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Programming note: Axios Media Trends is off for the next 2 weeks. By the time we return, California's Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will have officially taken effect.
Situational awareness: Longtime NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is retiring, Comcast said yesterday. He'll be replaced on January 1st by Jeff Shell, a TV and entertainment veteran who has been with Comcast for 15 years. Go deeper.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Thirty years into the internet era, content creators in many industries, like digital news publishing and music, still believe copyright regulations favor the interests of digital content distributors and make it difficult for them to make money.
Why it matters: Countries around the world are trying to address outdated copyright rules to protect the owners of intellectual property across several industries.
In the digital news publishing business, global copyright provisions in Europe and Australia are trying to tackle compensation to publishers for the distribution of their content.
In the music industry, Google-owned YouTube last year set up one of its most aggressive consumer-facing lobbying efforts ever to fight Europe's new copyright directive. The directive passed alongside the rule that forces Google to pay publishers in Europe.
The other side: Some legal scholars and activists feel the U.S. copyright regime is too protective of corporate ownership at the expense of fair use and public access to works, pointing to Congress' repeated extension of the copyright term.
PBS is creating a new broadcast show and digital series centered around issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, PBS Head of Digital Studios Brandon Arolfo said at a small PRNEWS event in Washington on Friday.
Why it matters: PBS is a publicly-funded broadcast network that was created to help educate the public, including kids. The network has always pushed to showcase diverse voices. In the past, conservative groups have criticized PBS for using taxpayer dollars to fund LGTBQ-friendly content.
Details: The series will include roughly a dozen YouTube videos and a broadcast component.
The big picture: It's not the first PBS series to focus on LGBTQ+ issues.
The bottom line: “As viewer habits continue to evolve, PBS is working to align content across linear and digital platforms in order to meet viewers where they are," the spokesperson said.
Media brands are under pressure to change their standards of what "family-friendly" looks like.
The big picture: The pressure isn't just coming from activist groups, but also corporate advertising partners, which are under enormous pressure today to take a stand on social issues.
The bottom line: The industry is changing fast.
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Girlboss Rally NYC 2018
Attention Capital, the new media and technology investment firm, announced Tuesday morning that it's acquiring Girlboss, a media company geared towards female millennials that was founded by female fashion entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso.
The big picture: It's the latest example of a venture group consolidating smaller media startups or struggling legacy media brands.
The goal of the acquisition is to grow the brand and scale to new platforms, products, and events globally.
What's next: As Axios has previously reported, Attention Capital is looking to raise nearly $500 million to invest in everything from measurement companies to news brands and entertainment upstarts, per sources.
👀 ICYMI: Brendan Ripp, former EVP of corporate advertising partnerships at Disney, has joined Attention Capital to lead the firm's revenue strategy.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Facebook is spending six figures to fund a course on manipulated media and deepfakes for newsrooms, executives tell Axios.
Details: The free e-learning course, called "Identifying and Tackling Manipulated Media," seeks to help journalists globally learn how to identify photos or videos that have been altered to present inaccurate information.
The big picture: Facebook has invested a lot of resources in identifying deepfakes and manipulated video, but has been criticized for the way it enforces its deepfake policies.
What they're saying: Hazel Baker, Reuters' head of user-generated content news-gathering, who created the course, says that the goal was to help newsrooms understand where and how they should be looking.
What's next: The FTC's preemptive strike on Facebook
Netflix released its revenue and subscription data by region for first time yesterday, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes.
Be smart: Netflix's streaming business in the North America is still growing, but the platform — like other consumer media companies — is increasingly looking to other regions to continue its growth when business inevitably slows down at home.
Illustration:Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The New York Times began conducting field tests of its new 5G technologies on the sidelines of Sunday's Giants vs. Dolphins game, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: The New York Times head of research and development Marc Lavallee says that the company is preparing for a slew of 5G firsts next year, like the first 5G Super Bowl and the first 5G Olympics.
The first experiment at Sunday's game involved using a small device called a "backpack" that can transmit media through 5G signal available at the stadium. (About half of NFL stadiums are currently wired for 5G.)
The second experiment took place in the late summer during Hurricane Dorian. The Times used 5G equipment as part of its reporting process to speed up the way it captured 360-degree videos and images of the storm's damage.
The big picture: The New York Times set up a 5G lab at beginning 2019 with the backing of Verizon, knowing that a full 5G rollout would take years. It's one of several newsrooms beginning to experiment with ways that 5G will change journalism.
Our thought bubble: 5G, for now, is like the new AR or VR. It's not widely accessible, but big newsrooms want to start experimenting with it so that they will be ahead of the curve when it eventually reaches mass consumer adoption.
If it weren't for the Olympics and the election next year, TV advertising sales would be down again next year, according to MAGNA, an advertising firm.
Why it matters: Engaged live audiences have become a commodity for advertisers, and they are willing to spend big.
Driving the news: NBC Sports has sold $1 billion in national ad sales for Olympics, executives said on a call last week. The company is on track to beat its prior record of $1.2 billion in domestic ad sales during the Rio 2016 games.