoring and recording of signal strength and broadcast quality, facilitating quick reactions to interruptions. Automatic alert messages are sent during interruptions, making it a crucial tool for media institutions and regulatory agencies.5. Enhancing Media Quality:The system is considered an effective tool for improving the quality of services provided by media institutions. It supports regulatory agencies in monitoring the media with ease, professionalism, and high accuracy, helping them achieve their objectives in the media sector.6. Database and Reports:The system provides a substantial database for generating diverse, comprehensive, and informative reports. This feature aids in making informed decisions based on variables in the world of television broadcasting and OTT platforms.7. Weather-Resistant Devices:Utilizing devices secured against weather conditions, the system ensures service continuity unaffected by prevailing weather conditions. This enhances the reliability and continuity of monitoring services.8. MediaInsight360:In addition to the partnership announcement, Spica introduced "MediaInsight360" at the Gulf International Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX). This innovative service in comprehensive media monitoring is showcased on its platform during the World Media Congress.The collaboration between Spica Media Intelligence and Huawei symbolizes the synergy between regional expertise and global technology giants, contributing to advancements in media monitoring and broadcasting quality control.

Ad exodus: Elon Musk's antisemitic remarks shake X

Concerns over the proliferation of antisemitic content and discussions on the social media platform X have intensified, reaching a critical point with advertisers like Apple Inc. pulling out their ads. Musk, who actively interacts with antisemitic users on X, endorsed a post asserting that Jewish people have a "dialectical hatred" of white individuals, to which he responded, "You have said the actual truth."The White House termed Musk's response as "unacceptable," emphasizing its potential threat to Jewish communities. Shareholders of Tesla Inc., where Musk serves as CEO, have also voiced concerns, with some calling for his suspension.The controversy follows a report from Media Matters revealing advertisements from major companies, including IBM, Oracle, Apple, Bravo and Comcast's Xfinity, appearing alongside pro-Nazi content on X. IBM was quick to suspend ads on the platform until the situation is addressed.In response to the backlash, the European Commission, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Paramount Global, Walt Disney Co., and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. have all announced the withdrawal of their ads from X. The Anti-Defamation League reported a surge in antisemitism on X, increasing by over 900% in the week following the October 7 attack by Hamas.Musk has courted controversies in the past, including a satirical tweet comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. Some stakeholders, like Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki Inc., have expressed concern that Musk's actions are detrimental to the brand and overall reputation of his companies.Apple, a major advertiser on X, announced a pause in showing ads on X, reflecting the precarious nature of their relationship with Musk, who took over the platform last year. Musk's remarks coincide with a global rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.In the midst of this, Musk accused the Anti-Defamation League of undermining X's ad revenue by highlighting extremist content, contributing to a 60% decline in ad sales on the platform. The EC cited an alarming increase in disinformation and hate speech as a reason for staff to stop advertising on X.Despite X's efforts to address offensive content and label sensitive media, the controversy has triggered widespread concerns about the impact of Musk's statements on the brands associated with the platform. Shareholders and advocacy groups are calling for a response, ranging from censure to potential removal of Musk from his positions.

Forbes Middle East presents the 2023 class of 30 Under 30

Dubai: Forbes Middle East has unveiled its highly anticipated sixth annual 30 Under 30 list, showcasing the region’s most exceptional young talent making waves across diverse industries. This year’s list spotlights 120 entries spanning four main categories: Commerce and Finance, Entertainment, Science and Technology, and Social Impact. Each category has 30 entries.To be eligible for the 30 Under 30 list, applicants had to have been under 30 years old on December 31, 2022, meaning that anybody born in 1993 or later was eligible to be on the list. Candidates could have any nationality but had to have their primary impact in MENA.To find the region's most promising young talent, Forbes Middle East assessed more than 600 applications over several rounds of assessments. A shortlist of 240 candidates were then evaluated by independent external judges, all experts in their respective fields. Factors like candidates' impact on their industry, market, society, and future potential were considered. Quantifiable data such as funds raised, awards won, revenues, the value of deals, number of people impacted, number of customers, and number of social media followers were also taken into account.The Class of 2023 celebrates the achievements of 145 individuals representing 22 nationalities, with Egyptians leading the way with 44 individuals, followed by 15 Saudis, 14 Lebanese, 13 Emiratis, and 10 Jordanians. All honorees are based in the Middle East or have their primary business or conduct their core activities in the region. They are dispersed across 20 countries, showcasing the diversity and impact of the region’s emerging leaders. The U.A.E. is home to the most listees with 43 based in the emirates, 36 in Egypt, 14 in Saudi Arabia, nine in Lebanon, and six in Jordan.While each category has 30 entries, Commerce and Finance dominates with the highest number of individuals with 44, followed by Science and Technology and Social Impact with 34 each, and 33 in Entertainment. Among the impressive roster of honorees is Egyptian table tennis champion Hana Goda, the youngest listee at just 15, and 18-year-old Iraqi weightlifter Ali Ammar Rubaiawi. The average age of everyone on the list is 26.6 years old. The list also features Egyptian rapper Wegz and sports stars Mayar Sharif, Hana Gouda, Basant Hamida and Sarah Samir.Of the 145 individuals, 107 are entrepreneurs, making up 74% of the list. If one business had two cofounders or more under the age of 30, they were counted as one entry. Notably, Abdallah Abu Sheikh, leads U.A.E.-based Astra Tech, the highest-funded company on the list. The 28-year-old secured $500 million from G42 in 2022.Forbes Middle East is now finalizing an electrifying agenda for its flagship Under 30 Summit in El Gouna, Egypt in January 2024, which will gather together the Middle East’s esteemed Under 30 community, investors, and business leaders.

Meta, Christian Louboutin file joint lawsuit against counterfeiter

Meta and Christian Louboutin filed a joint lawsuit against an individual running a counterfeiting operation from Mexico. The defendant was using digital platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, to promote the sale of counterfeit Christian Louboutin products. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, claims the defendant violated Meta’s Terms of Service and Instagram’s Terms of Use and infringed Christian Louboutin’s intellectual property rights by using Facebook and Instagram accounts to promote the sale of counterfeit goods. Our policies and Terms prohibit IP infringement, including the sale or promotion of counterfeit products. Consistent with this, we have taken multiple enforcement actions against the defendant’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp accounts. "We have implemented robust IP protection measures across our technologies, including proactive detection and enforcement, a global notice-and-takedown program and policies to suspend repeat infringers. In addition, we provide businesses with tools to report IP violations and prevent harm via Brand Rights Protection, Rights Manager and the Intellectual Property Reporting API. Our global team of trained professionals provides around-the-clock coverage removing infringing content in multiple languages. In the second half of 2022, we removed more than 1.7 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram in response to more than 180,000 counterfeit reports, and more than 115 million pieces of content before it was reported to us by a rights holder," said Jessica Romero, Director & Associate General Counsel, Litigation and Mark Fiore, Director & Associate General Counsel, IP.  "We continue to work to ensure Meta’s platforms are safe for people and businesses to connect, share and buy and sell together. This lawsuit is a clear signal to those who would seek to engage in similar abuses that this behavior will not be tolerated. Meta and Christian Louboutin plan to continue their enforcement efforts against counterfeiting and hold those who abuse our policies accountable."

DIEZ Elevates customer experience with sprinklr's conversational AI chatbots

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), home to more than 5000 companies across its three economic zones: Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Dubai CommerCity (DCC), has adopted Sprinklr’s cutting-edge Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) systems to elevate and refine its customer service capabilities.  As a prominent contributor to Dubai and the UAE’s economic development, DIEZ is keen to continuously strengthen its customer service processes to align with the evolving expectations of its valued stakeholders. In its ongoing pursuit of enhancing customer satisfaction, DIEZ has embarked on a journey to deploy AI-powered chatbots and integrate its customer service operations seamlessly across digital channels, employing Sprinklr's Conversational AI Chatbots, complemented by Sprinklr Service Seats and a Salesforce Connector.By harnessing the power of Sprinklr's Conversational AI and Unified-CXM platform, DIEZ will streamline its contact center operations, delivering rapid and efficient service on a multitude of channels, including live chat, email, and WhatsApp. DIEZ’s customer service agents will leverage Sprinklr's advanced capabilities to manage customer inquiries in multiple languages, all from a single, integrated Sprinklr dashboard. Sprinklr’s Salesforce integration will also aid in harmoniously adapting the overall customer experience.Badr Buhannad, Chief Corporate Support Officer at (DIEZ), said: "At the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), our mission has always been to drive economic growth and innovation in Dubai and the UAE. In this era of digital transformation and evolving customer expectations, our unwavering commitment to providing outstanding service through our customer’s preferred digital channels remains steadfast. Our collaboration with Sprinklr, harnessing their cutting-edge Conversational AI Engine and Unified-CXM platform, will redefine customer convenience and enhance the ease of doing business, in line with our objectives to deliver an exceptional experience seamlessly across different digital channels.”Sprinklr is equally enthusiastic about collaborating with DIEZ on this journey. Haitham Elkhatib, Vice President of MEA at Sprinklr, said, "DIEZ has been at the forefront of Dubai's economic development. We're honored to have the opportunity to support DIEZ in maintaining its customer-centric focus by building a digital global customer service center on Sprinklr's unified platform."DIEZ, at its core, plays a pivotal role in Dubai's economic ecosystem. It serves as a catalyst for business growth and investment, offering strategic economic zones and facilitating an environment conducive to innovation and commerce. By partnering with Sprinklr, DIEZ aims to bolster its commitment to customer-centricity, providing businesses within its economic zones with the tools and support needed to thrive in the modern digital landscape. This partnership marks a significant milestone for both DIEZ and Sprinklr, demonstrating the power of Sprinklr's conversational AI platform in delivering exceptional customer service and driving organizational growth.SHARE NOWMost Recent NewsAnsett Aviation Training launches Dubai training centre at the (MBRAH) during Dubai AirShow 2023DEWA and UAE Space Agency sign (MoU)DIEZ Elevates Customer Experience with Sprinklr's Conversational AI Chatbots

