DataDownload: Why Americans want more foreign content

NYC Media Lab
7 min readFeb 20, 2021

DataDownload: Why Americans want more foreign content A weekly summary of all things Media, Data, Emerging Tech View this email in your browser

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This week — we’re traveling (virtually of course!) Thanks to Netflix we’re watching more stories from more places. Then, we’ll have a visit with a digital artist — and his big Christie’s auction. We’ve got more on Clubhouse — which is eating hours of my week… again.

And of course, we have to check in on the war between Facebook and Australia. No shrimp on the barbie for Mr. Zuckerberg. There is some new data on Influencers… and it may be bad news for brands. We’re watching a great bit of black and white footage from the early days of computing… and We’re Going to MARS.

And — if you want to get ahead of the game… click HERE and get tix to our just-announced Tech+Storytelling: Engaging The Immersive Future event. It’s going to be amazing. Promise.


Steven Rosenbaum
Executive Director
The NYC Media Lab Must-Read Americans Are Consuming More Foreign Content Than Ever

American viewers can’t get enough of foreign entertainment: demand share for non-US content “was higher each quarter in 2020 than in the previous two years,” says Axios, with the UK, Japan, and Canada leading the international markets in the country. This can be attributed to Netflix’s unprecedented globalization of content and, of course, the lockdown… “especially [for] those craving travel.”

This a complete reversal of the Old Hollywood M.O., when “movies and celebrity culture [had] always been American cultural exports to the rest of the world…. But successful entertainment no longer has to come from the U.S.” A few recommendations: Bridgerton from the UK, Alice in Borderland from Japan, and Kim’s Convenience from Canada.

Axios / 4 min read Read More Beeple: A Visionary Digital Artist at the Forefront of NFTs

If you haven’t heard of artist Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, check out his stunning short films page to get a good idea of his style and themes… or his everydays: every day for the past 13.5 years, Winkelmann has posted a new digital artwork, called an “everyday”, online. He recently compiled 5k of his first everydays into an enormous digital collage that will be auctioned off at Christie’s next week. That makes two industry firsts: the first time a major auction house will offer a purely digital artwork, and the first time it will accept crypto (ETH) for an artwork. Check out each individual artwork here.

Christie’s / 5 min read

Read more Tech+Media You’ve Been Invited to Clubhouse. Your Privacy Hasn’t.

If your friend is suddenly waving a Clubhouse invitation in your face (and you’re not on Android), Vox has a few warnings before you dive into the audio-only social media app: there are virtually no privacy controls, the app requires you to share your contact list (and even if you don’t, others can find you if you’re on their contact list), and your account is tied to your number.

“To be clear, Clubhouse isn’t the only app that is overly aggressive with its connection recommendations. Plenty of social media platforms use algorithms that take various factors into account, including your personal data and your contacts, to suggest people you should friend or follow. Those algorithms are very powerful, and yet somehow not powerful enough to avoid making recommendations that are creepy.”

Vox / 5 min read Read More Facebook Blocks News in Australia, Diverging With Google on Proposed Law

Back in August 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began drafting a bill that would require Google and Facebook to pay publishers for content that appeared on their sites, to address what regulators call a power imbalance between struggling publishers and prosperous digital ad conglomerates. Both companies fought for months to prevent the bill from passing (which is expected to pass soon), but their strategies suddenly diverged this Wednesday.

Google revealed several deals where it will negotiate payments to publishers. Meanwhile — “hours later” — Facebook restricted people in Australia from sharing or viewing news links. In an interview, Paul Fletcher, Australia’s communications minister, praised Google “for engaging with the process,” and said Facebook “would be closely scrutinized for deciding to ‘remove all authoritative and credible news sources from the platform.’”

NY Times / 7 min read Read More Social Influencers Can Boost Attention Paid to Brands Yet Erode Sentiment Toward Video, Research Finds

Motivated by the lack of data-driven insight into the effectiveness of the $10B influencer marketing industry, University of Michigan researchers used publically available YouTube data to “identify significant relationships between advertising content and views, interaction rates and sentiment.” Here was their most surprising takeaway:

“We think that the most surprising finding is that a brand mentioned in the first 30 seconds of an influencer video is associated with a decrease in positive sentiment. This is important, as sentiment is a good proxy for purchase intent. While this isn’t great news for the brand, this is also an issue for the influencer who has to thread the needle in terms of keeping the sponsoring brand happy, maintaining his or her independent “voice” and complying with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations (requiring brand disclosure at the beginning of the video).” / 5 min read

Read More What We’re Watching One day, a computer will fit on a desk (1974)

A prescient video featuring science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke from 1974, where he basically predicts desktop computing and WFH. If you’ve come across any videos predicting the next few decades in tech, we’d love to hear about them.

RetroFocus (YouTube) / 3 min watch

Watch Now What We’re Listening To Podcast: Houston We Have a Podcas‪t‬

“If you’re fascinated by the idea of humans traveling through space and curious about how that all works, you’ve come to the right place. This is the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.”

‎Apple Podcasts

Listen Now Virtual Events Free Event: How Startups Get Smart on Policy
Date: February 24, 3PM EST
Startups are increasingly facing regulatory challenges at early stages. How should founders staff up to meet those challenges? Register Here.

Free Event: Bringing Yourself to Work When Your ‘Self’ Is Different
Date: February 24, 4PM EST
Join Gray Scalable as they ask their panelists to share stories and strategies from the front lines of the fight for inclusion. Register Here. A Deeper Look Complexity Explained

Complexity science sounds as abstract of a subject as the chaotic systems it’s meant to explore. After all, it’s the study of how neurons produce creativity and intelligence, how air and vapor molecules form a tornado, and the unpredictability of the weather. In other words, it’s the study of how “a large collection of components — locally interacting with each other at small scales — can spontaneously self-organize to exhibit non-trivial global structures and behaviors at larger scales.” In this animated explainer, researchers Manlio De Domenico and Hiroki Sayama break down complexity science into digestible constituents, each with a simple animation demonstrating real-life examples.

For example, the concept of dynamics states says that complex systems tend to change their state dynamically, sometimes due to the smallest perturbations — something we’re familiar with as the butterfly effect. And especially relevant today is adaptation: the idea that complex systems can adapt and evolve, such as how immune systems are always learning about pathogens, and more broadly, the idea of epidemics and herd immunity.

Complexity Explained / 13 min read

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NYC Media Lab connects university researchers and NYC’s media tech companies to create a new community of digital media & tech innovators in New York City.