'Freely' Streaming Service to Launch in the UK; OOH Leads Australia’s Second Biggest Year of Ad Spend; UK Shelves Proposed AI Copyright Code  

On today’s ExchangeWire digest: 'Freely' Streaming Service to Launch in the UK; OOH Leads Australia’s Second Biggest Year of Ad Spend; UK Shelves Proposed AI Copyright Code 

Fast-forward to the second quarter of the year and the UK streaming scene will look quite different: Freely, a new subscription-free streaming service, is set to launch in Q2. The service will allow anyone with a TV capable of accessing the app to switch seamlessly between live and on-demand TV – a first for consumers on a free, UK based smart TV platform. The service has been developed by Everyone TV and is backed by the UK’s biggest terrestrial broadcasters: the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5. 

On the other side of the globe, Australia saw its second biggest year of ad spend in 2023, close to the previous year’s record level. OOH ad spend was the star performer; it has seen immense growth since the pandemic, with 2023’s revenues 70% higher than those of 2020. Video-based digital campaigns also saw significant growth, increasing by 7.4%.  

In the AI landscape, the UK government has shelved a proposed AI copyright code which aimed to set out rules on the training of AI models using copyrighted materials. The government agency overseeing copyright laws had been in discussion with AI companies and rights holders to create guidance for text and data mining, which trains AI models on existing materials.

The group of industry executives were unable to agree on a voluntary code of conduct; consequently, the responsibility has returned to the officials at the Department for Science Innovation and Technology. Officials in the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport are also involved in the dialogue. Later this week, we can expect to see a white paper published by the government setting out further proposals around AI regulation in the UK – this is unlikely to set out any definitive policies. 

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