IBM enables responsible Enterprise AI with watsonx.governance

Cairo, Egypt - IBM announced the general availability (GA) of watsonx.governance in early December to help businesses automate AI lifecycle governance and proactively manage risk and compliance. This expands IBM’s industry-leading AI governance capabilities to help clients govern machine learning and generative AI tools, applications, and models in one place. Watsonx.governance is one of three software products in the IBM watsonx AI and data platform, along with a set of AI assistants designed to help enterprises scale and accelerate the impact of AI with trusted data. The platform also comprises the next-generation enterprise studio for AI builders and the open, hybrid, and governed data store.   In the first release of watsonx.governance, clients using LLM models within — including IBM-developed and various third-party models, such as Llama 2 and those from the Hugging Face community — will be able to govern them on the cloud. Consistent with IBM’s approach to open AI, IBM is expected to expand these capabilities in 1Q24 to allow clients to govern third-party AI models from any vendor — on cloud or on-premises — to orchestrate governance processes across their entire organizations. Watsonx.governance also can help clients facilitate compliance with internal policies, industry standards, current and future regulation. IBM believes in regulation at the use case level, with responsibilities on companies to operate trustworthy AI. To do this, there needs to be an understanding of how and with what data models are trained, how they arrive at their recommendations, and whether they are routinely screened for harmful bias. These priorities — transparency, explainability, safety and fairness — are the foundation of multiple proposals advancing worldwide for the regulation of AI. IBM watsonx.governance is designed to help clients manage their AI and prepare to meet those regulatory requirements head on.  IBM offers automated capabilities that cover all three major pillars of AI governance — lifecycle governance, risk management, and compliance. Expanded capabilities for LLMs include:  Monitor new LLM Metrics: Monitor and alert in both inputs and outputs of LLMs when pre-set thresholds are breached for quality metrics and drift, instances of toxic language — including hate, abuse, and profanity — and Personal Identifiable Information (PII).  Visibility into LLM development: Automatically collect information about the model building process, while explaining decisions to mitigate hallucinations and other new risks.  Transparency of AI Lifecycle for LLMs: Automatically document model facts across all stages of the lifecycle, monitor for drift for text models, and track health details such as data size, latency, and throughput to identify bottlenecks and compute intensive workloads.  Validation Tools for LLMs: Enable prompt engineers to map LLM outputs to provided context/reference data for Q&A use cases to determine whether the LLM is appropriately influenced by the reference data to help ensure it is relevant to the output.  IBM fosters open innovation and collaboration to help clients deploy AI in a transparent and responsible way. IBM Consulting helps clients scale responsible AI with both automated AI model governance and organizational AI governance that encompasses people, process and technology from IBM and strategic partners. Our consultants have deep skills in establishing organizational culture and accountability, AI ethics boards, training, regulatory and risk management and mitigating cybersecurity threats, all using human-centric design.IBM’s commitment to trust and transparency forms the foundation for its products. Recently, it announced intellectual property protection for its IBM-developed watsonx models. Watsonx.governance is a continued investment in helping to foster responsible AI practices across various business domains and industries.

Growing momentum for TikTok boycott in Saudi Arabia

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has been under scrutiny for several years, and the call for a boycott has gained momentum in Saudi Arabia. The hashtag "Boycott TikTok" is trending as users in the country report account suspensions and the removal of pro-Saudi content. Allegations include the deletion of Saudi accounts and the removal of videos supporting Saudi causes, while allowing content that portrays the country negatively.Recent incidents, such as the removal of a Palestinian man's TikTok account for praising Saudi aid during the Hamas-Israel conflict, have fueled the boycott. This movement has led to a decline in the number of Saudi users and a drop in TikTok's rating from 4.4 to 4.3 on app stores. Renowned Emirati artist Ahlam and other celebrities have announced their boycott in solidarity with Saudi Arabia.In response to the growing boycott, TikTok's official Middle East account posted a statement on the platform. While the post is in Arabic, a translation emphasizes TikTok's pride in its Saudi community, rejecting the allegations as contradictory to their policies and values. The statement asserts TikTok's commitment to community guidelines governing content management.Despite this response, the boycott continues to gain strength in Saudi Arabia, with the "Boycott TikTok" movement showing no signs of waning.

WAM signs MoC with Fujairah Government Media Office

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) and the Fujairah Government Media Office signed a media Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to coordinate and prepare for the Fujairah Media Forum, which will be held in February 2024 under the title “Parallel Media”.The agreement, which was signed on the sidelines of the second edition of the Global Media Congress, aims to enhance media cooperation between WAM and the Fujairah Government Media Office to achieve the media objectives declared therein, serving as the foundation for future cooperation related to various media affairs.Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency, affirmed the agency's keenness to cooperate with all national media talents and support them in their future projects, noting that Fujairah has made great strides in presenting remarkable media proposals in recent years, pointing out that the upcoming Fujairah Media Forum will be a point of attraction for decision-makers and heads of international media companies.For his part, Jamal Adam, Director of the Fujairah Government Media Office, said that the partnership with the WAM will support the upcoming Fujairah Media Forum, where the agency's expertise will be utilised through providing logistical support for the forum to be a major media partner, as well as its experience in launching the Global Media Congress.The agreement stipulates that the Emirates News Agency will provide the necessary media support for the events of the Media Forum that will be held in Fujairah in February 2024, by publishing and broadcasting the media materials of the forum through its website and social media accounts, in addition to allocating a team of editors and photographers to cover the events of the forum.Based on the terms of the agreement, the Fujairah Government Media Office will avail WAM's services as a main media partner.

Next Broadcast Media opens access to podcast ad manager for all businesses

Next Broadcast Media opens access to its AI-powered ad manager, allowing any business to create and broadcast podcast and audio ads at a low cost and within minutes. Today, Next Broadcast Media (NBM) has made its self-serve advertising platform publicly available to all advertisers, including those running campaigns as low as $250, and in more than 50 global markets. The ad manager tool provides advertising capabilities for the podcast, digital audio, and web radio environment. It has been live for several months to select NBM customers, and is already showing early signs of success.NBM's Co-Founder Adel Saadi says: "AdManager.FM allows businesses that are curious about podcast and audio advertising, to get a taste at a scale that works for their needs and budgets. We see this solution being especially significant for SMEs that thrive on low cost - high return tactics, and want to do things fast. An Ad Manager campaign can be live in just 4 minutes and $250."Accessed at, the self-serve tool lets advertisers set up targeted podcast, web radio and digital audio campaigns at their own budget and pace. The added AI integration provides instant (and free) script writing services, plus an option for professional recording.Adel adds: "The user interface is designed to be clean and simple, so anyone can set up and run campaigns . It's just a matter of inputting a budget, date range, and targeting, then moving onto the creative - which is all automated too using AI. That’s it, you're ready to go live!"  Next Broadcast Media, the developer of the tool, is a UAE-founded business that has grown to become one of the largest global podcast and digital audio advertising networks, and operates globally.“We’ve been working in the digital audio space for five years, and in that time we’ve seen an explosion in listener numbers, podcast creators, and brands seeking advertising. We have also seen that there’s barriers to access, especially for small businesses. Resources and minimum media spend being a common problem. was developed as part of our commitment to making audio advertising affordable, accessible, and effective - for every business. It’s one platform where our customers can access inventory for all the leading music, podcast, web radio and gaming platforms - and have full control over it too.With low investment all businesses can now see first-hand the impact that's possible." says Adel.“We are not stopping here, our audio network is constantly growing, and this tool will develop and evolve too. We have many exciting additions coming soon.”

