Apple Concedes Nothing; In FLoC We Trust?

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Settling For Nothing

Apple agreed to a number of App Store updates to resolve a US class-action lawsuit by developers. It’s a measly commitment by Apple, which promises to extend its 15% commission for apps that make less than $1 million for at least the next three years and “clarifies” that developers are permitted to use communications outside the app, such as email or text, to alert users of payment alternatives to Apple (i.e., suggesting users visit their site to make a purchase to avoid Apple’s 30% fee). As with that “clarification,” Apple’s commitments uphold current practices without creating new policies. Many developers already expected the reduced commission on low revenue to be a permanent policy, as it is for Google Play. Here’s a useful Twitter thread on Apple’s agreement and the antitrust case by David Barnard, developer advocate at the mobile monetization services company RevenueCat. 

Wander From The FLoC

Google’s cohort-based targeting methodology has faced headwinds from privacy advocates and some marketers, resulting in a delay in its release from 2022 to 2023. Did FLoC fall victim to anti-Google sentiment or is it yet another threat to privacy and collective well-being sugarcoated in the language of data protection? Information and tech lawyer Gabriel Nicholas takes up the question in a Tech Policy Press article. Google championed FLoC because it disables user-level exposure, but advertisers can still reach desired audiences (Macys.com shoppers, say, or history buffs). It also blocks some potential legal issues: Google employees or government agents pulling up data on individuals. However, Nicholas writes that FLoC is not a check on Google’s capacity to manipulate popular opinion or monetize demagoguery online. “To address the collective harms of the data economy, we will likely have to look beyond Big Tech companies for new frameworks, new technologies, and new laws.”

Exit Through The Gift Shop

A string of successful advertising IPOs and acquisitions has largely cleared the field of established startups in ad tech and marketing. But new venture capital is flooding into the market. Of course, there are splashy nine-digit funds raised by Silicon Valley power brokers like Andreessen Horowitz and A-Star Partners, which are trying to find the next consumer hit (think Pinterest, Airbnb or Instacart). But ad tech entrepreneurs with successful exits under their belt are reinvesting in the space. C2 Ventures, which connects founders with five-digit investments and mentorship from digital media veterans, announced its second fund in July. And a similar founder-backed investment group called FirstPartyCapital launched earlier this year. [AdExchanger spoke with Domenic Venuto, COO of the investment firm Progress Partners and former COO of Amobee, among other ad tech roles, about how the SPAC and IPO craze bodes well for seed-level startups.]

But Wait, There’s More!  

DISQO raised $85 million to advance the road map for its consumer insights platform. [release]

China plans to ban overseas IPOs for tech firms with data security risks. [Reuters]

Apple robbed the mob’s bank, part 2. [Mobile Dev Memo]

Pushing back on privacy infringement on the web. [Smashing Magazine]

The social media stars who move markets. [WSJ]

TiKTok tests longer videos and more options for advertisers. [MediaPost]

You’re Hired

Tinuiti Announces Six New Female Leader Hires And Promotions [release]

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