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Welcome to The GROUND Up, our monthly newsletter where we wrestle the cultural zeitgeist to bring you our highlights from theworld of social, sport, entertainment and tech.

After months of planning, we were finally able to get our dancing shoes on and activate KNOBBY underwear's headline sponsorship of the Grass is Greener festival up in scorching Cairns. It was a truly epic day, with main stage takeovers, free merch, Greenroom escapades and of course lots of undies. Stay tuned as we have some cracking content on its way, as larrikin influencer Josh Wade gets up to his old tricks at the festival with a KNOBBY twist. Cheeky indeed. 

GROUNDbreaking: World’s first AI news anchor
Ron Burgundy would be snapping his Jazz Flute in disbelief, as Chinese news agency Xinhua launched the newsiest members of its newsroom, Artificial Intelligence anchors who will report ‘tirelessly’ all day every day, from anywhere in the country. No doubt it’s a great testament to the developments of technology and machine learning, but in a country where internet is regulated it does bring upquestions of media/state manipulation and the truth. Please ‘stay classy’ China.

Home GROUND: Makers of Vine are growing a new app
Co-Founder of Vine (RIP), is launching a new video looping app next year called Byte. The cult social platform Vine is often overlooked for its impact and cultural significance, but with its simplistic six-second looping video format it helped establish modern day meme culture and launched many influential comedic content creators. Although not much is known about Byte at this stage, let’s hope it takes learnings from its predecessor by celebrating quirky and irreverent Byte-sized content, but importantly also manages to monetise its model.

PlayGROUND: The Sneaker Heads
Needless to say, the GROUND team are huge sneaker freaks, but we are not theonly ones. From Hip Hop, to the catwalk, to film - sneaker culture is popular culture. Collab’s between sneaker brands and designers, musicians and even social influencers have been at the centre of this explosion, bringing this once niche fanboy world well and truly into the mainstream. Cultural curator and online publication, COMPLEX, has recently listed its top 10 most influential celebrities on sneaker culture. Our money was on Kanye being number one, but he was pipped to the post by his own protégé, with Travis Scott being crowned king. Kardashian + sneaker range = influence.

Sports GROUND: Newscorp looks to Kayo the competition
Last Thursday FOX Sports quietly dropped a new streaming service in Australia, called Kayo Sports. The service is being positioned as ‘the Netflix of sports’, with a smorgasbord featuring over 50 sports, including Cricket, AFL, NRL, Tennis, NFL and the NBA – all On Demand and in HD. What’s interesting and hopefully sets it apart from other sports streaming services are its features, such as; a spoiler-free mode, split-screen capability and even a best bits option allowing sports fans to consume more content than ever before. The service is currently in beta testing and is expected to be released imminently. Kayo could certainly be a knockout.

Colin Fairley