Viory secures multiple new deals at Global Media Congress

Viory, the video news agency of the Global South, today formally signed a raft of new agreements during a VIP Launch Summit hosted by the brand on the opening day of the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE.During the ceremony attended by the Viory team, and an array of distinguished guests, partners and senior delegates from the Global Media Congress, the news agency signed agreements including:A memorandum of cooperation with UNA (Union of OIC News Agencies) focussing on the parties’ cooperation in the field of international news coverage, as well as the coverage of important events concerning the relations between the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the BRICS countries. This will include the provision of joint projects and knowledge sharing across both parties.A content licensing partnership with CCTV+ (CCTV News Content Co.) that will see content from CCTV+ being made available to Viory clients.Membership of the AUB (African Union of Broadcasting), under which Viory has committed to the training of media professionals in all fields of broadcasting, as well as content, to the AUBvision platformCommenting on the agreement between Viory and UNA, Mohammed bin Abd Rabbo Al Yami, Acting Director General of UNA, said: “Our union, which includes 57 member states, exists to enhance tolerance and coexistence. No doubt this Memorandum of Understanding, signed today between Viory and UNA, will result in more joint media activities between our Islamic countries and the world. My thanks to Viory for enhancing relationships with the Islamic world. Good luck Viory!”Gregoire Ndjaka, Chief Executive Officer of AUB, added: “We are proud to welcome Viory as a new member of the African Union of Broadcasting. It is very important and timely to welcome Viory, we need balanced information in Africa and we can see Viory as supporting the development of this. On behalf of all the members of the AUB, we wish Viory welcome. Viory: you are at home in Africa”Alongside its commitment to these agreements, Viory also hosted esteemed guests including; Mohammed bin Abd Rabbo Al Yami (Acting Director General of the Union of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (UNA)); Allamyrat Archayev (Head of Department of State Committee for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography of Turkmenistan); Li Xiaodong (Counsellor of the Chinese embassy to the UAE); Grégoire Ndjaka (Chief Executive Officer of the African Union of Broadcasting); Ahmed Nadeem (Secretary-General Chief Executive of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union); H.E. Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo (Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE.); H.E. Timur Zabirov (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Embassy to the United Arab Emirates); and Shadrack Ayanda Hollow (Chief Executive Officer of BRICS TV); each delivering their views on the news industry of today and welcoming Viory.Discussions at the event considered the rapid pace of technological advancements that are breaking down barriers once thought insurmountable, as well as emerging economic and intellectual hubs that are reshaping the global landscape. Importantly, conversation also touched on the weighty responsibility to capture these transformative changes comprehensively, ensuring that the global news picture is as objective and complete as possible. They also discussed the need for the industry, in particular agencies like Viory, to authentically empower and inform perspectives across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the CIS, and Latin America.Speakers were also joined by a selection of distinguished guests including H.E. Mr Reza Ameri (Ambassador of I.R of Iran to the United Arab Emirates); Ibrahim Khadim (Director of Licensing and Media Content Department, Ministry of Culture and Youth – UAE); Dr. Samir Al Attrach (Head of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission to UAE); H.E. Abdulaziz Akkulov (Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to UAE); Franzisco Kaluvi (Counsellor and Deputy Head of Embassy of Angola to UAE); Almazbek Esenaliev (Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Arab Emirates); and a host over other industry and public figures.The VIP summit today is one of a variety of activities Viory is undertaking surrounding The Global Media Congress as it unveils its first international hub in the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, UAE and formally launches its global operations this week. These activities include a significant presence at the Congress itself with a large purpose-built stand, engagement in a selection of main-stage speaking engagements, and a variety of side events culminating in a gala launch celebration taking place on the evening of November 16th.From its new headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Viory will focus on empowering and amplifying perspectives from the geographical, geopolitical, and developmental heartland that is the Global South. It shall provide exclusive breaking news across politics, technology, sports, and entertainment. The brand launched with a pre-assembled and growing team of over 150 full-time staff, and an established network of over 3000 video journalists across the world – ensuring presence on the ground wherever news breaks.Sourcing footage from where stories break, it acquires and produces global and regional breaking news thanks to an expansive international team that brings unmissable content from and to the Global South. Viory serves everyone from international media conglomerates to regional news outlets and individual citizen journalists.

The Netflix Cup Crowns Its Winners

After a hard fought battle, Carlos Sainz & Justin Thomas swung to victory winning the inaugural Netflix Cup title! The Netflix Cup, Netflix's first-ever live sports event, took place at Wynn Golf Club at Wynn Las Vegas earlier today, hosted by comedian, Bert Kreischer, PGA TOUR player Joel Dahmen, sports host Kay Adams, and NFL legendary running back Marshawn Lynch.In a clash of wheels and irons, four pairs consisting of one Formula 1 driver and one PGA TOUR professional played eight holes of match play, swinging through some surprise challenges. The match-ups included Lando Norris & Rickie Fowler VS Carlos Sainz & Justin Thomas and Alex Albon & Max Homa VS Pierre Gasly & Tony Finau.Additional highlights included surprise appearances from Mark Wahlberg, Blake Griffin, Steve Aoki, Collin Morikawa, and a Zoom appearance with Patrick Mahomes.

Businesses lost 9% of revenue from cyber attacks in 2022

Fastly, a leader in global edge cloud platforms, has today launched its new annual global cybersecurity report, uncovering the staggering impacts of cyber attacks on leading businesses across the globe, with each of these suffering an average of 46 known cyber attacks this year. This survey also reveals the hugely damaging financial effects of security breaches, with businesses losing 9% of their revenue over the last 12 months as a direct result of the cyber attacks they have suffered. But financial damage is not the only result of cyber attacks. Businesses also highlighted network outages (34%), data loss (29%), web applications being taken offline (24%) and customer account compromises (22%) as the most common damages caused by security breaches.Sean Leach, VP Technology at Fastly, explained why these cyber attacks are so damaging: “While the immediate results of a cyber attack can be extremely damaging, what really hits businesses hard is the time it takes them to recover from these. On average, it will take businesses 7.5 months to recover from the loss of client trust as a result of a cyber attack. That is highly sobering for organizations which cannot afford to lose business in today’s economic climate. Once trust is broken, it’s very difficult to recover. This means a single cyber attack - particularly one resulting in a customer data breach - will have long-term impacts on the business that suffers it. During an uncertain economy, the long-term financial consequences of suffering a security breach cannot be ignored.”In recognition of the financial implications of not having the correct security infrastructure in place, businesses are reevaluating their investments, with 76% planning to increase their cybersecurity budgets in the next year. Despite this increase, uncertainty continues to reign in security teams, with 35% of security professionals feeling they spent too much on cybersecurity tools in the last 12 months, compared to 18% who feel they did not spend enough. Representative of this conflicted spending strategy is the fact that only 55% of security tools are being fully deployed, representing significant money left on the table in the fight against cyber criminals.The diminishing talent pool in security is also causing issues. In fact 30% of cybersecurity professionals estimate that security issues in the last 12 months were caused by the talent shortage, with 33% predicting this will continue in the next 12 months. Accordingly, over the past year 47% of businesses have increased their talent-specific budgets to solve the problems presented by the existing talent pool. A lack of experience dealing with new threats (46%), a lack of necessary skills (36%), and an inability to work at scale (36%) are seen by security professionals to be the core challenges facing the talent pool, which have significantly complicated the hiring process.One potential solution to these challenges is Generative AI, which 51% of security professionals are expected to invest in over the next two years. This is also the top security priority for businesses over the next 12 months, with 37% focussing on AI security. This increased prioritization comes as a result of the double-edged sword Generative AI presents. On one hand, it is predicted to be the 2nd most prevalent threat driver in the next year, but on the other, in the same time period 75% of cybersecurity professionals estimate Generative AI’s impact will be positive.Leach added: “Despite now prioritizing the resolution of challenges related to the talent pool for the last two years, many businesses continue to try to address these by simply spending more. While this strategy can help businesses to secure the top talent, it ignores the technological developments - and alternative solutions - that can help security teams overcome their personnel challenges. Among these, we’ve seen that Managed Security Services (MSS) and Generative AI have been particular focus areas as businesses look to reduce the toil for their in-house security teams by taking time-consuming work off their hands to increase productivity, unlock new opportunities for innovation and ensure businesses are better protected across their attack surface.”

Google pays Apple 36% of search ad revenue from Safari

Google pays Apple 36% of its search advertising revenue from Safari under their search default agreement. This was revealed in an open court in the US during the ongoing anti-trust case against Google filed by the US Department of Justice. The revelation, made by an Alphabet witness, Professor Kevin Murphy from the University of Chicago, was hitherto unknown to the world. And it is a testament to the financial gains for both companies, who have been reluctant to disclose such details due to potential anticompetitive concerns.The revelation was unexpected and came as part of Alphabet's defense against the Justice Department's claims of Google illegally maintaining dominance in search and advertising markets. According to a Bloomberg report, The Williams & Connolly antitrust partner, John Schmidtlein, reportedly reacted visibly when the figure was disclosed.The focal point of the proceedings revolves around the search default agreement, with Judge Amit Mehta characterizing the Apple-Google deal as the case's "core." Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates that Apple stands to generate $19 billion in revenue in 2023 through the search engine default deal with Google.It was also revealed during the trial that Google has paid more than $26bn to companies like Samsung, Apple, Mozilla, etc. for making Google as the default search engine. While testifying, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai tried to defend such agreements, but competitors, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, have expressed criticism, viewing the arrangement as harmful to their businesses. According to Nadella, the ongoing discussions with Apple regarding a default search engine deal for Microsoft's Bing had not resulted in an agreement, even if it entailed short-term losses. He underscored that the notion of an "open web" is deceptive, contending that what truly exists is the "Google web."

YouTube unveils stricter rules for AI-generated content

YouTube will incorporate disclosure requirements and regulations for content generated using artificial intelligence (AI). These upcoming changes are part of the platform's initiative to integrate and adapt to generative AI, wrote Jennifer Flannery O’Connor and Emily Moxley, vice presidents of product management at YouTube, in a blog post. Expressing enthusiasm about the potential of this technology, O’Connor and Moxley emphasized the profound impact it will have on creative industries in the years to come. They stated: “We’re taking the time to balance these benefits with ensuring the continued safety of our community at this pivotal moment — and we’ll work hand-in-hand with creators, artists, and others across the creative industries to build a future that benefits us all.”The disclosure requirements and new content labels will be rolled out in the coming months, obliging creators to specify whether content has been manipulated or artificially generated, with or without the use of AI tools. According to the post, this new label will be added to the description panel or, for sensitive topics, displayed more prominently on the video player. Creators who fail to disclose such information could face penalties, including content removal. Additionally, YouTube plans to introduce a feature allowing individuals to request the removal of AI-generated or synthetically altered content mimicking the face, voice, or other identifiable characteristics of a person.Requests to remove material that is a parody or involves well-known individuals will be subject to a higher standard. Simultaneously, YouTube is actively enhancing the speed and accuracy of its content moderation systems, incorporating both human reviewers and machine learning technology.This announcement follows Meta's recent declaration about imposing new controls on AI-generated ads in anticipation of the 2024 presidential election.

