Reddit and Google Sign $60m Deal; WPP Sales Slow as Clients Cut Ad Spend; UK AI Funding Halved in 2023 

On today’s ExchangeWire digest: Reddit and Google Sign $60m Deal; WPP Sales Slow as Clients Cut Ad Spend; UK AI Funding Halved in 2023 

A $60m (£47m) per year deal between Reddit and Google signed last week will give Google real-time access to Reddit’s data, allowing the tech giant more efficient ways to train AI models. The partnership will also give Reddit access to Google’s Vertex AI, a service designed to help companies improve their search results. The deal came as Reddit filed to go public on Thursday, becoming the first major digital platform to do so since Pinterest in 2019. Reddit had reportedly been pursuing an initial public offering for years. 

The final quarter of last year saw US revenues fall by 4.5% for WPP, with lower spending from tech, healthcare, and retail clients. Despite the slowdown in its largest market, its revenues were stronger in the UK and India. The company’s pre-tax profits fell by over two-thirds last year as it faced restructuring costs at its agencies. An investment of £250m per year has been planned to develop AI tools which can help its creative and media businesses. 

While WPP plans large investment in AI, the UK has seen reduced funding in the sector. Overall investment into UK-based AI companies almost halved in 2023, compared with the year prior which saw the launch of ChatGPT. The funding dip appeared to be a result of a wider decline in UK tech funding, with the AI sector receiving nearly 12% of total private equity investment in the region. 

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