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Here's how AI is transforming Disney, Spotify, and TikTok

Artificial intelligence arrived in the French Riviera.

The annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a global gathering of creative communications and advertising pros, officially kicked off Monday on the sunny beaches of Cannes, France.

And as no surprise, the speed of AI development and innovation was the theme du jour with most execs Yahoo Finance talked to. If investors were worried about reaching peak AI amid record-high stock prices for Apple (AAPL) and Nvidia (NVDA), this community was having none of it.

Qualcomm (QCOM) chief marketing officer Don McGuire said on the Yahoo Speaker Series panel that he is seeing "strong" preorder demand for Microsoft's (MSFT) new AI Surface tablet and laptop (released today). They're powered with Qualcomm's latest AI chip.

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"I think AI will be a great complement. I think it enables you to scale creativity," Spotify's (SPOT) global head of advertising, Lee Brown, said on Yahoo Finance.

Others also pushed back on the view that AI will eradicate jobs en masse.

Here's the vibe on AI in the early going at Cannes Lions.

Altogether, one gets the sense that AI could unlock new profit streams — either via innovation or lower costs — for public companies in the years to come. And, quite possibly, higher stock prices.

"We talk a lot about our streaming platform today, and I think you will see a transition to an immersive platform where streaming will underpin the basic core of the reason people come there. But you'll also think about how you interact on your social platforms, how gamification comes into that shopping experience all within one advertising experience.

"I use the example of sports because it's easiest, and as we reimagine and we further digitize our sports business, we've talked a lot about ESPN flagship in the last couple of months. But you can imagine a world where a sports fan will come to ESPN and they'll be able to do everything in one platform. [With] their sports betting opportunity through ESPN Bet, they'll be able to create their fantasy experience there. They'll be able to do shopping, interactivity, simulcast, watch, short form, and share content."

Disney advertising president Rita Ferro (left) shares how AI is going to change the media giant, especially in the business of streaming. Ferro speaks with Yahoo Finance executive editor Brian Sozzi and anchor Rachelle Akuffo at Cannes Lions 2024.
Disney advertising president Rita Ferro (left) shares how AI is going to change the media giant, especially in the business of streaming. Ferro speaks with Yahoo Finance Executive Editor Brian Sozzi and Anchor Rachelle Akuffo at Cannes Lions 2024. (Yahoo Finance)

"AI is not new for us. We've been leveraging it for a long time, obviously with the creation of playlists, personalization, and discovery that we've had on the platform for so long. ... I think there's just more that's coming.

"We just released last year an AI DJ. Our listeners have responded so well to it. And this week we're releasing a few advertising tools related to AI, mostly around creative and creative assets. And so we have a new AI audio tool coming out that's called Quick Audio that enables you to do quick script generation as well as voiceovers to create an audio asset because so many marketers are looking to bring unbelievable creative and that's one of the biggest barriers to entry for the platform."

"We're really excited around avatars. We think it's a huge step forward in the creative process. So we've been working with creators and with brands for a while now to make sure that we're building something that really meets their needs. There's a lot of concerns about the role of avatars versus creative community. And the position we're taking is we want to amplify their voice."

The social media app launched a digital avatar feature on Monday, which allows brands and creators to use generative AI avatars of real people in their content. Users can choose from pre-built avatars, which TikTok created using paid actors, or custom avatars, which use their own likeness to generate lifelike, multilingual, talking avatars.

"Today a creator, when they create a piece of content, they create a single piece of content, then they put that up on the platforms, and they look and see what happens, and they go create another piece of content. We've designed avatars to allow them to create a piece of content and then scale that globally. So you could create it in Spanish or in English, and you can scale it to 30 languages, which immediately gives our creator community the ability to reach audiences they've never been able to reach before," Chandlee added.

Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance's Executive Editor. He is also the host of the "Opening Bid" podcast. Follow Sozzi on Twitter/X @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn. Tips on deals, mergers, activist situations, or anything else? Email brian.sozzi@yahoofinance.com. Are you a CEO and want to come on Yahoo Finance Live? Email Brian Sozzi.

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