Huawei Cloud unveils E³ Model at Global Media Congress 2023

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Huawei Cloud made a remarkable presence at the Global Media Congress 2023, a top media industry international gathering platform hosted in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre - ADNEC.With the media industry accelerated change, and the need of media to adapt into new approaches and business models, the Global Media Congress 2023 provides an ideal opportunity for media organizations and businesses to meet with thought leaders from around the globe to learn about the latest trends, share knowledge and experiences, and collaborate on news ideas related to the advanced technologies, solutions, products, services aimed at thriving the future of the media industry.As Cloud Sponsor of the Global Media Congress 2023, Huawei Cloud presence at the event provided a comprehensive view redefining the media and entertainment sector productivity with new experiences, capabilities and operational efficiencies to drive the evolution of the media industry. The company demonstrated its commitment to the "Everything as a Service" philosophy, and the exhibition area did not only highlight Huawei Cloud's achievements but also underscores its role in revolutionizing the media and entertainment industry, facilitating efficient content production, enabling ultra-low latency live streaming for OTT platforms, and empowering businesses with continuous innovation through the MetaStudio Digital Production Line.Moreover, the exhibition display area showcases Huawei Cloud's expertise in various horizontal solutions, including cloud-native technologies, database services, and AI-driven innovations. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore how Huawei Cloud's cutting-edge solutions are shaping the digital landscape and driving businesses towards a more connected and intelligent future.During the Huawei Cloud Media and Entertainment Forum, Huawei Cloud introduced its innovative E³ Model, which addresses the demands of the media and entertainment industry in three key areas: content production, content distribution, and business innovation.The E³ Model, which stands for "New Efficiency, New Experience, New Evolution", promises to usher in a new era of productivity enhancement, improved user experiences, and business growth for the media and entertainment industry.Unlock New Growth for Media & Entertainment IndustryRoy Luo, Vice President of Cloud Consulting Solution Sales at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, delivered an opening speech. He highlighted, “Innovation has always been the core of Huawei Cloud, and we are committed to provide systematic innovation for your digital journey. Wherever your business goes, our cloud goes.”Roy also emphasized Huawei Cloud's key pillars for success: "Technical innovation", keeping solutions cutting-edge; "Industry leadership", setting standards and best practices, and "Market leadership", thriving in a dynamic cloud market. Huawei Cloud is dedicated to delivering value and transforming industries.?Roy Luo, Vice President of Cloud Consulting Solution Sales at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia?Inspire New Growth with Partners and CustomersLocal enterprise representatives also shared about their development and Huawei Cloud's cooperation prospects.Eva Wu, XRender Global Business Development Executive, unveiled the partnership's latest strides in enhancing 3D rendering capabilities on Huawei Cloud. She highlighted XRender's ongoing collaboration with Huawei, emphasizing the global reach of their cooperation. Eva also discussed the pain points faced by the traditional rendering industry, focusing on cost, operations, and management, and explained how the joint XRender-Huawei Cloud rendering solution significantly improves rendering efficiency while reducing costs. This presentation underscores the commitment to revolutionizing the 3D rendering industry, providing customers with cost-effective and efficient solutions.?Eva Wu, XRender Global Business Development Executive?Kevin Zhang, Solution Expert at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, and Eyad Marei, Solution Expert at Huawei Cloud Middle East & Central Asia, has also spot light on Huawei platforms that accelerates content production efficiency, making virtual humans accessible for content creators, and presented new solutions for the OTT industry that ensures exceptional content quality and user experiences.Jerome Goubier, Head of Sales at Vianeos, shared invaluable insights into the world of OTT and monetization. During his presentation, Jerome shed light on the dynamic landscape of OTT and its potential for monetization. He introduced two remarkable solutions by Vianeos: OctoAds, Ads insertion solution for OTT, and OctoReco, cutting-edge recommendation engine. These tools were showcased as pivotal in delivering optimized content experiences to viewers.In collaboration with Huawei Cloud, Jerome outlined the vision for achieving data-driven personalized viewing experiences. This partnership empowers OTT providers to enhance viewer engagement and maximize revenues by harnessing the power of data analytics.?Jerome Goubier, Head of Sales at Vianeos?Huawei Cloud's prominent presence at the Global Media Congress 2023 in Abu Dhabi has marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of the media and entertainment industry. The introduction of the E³ Model, along with an array of cutting-edge solutions, highlights our unwavering commitment to redefining productivity and delivering premium user experiences.

New video news agency ‘Viory’ launches at Abu Dhabi Global Media Congress

Abu Dhabi: Viory, the video news agency of the Global South, today formally launches its operations, unveiling its first international hub in the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Selecting the Global Media Congress 2023 to unveil its offer, it today showcases the culmination of months of preparatory work undertaken by its team in developing a robust and industry-leading international footprint.From its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Viory will focus on empowering and amplifying perspectives from the geographical, geopolitical, and developmental heartland that is the Global South. It shall provide exclusive breaking news across politics, technology, sports, and entertainment. Sourcing footage from where stories break, Viory acquires and produces global and regional breaking news thanks to an expansive international team that ensures it brings unmissable content from and to the Global South. Viory serves everyone from international media conglomerates to regional news outlets and individual citizen journalists.Alex Kobia, Africa Distribution Lead, Viory, comments: “Viory represents a new era in news reporting, dedicated to empowering and amplifying perspectives from the Global South. Our mission is to provide a platform for stories that need to be heard. We’re incredibly excited to begin our operations here in Abu Dhabi, and the Global Media Congress is the perfect event to showcase Viory to the world."Viory launches with a pre-assembled team of over 150 full-time staff, and an established network of over 3000 video journalists across the world – ensuring they have people on the ground wherever news breaks. They continue to grow their team each day, and are actively pursuing a large-scale recruitment drive across the UAE and beyond.The team has forged a host of content exchanges with providers globally to offer an archive of over 150,000 video packages to clients, immediately. This is combined with active production which has been rolled-out pre-launch to ensure an average of 50 video packages are produced daily, alongside 300 hours of live content per month.Viory’s experienced team is comprised of professionals from across the news and agency landscape covering all aspects of technical and journalistic expertise with over 38 languages spoken, in-house. This diverse provides translations for simultaneous live feeds in 8 languages (Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German and Turkish).Viory has taken a significant presence at this year’s Global Media Congress, seeing the team showcasing its offer on a large purpose-built stand, and engaging in a selection of mainstage, and side events throughout the three day conference.

Ras Al Khaimah shines at Global Media Congress: A beacon of innovation & culture

 Ras Al Khaimah welcomed visitors from around the world today to its immersive pavilion, which highlights the Emirate’s remarkable sustainable development journey, on the first day of the Global Media Congress (GMC) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court.  In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE’s northernmost Emirate showcased to national and international media stakeholders all the reasons why it is fast becoming the go-to destination in the region to live, work and explore.  Visitors to Ras Al Khaimah’s dynamic exhibition space, inspired by the colors of the natural world, were introduced to Ras Al Khaimah Government Media Office (RAKGMO) initiatives and strategic plans aimed at enhancing the Emirate’s presence on the global media scene, and to the Emirate’s sustainable development achievements, which have been put in place to ensure a bright future for current and future generations.Her Excellency Heba Fatani, Director General of RAKGMO, will participate in a keynote panel discussion tomorrow on ‘Nurturing Talent to Stimulate Creativity and Increased Opportunities in an Enhanced Media Ecosystem’ alongside other media leaders, which provides an opportunity to highlight Ras Al Khaimah’s growing contribution to the media landscape.  “Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah is attracting international recognition as a prime destination for living, working and exploring, with its exceptional quality of life, enticing opportunities for business and tourism, and a captivating natural environment at the heart of the narrative,” Ms. Fatani said. “It is our foremost objective to share the Emirate's inspiring stories with the world.”“RAKGMO continues to embrace innovation, creativity and cultural exchange, while celebrating the transformative power of the media to connect and communicate with audiences from around the world,” she continued. “We invite all attendees to visit Ras Al Khaimah’s pavilion, experience the beauty of Ras Al Khaimah, engage with our media experts and discover the exciting opportunities for collaboration and growth that our Emirate offers.”  Ras Al Khaimah Radio Authority Director-General and journalist Mohammed Ghanem Mustafa, hosted ‘The Live Broadcast’ from the pavilion, featuring leading figures from the media sector. It is the first radio show in the UAE to broadcast live across all three days of Global Media Congress.  This year’s Congress focuses on the themes of Sustainability; Innovation and Latest Technologies in Media; Sports Media; Youth, Education and the Future of Media. It offers a prominent platform for media professionals, journalists and industry leaders to connect and collaborate, and serves as a hub for meaningful discussion and networking opportunities that will positively impact and shape the future of the global media landscape.

