X's sports betting

February 12, 2024

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The day after the Super Bowl should become a national holiday. And as much as we hope for that to come true, we’ll have to settle for a historic Super Bowl LVIII. Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs for another win, Usher for an entertaining half time show, all the commercials for a job well done, and Beyoncé for releasing new music. On to the next one…

Top Trends

X → #SuperBowl

Google → Paul Giamatti

Reddit → Russia

TikTok → “Unwritten”

Spotify → “HISS”

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X gambles on sports // Illustration by Kate Walker

X, the new… sports betting platform?

The Future. BetMGM, the sports betting operator, has partnered with X to make its services available on the platform. The move could remake X as a betting hub and fix its revenue problem or accelerate the mass exodus of reputable advertisers from the site.

A calculated risk
As of Friday, BetMGM is officially X’s “exclusive Live Odds Sports Betting partner.”

  • Initially, this service will require X users to click through to BetMGM in order to place bets, but in the future, they may be able to place bets on X directly.

  • At first, users will only be able to bet on pro football, but other professional and college sports will become available over time.

  • The deal marks yet another pivot towards making X an “everything app” that features online shopping and subscriptions in addition to text-based content.

All in
Recent leaks and teased interviews have boosted X’s popularity, but financially, the platform is struggling. Elon Musk has already alienated advertisers with his erratic behavior and problematic views. 

A turn to sports betting could make the platform money — and untouchable for advertisers.

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YouTube is one to watch

YouTube is secretly Hollywood’s biggest threat

The Future. Hollywood’s been afraid of Netflix (as they should be) ever since the platform won the streaming wars. But in terms of ad revenue and viewership, YouTube’s even more powerful, and it doesn’t use the streaming model at all. Forget wars — YouTube’s ushering in a new era of media consumption.

A league of their own
YouTube has Netflix beat in several sectors by competing in a completely different way.

  • YouTube far outpaces Netflix in ad revenue, having raked in $9.2 billion in Q4 2023 alone.

  • The platform also wins in viewership, logging more viewing hours through its free service than Netflix nets with its 260 million subscribers.

  • And YouTube reliably generates hits (unlike Netflix) without having to pay for them, since the service leaves content generation to creators.

No wonder, then, Netflix’s Chairman has cited YouTube as a major threat to its business.

Short-form showdown
Where YouTube does have competition is short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, which outshine YouTube Shorts (at least for now). But YouTube’s ability to bridge the gap between short- and long-form video remains unparalleled.

The best way to win a war: don’t fight it in the first place.

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Yeehaw! // Illustration by Kate Walker

The music business is going country

The Future. Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, and Post Malone are among the high-profile musicians who are channeling a country western vibe in their upcoming projects. This trend could signal a paradigm shift for the historically niche genre, which would not only widen its fanbase but also diversify its talent pool.

Just twangin’
Country music is going mainstream, reports Axios.

  • Beyoncé, who included the country song “Daddy Lessons” on her 2016 album Lemonade, is believed to be following up Renaissance with an acoustic project. Her set designer for the Renaissance World Tour has mentioned that Beyoncé is “interested in country” and that “she want(s) to research its African-American roots.”

  • Lana Del Rey, known for her alt pop songs and vintage Hollywood glamor aesthetic, will take a musical detour on her next album Lasso (due in September), which will feature sounds from Nashville and the Deep South.

  • Post Malone, who’s confirmed that a “country record is coming,” made his debut on the country charts with a Joe Diffie tribute last year. He’s also playing the Stagecoach Festival this April.

Reachin’ for the high notes
While it’s not unusual for white pop or rock stars to take Southern detours (Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, and Don Henley have all done so, albeit with little fanfare), it’s a bit more uncommon for black artists to dabble in the genre.

T-Pain recently disclosed that he stopped taking credit for the country songs he’s written due to the “racism” he’s experienced in the industry — although he plans to work on more as a ghostwriter. And even Beyoncé faced backlash after she performed “Daddy Lessons” with The Chicks at the CMA Awards in 2016.

Here’s hoping 2024 is the year when that narrow-minded thinking is finally laid to rest.

So, now we want to hear from you…


We ask the hard-hitting questions.

Do you like country music?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

72.9% of you voted Yes in Friday’s poll: Do you watch reruns for comfort?

“My husband watches The Office and Seinfeld over and over, while I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, and Parks and Rec.”

The Good Place, Brooklyn 99, New Girl, Taskmaster, Gravity Falls, various Marvel, Star Wars…”

“Mostly Seinfeld and The Sopranos.”

“Sometimes for a good laugh.”

“When I do, I realize how bad they are!”

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The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • Usher dropped his ninth studio album (and first solo record since 2016), Coming Home, two days before his Super Bowl halftime show. Read More → vanityfair

  • Disney paid over $75 million for the rights to stream The Eras Tour concert film exclusively on Disney+, where it’ll become available on March 15th. Read More → thewrap

  • Sony Music Group will shell out at least $600 million for half of Michael Jackson’s publishing and recorded masters. Read More → variety

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Birkenstock has launched a first-of-its-kind creative studio in London, spotlighting creators defining the brand’s values through activations, meet-ups, and galleries. Read More → hypebeast

  • Gen Z plot twist: the younger generation favors reading physical books over digital ones and spends more time in libraries than noisy coffee shops. Read More → theguardian

  • Taylor Swift’s girl-next-door aesthetic is 100% strategic, directly mirroring her fans’ lives — and budgets. Read More → insider

Tech, Web3, & AI

  • X has been selling ad packages (ranging from $250,000 to $1 million) linked to the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl as a tactic to win back major advertisers. Read More → adage

  • Aron D’Souza, the CEO of the Enhanced Games (aka the “Olympics on steroids”) said that the contest is open to athletes using AR, VR, and mixed-reality technology in addition to performance-enhancing drugs. Read More → insider

  • Amazon will stream its first NFL playoff game next season only on Prime Video. Read More → deadline

Creator Economy

  • Creators’ Kitchen, a new brand from Virtual Dining Concepts, strategically delivers food that’s gone viral on TikTok. Read More → tubefilter

  • Speaking of food, pizza influencing — promoting pizzas and pizza-making online — has become an actual career path. Read More → axios

  • Gen Zers are filming themselves getting laid off or fired and posting the videos online, partly because they’re rewarded with validation. Read More → insider

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Today’s email was written by Luke Perrotta and Kait Cunniff.
Edited by Boye Akolade.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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