Global Media Congress Day-1: Sessions on environment, new tech, content creation

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the first day of the Global Media Congress concluded at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) after a lively series of presentations, panel discussions and keynote speeches that brought together renowned figures from the world of media, communication, and technology.The day began with a keynote speech from H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence, who welcomed the Congress participants to the event and emphasized the media’s power to foster international cooperation, the sharing of essential values and interests, and an appreciation of human achievements across national boundaries.Adding his welcome to that of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan in a further keynote speech, Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for the Global Media Congress, observed that “our gathering today at this important global event gives us great scope to share ideas on contemporary challenges faced by the media sector along with investment opportunities that to help us advance best professional practices across multiple media sectors. We will also examine how we can build a future media industry that shares knowledge and information in ways that maximize the happiness of peoples and sustain the development of societies.”With the first day of the Congress taking in conjunction with COP28, there was a special focus on the role that the media can play in addressing environmental issues and climate change.Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “Today’s sessions affirmed the media’s potential to highlight key environmental and climate change issues and help drive real change to protect global ecosystems. The Global Media Congress is playing a decisive role as a forum for media leaders, creatives and activists to tackle one of the most critical issues faced by this generation and those to come. In keeping with the aspirations of our wise leadership, ADNEC Group remains dedicated to helping innovative ideas flourish and nurturing meaningful industry partnerships."This year’s Congress will also host 5 accompanying features – some being held for the first time – which include the innovation and startups platform with over 24 startups, the training and education feature with more than 30 workshops, the Future Media Labs with elite-level discussions in six closed sessions, the influencer innovation feature with dedicated dialogue sessions, and a new media sessions and round tables feature with experts, speakers, innovators and global media leaders.

BeIN Sports further demonstrates commitment to women’s football

beIN SPORTS is bringing some of the world’s best female footballers to MENA screens this month as the region’s leading sports broadcaster once again demonstrates its commitment to women’s sports by broadcasting the group stages of Europe’s UEFA Women’s Champions League (UEFA WCL) and Africa’s CAF Women’s Champions League (CAF WCL).The UEFA WCL returns today (14 November), with 16 teams battling it out to be crowned Europe’s best. Replicating the format of the men’s tournament, the women’s showpiece is set to culminate on 26 May 2024 in Bilbao. Barcelona, the reigning champions and home to last week’s Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati, get their quest for a third title underway at home to Benfica on Wednesday at 23:00 MECCA, while eight-time champions Lyon simultaneously travel to Slavia Praha. beIN will broadcast every match live with Arabic commentary on beIN SPORTS 1 and beIN SPORTS 2, and with English commentary on beIN SPORTS 1 ENGLISH and beIN SPORTS 2 ENGLISH.Other exciting ties from the first round of Europe’s premier women’s tournament include Bayern Munich hosting Roma on Wednesday night, as well as – 24 hours later – Paris travelling to Ajax and Real Madrid welcoming Chelsea. All matches will be broadcast live and exclusive on beIN. Further evidence of the broadcaster’s dedication to elevating the profile of women’s sports globally through its beINSPIRED initiative, the network is airing every match of the ongoing CAF WCL in Arabic on its free-to-air beIN SPORTS channel and beIN SPORTS 6, as well as select matches with English commentary on beIN SPORTS 2 ENGLISH. The African tournament kicked off on 5 November and features eight teams, including last year’s champions ASFAR Club of Morocco and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, winners of the inaugural tournament in 2021.Organised as a two-week standalone event in Cote d’Ivoire, the first round of matches saw Ampem Darkoa of Ghana – making their tournament debut – deliver a huge shock by defeating ASFAR 2-1. With ASFAR home to as many as seven of the Morocco national team squad that shone so brightly on beIN at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, the 10-time domestic champions have since got their quest for historic consecutive titles back on track with defeats of Huracanes of Equatorial Guinea and AS Mande of Mali.With ASFAR’s place in Wednesday’s semi-final now secure, the Moroccans can prepare for what promises to be a must-watch match-up with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, while the other semi-final pits Ampem Darkoa against Sporting Casablanca to determine who will contest the final on 18 November at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium. Don’t miss out on any of the action by subscribing to beIN here:

Anthology hosts EdTech conference in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:– Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, is hosting their annual conference for clients in the Middle East for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.More than 150 instiutional leaders, industy experts and instructors from 56 institutions across the Middle East are expected to attend the the two day conference on 13 – 14 November. The event is hosted by senior executives of Anthology, including Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren; President of Global Markets Joe Belanardo; and Senior Vice President of EMEA, Oleg Figlin.Anthology Together Middle East will feature keynotes by Anthology leaders and panel discussions on the most important issues facing higher education today, including the ethical and responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).Executives from Anthology will be joined on stage by leaders in their fields from universities across the Middle East.“Saudi Arabia is home to some of the world's leading higher education institutions,” said Anthology Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren. "We believe that these institutions, with their commitment to academic excellence, are at the forefront of shaping the future. Our choice to host this conference in Riyadh reflects our commitment to our clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, and our dedication to building solutions in direct partnership with our clients and the learners they serve.”Product and Report Launches at EventAnthology will launch their latest AI-facilitated feature, Authentic Assessments, at the event. Set for release in December, the feature in Blackboard Learn Ultra utilizes learning objectives and course material to develop prompts aligned to Bloom’s Taxonomy that promote critical thinking like analysing, creating, and evaluating. The feature addresses the evolving challenges of academic integrity in the era of artificial intelligence.News at the event also includes the results of a global survey conducted by Anthology on the use and perceptions of AI in higher education. More than 5,000 higher education leaders and current students from countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Brazil, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, participated in the survey.Key findings of the report highlight the positive approval of AI in Saudi Universities:49% of students in Saudi Arabia feel that artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionise education.Students in Saudi Arabia are among the most frequent users of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, with 32% saying they use the tools weekly. Students in Saudi Arabia reported the highest likelihood that their use of generative AI tools will increase significantly in the next six months.  Download report: AI in Higher Ed: Hype, Harm, or Help, Spotlight on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Anthology Together will conclude with an awards ceremony, recognizing excellence in education. The following institutions will be honoured on Tuesday, 14 November:Saudi Electronic University: Excellence in Inclusion and DiversityKing Faisal University: Excellence in InnovationAl-Qassim University: Excellence in InnovationKing Khalid University: Excellence in Community EngagementAl-Baha University: Excellence in Community Engagement "Rafed"Tabuk University: Excellence in Training and DevelopmentNajran University: Excellence in Training and DevelopmentHa'il University: Excellence in Advancement and TransitionShaqra University: Excellence in Advancement and TransitionBoard Middle East: 2023 Strategic Channel Partner

Oman Government incorporates Yepic’s Generative AI to relay real-time election

In a world-first end-to-end online election, the Oman government revealed its Shura election results to citizens in real-time using generative artificial intelligence (AI). The Ministry of Interior partnered with London-based generative AI startup Yepic AI to bring the election results to citizens in a more visual and engaging way. Yepic’s API enables the creation of high-quality videos at scale within minutes and in multiple languages, all made from a single photo. Its technology was used to create custom avatars reflective of the Omani community, who then delivered the election results in real-time to citizens over the course of the day.The elections reporting process is an AI-driven workflow that starts with online voting verified by AI-powered facial recognition technology. The results were then compiled and announced via scripts created by a large language model (LLM) specifically developed for the elections by AiCubes and then read out by Yepic’s AI presenters. The hope is that by serving information to citizens in a more visual, personalised and engaging way, civic participation in the election process will increase.On an hourly basis, 400 unique videos were generated, accessible via an app, and disseminated to each province. In total, Yepic AI produced over 10,000 state-of-the-art videos over the course of the day in six languages, including Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.Aaron Jones, Co-founder and CEO of Yepic AI, said: “Harnessing the power of generative AI to revolutionise the way election results are communicated is a momentous stride for Yepic AI and for Oman as a nation. We're deeply honored to collaborate with the Oman government on this pioneering venture. Our mission at Yepic AI is to transform the way we communicate through video. To see our technology being harnessed in this way is a testament to the fact we’re realising it. We're thrilled to be a part of this historical moment and look forward to continued collaboration with Oman as it looks to integrate AI into public services to enhance citizens' lives.”Ioannis Kazantzidis, Co-founder and CTO of Yepic AI said: "Our collaboration with the Oman government highlights the ocean of opportunities for real-time, personalised video content creation, ushering in a new era of innovation and engagement in the digital landscape. Real-time video generation integrated into workflows and at scale is the future of how we will interact with AI, and receive and deliver information. It has been great to work with Oman to be at the forefront of this work."Following the Oman government's Vision 2040, a strategy that prioritizes a diversified, dynamic and globalized economy, Yepic will continue to collaborate with Oman to enhance AI-driven digital experiences for its citizens.

Kaspersky to showcase its new technology at Black Hat MEA 2023

Riyadh: Kaspersky, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, has announced its participation in the highly anticipated Black Hat 2023 conference. Black Hat has long been a platform where industry pioneers come together to discuss the latest developments in cybersecurity.Kaspersky will take center stage to showcase its newly launched Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution, which allows organizations in the Kingdom to leverage Kaspersky's experts while saving IT security teams’ resources for threat analysis, investigation, and response. The service was made possible through the public cloud service provided by Saudi Cloud Computing Company (SCCC Alibaba Cloud) which allows Kaspersky’s customers to comply with data sovereignty and privacy guidelines.Kaspersky will also showcase its Threat Intelligence service which has become an essential tool for organizations to safeguard their assets comprehensively. Kaspersky researchers actively engage in monitoring and tracking 16 Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the surrounding region. These APT groups strategically select their primary victims, focusing on various sectors such as government entities, financial institutions, and manufacturing companies. This service enables organizations access to evidence-based knowledge, context, and actionable recommendations regarding cyber threats targeting their organization.Mohamad Hashem, General Manager of Kaspersky in KSA & Bahrain, expressed his excitement about the company's participation in Black Hat 2023: " Black Hat provides us with the perfect platform to discuss the vital cybersecurity issues and showcase our advanced cybersecurity solutions. With 16 years of experience in KSA, Kaspersky has consistently grown its business, achieving over 30% growth in the first three quarters of this year. We will continue working closely with governments and organizations to ensure they are protected throughout their digital transformation journey."Black Hat 2023 is set to be an exceptional event, with Kaspersky at the forefront of the cybersecurity conversation. We invite attendees to visit our booth to learn more about our MDR solution and discover how Kaspersky is dedicated to keeping organizations safe in an ever-evolving threat landscape.

Unilever and TikTok elevate #CleanTok collaboration with awards, branded content

Unilever and TikTok are extending their #CleanTok collaboration, with Unilever's Cleanipedia serving as the exclusive sponsor of the popular hashtag on TikTok. The collaboration, which began in June, has seen #CleanTok videos amass an impressive 98.5 billion lifetime views, showcasing increased engagement. Moreover, Unilever's Cleanipedia online portal, providing cleaning tips, has garnered 2.8 billion impressions and witnessed a 30% rise in web traffic.Building on this success, Unilever has unveiled the next phase of its global #CleanTok partnership with TikTok. This includes the introduction of a creator awards initiative and a new branded content campaign. The content campaign, titled "Dirty Deeds: A Kitchen Crime," comprises five short episodes and a teaser video. Developed in collaboration with creator Sam Cotton, the series will be featured on TikTok's dedicated #CleanTok hub and Unilever's Cleanipedia website.Additionally, the #CleanTok Awards will be launched by both companies to recognize innovative influencers, or "cleanfluencers," on TikTok. Unilever aims to sustain the positive impact of its partnership, resulting in increased web traffic and enhanced favorability for brands like Cif Cream Cleaner in the U.K.Interest in #CleanTok peaked during the pandemic, driven by Gen Z on TikTok, their preferred social media platform. Surveys indicate that 56% of TikTok users also seek comedy sketches on the platform. Leveraging this insight, "Dirty Deeds: A Kitchen Crime" was created, a soap opera-style series featuring animated versions of Unilever brands. This series is part of Unilever's Dirt is Good project, tailored for different markets. The storyline, revolving around a humorous love rivalry, was developed with influencer Sam Cotton and promoted by agency Gravity Road.The #CleanTok Awards will acknowledge excellence in categories like "Most Helpful Hack," "Most Motivational Sunday Reset," "Most OMG Extreme Clean," and "Most Satisfying ASMR." Winners receive complimentary Unilever Home Care products. A separate Spotless Creator competition offers a €4,000 cash prize for the most impressive cleaning transformations.Unilever's focus on #CleanTok aims to connect with new audiences, particularly Generation Z, and tap into purchasing behaviors influenced by TikTok's creator community. The trend of influencers using Cif Cream Cleaner for cleaning white sneakers led to a 38% increase in UK adults under 28 purchasing the brand, according to Kantar Worldpanel data cited by Unilever.

RT Arabic launches MENA-wide ad campaign

 RT Arabic has launched a major new advertising campaign throughout the Middle East and North Africa regions across digital, radio and out-of-home platforms targeting audiences across the region.With activations across the UAE, KSA, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Libya the campaign boldly states: ‘THEY try to silence our voice. YOU seek out the truth. WE meet at RT ARABIC’. It aims to re-energize the conversation around RT’s core editorial principle “Question More” and amplify the importance of having access to news as the right of all.“Access to news is the right of all. RT’s editorial line is embodied by its motto, Question More. We don’t dictate to our audience whom to believe. We give you the facts — you make the choice. This principle is what lies at the heart of the RT Arabic 2023 campaign. We want our audience to know that no matter what, RT Arabic will keep working for you,” commented RT Arabic Editor-in-Chief, Maya Manna.“Over the years mainstream western voices sought to shut-down RT’s access to platforms, and shut us out of conversations, including on social media and TV broadcasting platforms in Arabic. In doing so, they are not just trying to silence us, they are infringing upon our viewers’ and readers’ right of access to information,” she continued.RT journalists work tirelessly to bring audiences breaking news, vital stories and local and global voices alike, 24 hours a day. RT Arabic covers pressing regional and world events from an alternative point of view and through this new campaign it hopes that audiences will feel inspired to join the conversation, seek out the truth, and continue to question more.Since its launch in 2007, RT Arabic channel has become a trusted news source for millions of people throughout the Arabic-speaking world, covering stories often overlooked by the mainstream Western media and providing diverse perspectives on current affairs. It also acquaints international audiences with a Russian viewpoint on major global events.To make its reporting, programming and commentary even more current and relevant, RT Arabic has also launched two new programs, Studio Cairo and Studio Beirut. From these locations, hosts Mona Salman and Omar Solh keep their fingers on the pulse of everything that matters in the region.

OSN+ and Google Cloud collaborate on integration of new GenAI solution

 OSN+, the ultimate destination for premium entertainment, announced the integration of Google Cloud's Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations, a next generation large language model that builds on Google’s research in machine learning and AI. The announcement which took place during the annual Google Media Summit last week marks the first time in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where Google Cloud's Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations is provided to an entertainment streaming platform.Joe Kawkabani, CEO of OSN Group, commented: "In an ever-evolving entertainment landscape, OSN+ is dedicated to providing our viewers with cutting-edge experiences. Our collaboration with Google Cloud’s Vertex AI is a significant step forward in this direction. By integrating this GenAI solution, we aim to redefine the way users interact with our platform, making it more engaging and dynamic."Tarek Khalil, Director, Middle East and North Africa, Google Cloud said: "We are pleased to continue our partnership with OSN+ to bring the latest GenAI solution to the streaming platform. Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations will solve for the constraints of consumers who want assistance in discovering relevant content in a highly personalized and conversational way. AI is a powerful enabler and can be a major platform shift. That’s why we’re focused on making it easy and scalable for organizations to innovate with AI and that means expanding access to Google’s latest foundation models that have been rigorously tested in our own products."The vision of our collaboration and with the integration of Google Cloud's Vertex AI Search for Media Recommendations will enable OSN+ subscribers to interact with their own virtual assistant that will provide more accurate and personalized recommendations.

Snap unveils Lens Studio 5.0 with advanced AR capabilities

Snap Inc has unveiled Lens Studio 5.0 Beta, which offers several new benefits. The announcement was made at its sixth annual Lens Fest 2023 event. The new version of Lens Studio supports more advanced AR development by collaborative teams. The new version offers several new benefits such as:Better performance for building more complex AR projects, and now projects load 18x faster. The compamny teamed up with Open AI to offer a new ChatGPT Remote API. Now, any Lens developer can leverage ChatGPT in their Lenses, unlocking new types of learning, conversational, and creative experiences for Snapchatters. Also, a new 3D face mask generator enables anyone to build their first potentially viral self-expression Lens within a matter of seconds, combining Gen AI and Snap's state-of-the-art face mesh capabilities.5.0 Beta also supports version control tools like Git for better project management. Multiple developers will be able work on projects at the same time. AR developers from around the world attended the event to celebrate the innovation and creativity of community, and share new tools for building the next generation of AR experiences. According to Snap, there are now 330,000 developers building on Snap’s AR platform who have created nearly 3.5 million Lenses, which in the last year have been viewed by Snapchatters more than 3 trillion times.The company said that its mission is to offer this growing AR community the most advanced tools available to build next-generation experiences for the Snapchat community and beyond through Camera Kit and Spectacles. Beyond new tools, Snap is continually finding new ways to support developers as they build their business and audience on its platform. Last year Snap introduced Lenses with Digital Goods so developers could build business models directly into their Lenses. Now, Digital Goods are available to any developer so they can offer exclusive AR features within a Lens that Snapchatters can unlock for a fee. A new section of Lens Explorer will promote Lenses with Digital Goods so they’re easy for Snapchatters to find and try.Snap has also seen great momentum with our Lens Creator Rewards programme which kicked off this summer, offering a monthly reward of up to $7,200 dollars for top-performing Lenses in selection regions. In the first month, more than 45,000 Lenses opted in, generating over 5 billion Lens interactions by Snapchatters.

BeIN wins ‘Best Sports Strategy of the Year’ at BroadcastPro ME Summit & Awards

beIN MEDIA GROUP’s (‘beIN’) flagship channel beIN SPORTS, the leading sports broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), was awarded ‘Best Sports Strategy of the Year’ at the 13th edition of the BroadcastPro ME Summit & Awards, which celebrates excellence in the MENA entertainment, broadcast and satellite industries.In the ‘Best Sports Strategy of the Year’ category, beIN demonstrated its linear and digital nous with its extensive coverage of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM – which started as early as 500 days before the tournament kick off, with dedicated broadcast programmes, World Cup™ bulletins and highlight reels from previous games. Throughout the tournament, beIN produced 18+ hours of daily live coverage across each of its nine channels from more than 20 state-of-the-art studios featuring a broadcast team of more than 120 leading international and regional experts.On its linear channels, beIN SPORTS achieved record-breaking numbers, with a staggering 242.8m viewers across the region tuning in for the FIFA World CupTM final between Argentina and France – equating to 68 per cent of MENA’s total adult population, and an overall cumulative viewership of more than 5.4bn of the month-long tournament.Meanwhile, beIN’s digital presence was also hugely impressive as online videos accounted to 1.1bn views, totaling 33m hours of watch time, while the social media team underlined its commitment to go bigger and better than ever before, posting 3,400 times more than its previous World Cup™ coverage.Jassim Abdulrahman Al-Muftah, Director of Corporate Communications for beIN MENA said: “With the World Cup™ being hosted in an Arab country for the first time, we were committed to go above and beyond to provide exceptional coverage and the best viewing experience possible for our broadcast and digital viewers. This latest accolade underlines our continued drive for excellence in every aspect of the business and we look forward to delivering more success in the future.”The latest beIN accolade follows a double triumph for the company at the MENA Digital Awards last month, where they clinched top honours in two categories: ‘Best Use of Cross Platform Digital Content’ and ‘Best Use of Social Media’, as well as a Gold for the ‘Best Use of Digital and Social in Sports’ at the Sports Industry Awards 2023.

Global Media Congress 2023 set to showcase insights from leading global speakers

The conference at this year’s Global Media Congress, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, will feature a stellar array of distinguished speakers, panellists and moderators from across government, media, academic and industry sectors.With the theme of ‘Shaping the future of the media industry’, the Global Media Congress takes place from 14-16 November 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre – ADNEC, Abu Dhabi. Through a packed and extensive programme of keynote speeches and open floor sessions, the conference promises to deliver a diverse range of original insights on key themes affecting the media sector.  Senior UAE government leaders scheduled to speak include H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, UAE, who will deliver the Inaugural Speech, and H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, UAE, who will also give a keynote address. Through the conference’s engaging and informative ‘fireside’ chat format, attendees will be able to benefit from discussions led by H.H. Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahy?n, President and CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators, and H.E Mona Al Marri, Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) in the UAE.Organized by Capital Events part of ADNEC Group in strategic partnership with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the Second Edition of the Global Media Congress offers a critical platform for speakers to address leaders, business executives and professionals congregating from all over the world.Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for the Global Media Congress, said: “The diversity and importance of core media subjects under discussion at Global Media Congress testifies to the quality of this event as one of the leading gatherings in its sector. We are delighted to host an excellent programme of high-level speakers at the conference who will help attendees to better understand the rapid evolution of the media sector and the opportunities that are available for current and emerging professionals.”With sustainability being one of the key focus areas of this year’s edition, a much-anticipated session on 'Content Production in the Era of Sustainability' will feature a fireside chats with Laura Nix, an Oscar-Nominated and Peabody Award-Winning Director, who is based in the USA.Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “This year’s Second Edition of Global Media Congress will feature a world-class line-up of speakers discussing essential topics related to the future of the media. Drawing on the expertise of leaders from across the government and private sectors, the conference at the Global Media Congress will further consolidate Abu Dhabi’s position as a global leader in hosting international events that set the business agenda.”In the context of another key conference focus area of innovation and the latest technologies in media, Professor Charlie Beckett, Professor of Practice and Director of Polis at the London School of Economics in the UK, will give a keynote presentation on the Polis/LSE Journalism AI project.

Sharjah Media City participates in the Global Media Congress

Sharjah Media City ‘Shams’ is set to participate in the second edition of the Global Media Congress. The three-day congress, graciously held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center ‘ADNEC’ will take place between November 14th - 16th, 2023.HE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City ‘Shams’, expressed the City's commitment to participating in the 2023 Global Media Congress, as an adjunct to its strategic initiatives that have a significant impact on shaping the future of the global media sector, in line with the efforts of the United Arab Emirates.HE Al Midfa continues to emphasise that the City’s participation provides an opportunity for integration into the Global Media Congress, collaboration with organising entities, and achieving significant media gains. It also will foster knowledge and novel ideas as well as collaboration with experts and various professional institutions, in addition to contributing to the extensive efforts made by national institutions to prepare and ensure success of this global event.Talent DevelopmentHE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa will take part in a key dialogue session titled ‘Nurturing Talent to Stimulate Creativity and Increased Opportunities in an Enhanced Media Ecosystem’. In this session, he will discuss the role of cities and media centres, such as ‘Shams’, in creating an environment that fosters talent and encourages innovation within the media ecosystem. He will also discuss the central role of cooperation between media cities and educational institutions in nurturing young talents and preparing them for the media industry.He expressed hope that participants will share the essence of their production and experiences to achieve the congress’ goals. He also encourages specialists contributing in this global conference to share their valuable and practical recommendations to enhance international efforts in developing the media sector, and continue to provide reliable and diverse content that keeps pace with the rapid technological advancements in the world. This includes ongoing efforts to address climate challenges and contribute effectively to creating a more sustainable future for all.Artificial IntelligenceAbdullah Al Sharhan, Director of Creativity and Corporate Identity at Sharjah Media City ‘Shams’, will participate in a session titled "Future of Content in the Age of Generative AI”. During this session, he will introduce the "Create with Shams" platform and discuss the future of media content in the age of artificial intelligence, as well as generative artificial intelligence technologies, which have shown abilities to independently generate content at times. Al Sharhan will present potential trends and developments in content creation, including customisation and personalisation, automated content creation, multimedia creation, quality control, and fact-checking, as well as strategies for addressing these exciting developments."Shams Talks"‘Shams’ will launch "Shams Talks" as part of its dedicated pavilion at the global exhibition; this interactive and digital initiative will focus on a series of meetings through podcasts, YouTube, and other promising media outlets, reinforcing an open communication and transparency approach, promoting emerging media content, developing media skills, providing a space for experimentation and learning for content creators and journalists, and enriching interest in a series of growth-capable media publishing sessions.‘Shams’ invites all those interested in the media sector to visit its pavilion, which offers an overview of the city’s services across multiple sectors, including the media industry, business, and artificial intelligence.The second edition of the Global Media Congress 2023, organised by the ‘ADNEC’ group and the Emirates News Agency ‘WAM’, explores the latest developments in the media sector and its future prospects, building on the great success achieved in its first edition. The event features a selection of leading figures in the media industry, specialists, and global influencers, as well as academics, youth, and university students.The international event discusses various key topics over three days, focusing on environmental and sustainability media, media education, challenges, opportunities and innovations, as well as sports media and the role of new technologies and artificial intelligence.

Google eyes strategic investment in AI startup Character.AI

Google is in discussions to make a substantial investment, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, in Character.AI. This artificial intelligence chatbot startup is seeking capital to train models and meet the increasing demand from users, according to a Reuters report.The investment could be in the form of convertible notes, which would strengthen the existing relationship between Character.AI and Google. The startup uses Google’s cloud services and Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) to train its models.The startup was founded by Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, who used to work at Google. Character.AI enables individuals to engage in conversations with virtual representations of celebrities such as Billie Eilish or anime characters. Users can also craft their own chatbots and AI assistants.It offers a free service, but also has a subscription option that costs $9.99 a month for users who want to access a chatbot without waiting in line.Character.AI’s chatbots, which have different personalities and styles, have attracted users aged 18 to 24, who make up about 60% of its website traffic, according to Similarweb data. The startup aims to provide more fun and personal AI companions than other chatbots from OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.The company said that its website had 100 million monthly visits in the first six months after its launch.Character.AI is also seeking equity funding from venture capitalists, which could give the company a valuation of over $5 billion, sources said. In March, it raised $150 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz at a $1 billion valuation.The sources said that the talks with Google were not final and the terms could change.Google has been investing in AI startups, including $2 billion for model maker Anthropic in convertible notes, in addition to its previous equity investment. Anthropic uses Google’s cloud services and its latest TPUs.

Sharjah Publishing City supports publishers with benefits amounting to AED 3mln

 Under the directives of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority, the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone has announced a support package for publishers wishing to establish or relocate their businesses to the city, including financial incentives up to AED 3 million. Whether from within the country or anywhere in the world, publishers will be exempted from 90% of licensing and business establishment fees.This initiative embodies SPC Free Zone’s goals to advance the regional and global publishing industry. It asserts Sharjah's status as a destination for creative industries. The agreements with beneficiaries of this generous initiative commit to printing no less than five new books within 12 months.Mansour Al Hassani, Director of Publisher Services at the Sharjah Book Authority and Acting Director of SPC Free Zone, said: “This initiative exemplifies our steadfast dedication to fortifying our role as a global epicentre for publishing, printing and distribution. The SPC Free Zone is wholly committed to empowering investors to harness the full spectrum of our extraordinary opportunities and advantages. The Sharjah International Book Fair presents a distinct prospect for publishers to integrate into an international community that has chosen Sharjah as its corporate base. New entrants will have the chance to partake in the success that the SPC Free Zone has cultivated over the years, nurturing an environment conducive to collaboration, proficiency, and knowledge exchange within a competitive landscape”.He added that the initiative also reflects Sharjah's steadfast belief in the pivotal role of creative industries in the economy and, “SPC Free Zone’s unwavering commitment to support and nurture them through every possible means. We wholeheartedly welcome all publishers who share our vision and mission.”The initiative is a new step in Sharjah Book Authority’s journey to promote cultural dialogue between civilisations and support authors' creative, literary, and intellectual output in the region and the world. It aims to add hundreds of new titles to Arab and global libraries, provide new opportunities for authors to publish their works and present their visions to readers of various languages. The initiative targets publishers exhibiting in the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair.

AI to make $136 billion contribution to Saudi economy by 2030

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is poised to have a profound economic impact, with the potential to contribute an astounding $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and an anticipated injection of SR511 billion ($136 billion) into the Saudi national treasury, as reported by PR consultancy firm W7Worldwide, citing PwC.Moreover, AI is proving to be highly beneficial in the realm of public relations, as evidenced in a report titled "The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Relations Industry," published by W7Worldwide, a prominent marketing communication agency based in Saudi Arabia. This technology empowers professionals to scrutinize extensive datasets, enabling the detection of trends and patterns that enhance their comprehension of target audiences. This data-driven insight, in turn, facilitates the optimization of social media campaigns, the identification of potential influencers, the assessment of PR effectiveness, and the anticipation of forthcoming market and business trends.Additionally, AI chatbots and virtual assistants, like "ChatGPT," enhance user experiences by overseeing a wide array of tasks, including responding to customer inquiries, scheduling appointments, and even conducting interviews. This delegation of routine tasks liberates PR professionals to focus on more strategic responsibilities, such as formulating strategies and engaging with the media.The report underscores the pivotal role of AI in crafting PR content and tailoring its delivery to specific audiences by leveraging data pertaining to customer preferences, purchasing behaviors, interests, and ideal communication channels and timing. AI-powered writing tools excel in generating press releases, posts, blogs, and other written content with remarkable accuracy. However, it is important to note that, while these tools are invaluable in specific scenarios, they have not yet reached the level of sophistication required to fully replace human writers.Furthermore, the report addresses the challenges and mounting concerns related to AI's impact on the PR industry, encompassing worries about job displacement due to automation, the potential generation of misleading or fraudulent content necessitating stringent fact-checking, and ethical considerations regarding AI application, particularly concerning data privacy and bias.The report underscores the PR industry's ability to adapt, having effectively managed the digital transformation in previous instances. PR professionals have demonstrated their ability to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape and can replicate this success with AI. This entails staying informed about the latest AI technologies and applications, comprehending their functionality, and harnessing them to enhance their businesses and maintain their leadership within the industry.

Amazon trains massive AI model 'Olympus' to rival OpenAI, Alphabet

Amazon has formed a dedicated team to train a massive AI model called "Olympus," according to a Reuters report.Amazon is making a significant financial investment in this large language model (LLM) with the hope that it can compete with leading models developed by OpenAI and Alphabet, according to insider information.The "Olympus" model is said to possess a staggering 2 trillion parameters, potentially making it one of the largest models under development. In comparison, OpenAI's renowned GPT-4 model is reported to have one trillion parameters.Rohit Prasad, the former head of Alexa, is leading the team responsible for "Olympus" and now reports directly to CEO Andy Jassy. In his role as the head scientist for general artificial intelligence (AGI) at Amazon, Prasad has brought in researchers who were previously engaged with Alexa AI and the Amazon science team to collaborate on model training, thus consolidating AI efforts across the company with dedicated resources.Already Amazon has trained smaller models, such as Titan, and has also established partnerships with AI model startups like Anthropic and AI21 Labs, making these models available to users of Amazon Web Services (AWS).The insiders indicate that there is no specific timeline for the release of the new model.LLMs serve as the foundational technology for AI tools that learn from extensive datasets to generate responses akin to those of humans. Training larger AI models is a costly endeavor due to the substantial computing power required. In an earnings call in April, Amazon executives expressed their intention to increase investments in LLMs and generative AI while reducing expenditures in their retail business related to fulfillment and transportation.

Dubai Press Club and MBRU Join Forces for Specialized Health Media Training

The Dubai Press Club (DPC), in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), organised a training programme titled ‘Introduction to Health Science for Journalists’ focused on raising the capabilities of media professionals to cover healthcare-related topics. The initiative forms part of DPC’s ‘Advanced Journalism Program’ aimed at enhancing professional benchmarks in Arab media.Representing a synergistic partnership between the media and health sectors, the initiative is part of broader efforts to integrate high-quality specialised health coverage into mainstream media. The new programme was aimed at making journalists aware of the latest healthcare issues and providing them with the tools and frameworks needed to convey information regarding public health crises and pandemics accurately and responsibly.Dr. Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club, said: “Amidst the rapid transformations happening in the UAE and across the globe, this initiative was designed to enable journalists to keep pace with the emerging wave of developments in the health sector and beyond. With the rapidly evolving nature of healthcare, there is an urgent need for journalists to stay abreast of changing approaches to public health management and the vast new innovation and research in this vital sector. Guided by the vision of the UAE's leadership, we seek to work closely with various partners to raise the media’s expertise in addressing health challenges. In collaboration with MBRU, we created a set of training modules to raise journalists’ understanding of today’s healthcare landscape. Our goal is not only to enhance the depth of health coverage in the media but also inculcate a proactive mindset amongst media professionals and raise our community’s broader awareness and vigilance to deal with any future pandemics.”The organisation of the ‘Introduction to Health Science for Journalists’ programme is a testament to the close partnership between the media and healthcare sectors in Dubai to enhance coverage of health issues. The various components of the programme were structured to help media report on health issues with precision and insight. The four-day programme held at the Dubai Press Club sought to help journalists understand contemporary medical terms, interpret health data correctly and communicate statistics effectively.Dr. Amer Sharif, CEO of the Dubai Academic Health Corporation and President of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), said: “Our commitment to academic excellence and evidence-based healthcare journalism lies at the core of this programme. By equipping journalists with the essential principles of health sciences, we seek to provide them with the tools to navigate the complexities of this critical and transformative field. We extend our appreciation to all participants who joined us in this programme for recognising that it is our shared responsibility to safeguard the accuracy of healthcare reporting. We would also like to thank the Dubai Press Club for their partnership, invaluable contributions and support for the programme. Together, we can propel healthcare journalism towards a future where it plays a key role in creating a healthier, more informed society.”Through training sessions, immersive workshops and assessments, the programme taught participants to track and analyse health-related data, especially in times of health crises. Another key objective of the programme was to combat the potential ripple effects of misinformation resulting from a fragmented understanding of health issues.Building upon the previous outcomes of the ‘Advanced Journalism Program’ introduced in 2017, the latest specialised training is part of the Dubai Press Club’s commitment to raise professional standards in the media’s coverage of diverse sectors including politics, economics, culture and science. Significant previous initiatives undertaken by DPC as part of the ‘Advanced Journalism Program’ include the ‘Science Journalist Program’, organised in 2017 in collaboration with the Emirates Scientists Council and the ‘Advanced Economic Journalism’ programme held in 2018, with the support of DP World and delivered in collaboration with global media organisations including CNN, CNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, AFP, Sky News Arabia and Murdoch University.‘Introduction to Health Science for Journalists’ sought to provide journalists with the wider knowledge base needed to enhance their health reportage. Apart from foundational health principles, the session covered specialised topics such as anatomy, epidemiology, healthcare systems, medical research, clinical trials and clinical ethics.As part of efforts to further enrich their knowledge, resources and research capabilities, participants in the training programme were given a one-year membership to the Al Maktoum Medical Library at MBRU. The participants were also presented with certificates that acknowledge the proficiency they gained during the programme.

Warner Bros. Discovery loses 0.7 million streaming subscribers in Q3

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. has reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2023. Global streaming subscribers decreased 0.7 million to 95.1 million at the end of Q3 vs. 95.8 million subscribers at the end of Q2. However, global DTC ARPU was $7.82, a 6% increase vs. the prior year quarter. Barbie was the highest grossing film in Warner Bros. history, generating nearly $1.5 billion in global box office. The Nun II was the sixth film in The Conjuring Universe to cross $250 million in global box office. As a franchise, The Conjuring Universe has grossed nearly $2.3 billion globally, the most of any horror franchise. The company successfully launched news streaming service, CNN Max, in the US, on September 27, ahead of the October 5 launch of the Bleacher Report Sports Add-On tier. Total revenues were $9,979 million, an increase of 1% compared to the prior year quarter. David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, said: “I am very pleased with the strong financial results that our company delivered in Q3, underscored by 22% growth in Adjusted EBITDA and over $2 billion in free cash flow, putting us on track to meaningfully exceed $5 billion for the year and contributing to our nearly $12 billion in debt paydown to date. Among the highlights, our Direct-to-Consumer business had another profitable quarter with $111 million of Adjusted EBITDA and launched its new live-programming offerings with CNN Max and the Bleacher Report Add-On, which are showing early signs of contributing to increased engagement and lower churn on Max. We’ve made great strides in just 19 months and are excited to continue building on this strong momentum, as we focus on driving future growth and creating long-term value for our shareholders.” Other highlights: Net loss available to Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. was $(417) million, and included $1,758 million of pre-tax amortization driven by acquisition-related intangibles and $269 million of pre-tax restructuring expenses. Q3 total Adjusted EBITDA was $2,969 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased 22% ex-FX compared to the prior year quarter. Cash provided by operating activities increased to $2,516 million. Reported free cash flow increased to $2,059 million. Repaid $2.4 billion of debt during Q3. Ended the quarter with $2.4 billion of cash on hand, $45.3 billion of gross debt, and 4.2x net leverage.