Senators To Platforms: Hand Over The Algo; DoubleClick Vet Brad Bender Transfers To Google News

Monday’s Links:

Algo Secrets

A bipartisan group of senators filed the Filter Bubble Transparency Act on Thursday, a bill that would require large internet and search providers (those with more than 1 million users, at least $50 million in revenue and 500 employees) to disclose how and why users see certain personalized content, as well as provide an option for users who prefer an unpersonalized, data-free search option. Consumers have “limited understanding of how their data is being used and how platforms operate,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, one of the bill sponsors, told The Wall Street Journal. “This bill helps reduce the power of opaque algorithms on our discourse and puts greater control in the hands of consumers.” More.

Bend It Like Bender

Google has named Brad Bender, a DoubleClick vet and longtime ad product leader, as the company’s first VP of news products, Business Insider reports. Google ad tech executives have been on a carousel within Google since Prabhakar Raghavan took over the advertising and commerce group a year ago. Google News is a traffic powerhouse, but publisher yield has diminished as desktop CTRs tail off and Google shifts its focus to O&O media. Bender’s appointment indicates Google is “trying to get more competitive” with Apple and Facebook, which have introduced new publisher services and revenue deals. More

Enter Apple TV+

Apple TV+ launched on Friday with big-name stars, but without much else. Apple produced 15 original series, on par with its rivals. But unlike Disney, Comcast and AT&T, it lacks an archive of movies, TV shows and networks. Apple TV+ has a low price point at $4.99, and will bundle with iPhone sales and third-party OTT providers for easy distribution. Apple chief Tim Cook acknowledged that Apple TV+ won’t be material to revenue initially, and framed it at launch as a gift to users. Apple’s push into entertainment is about keeping customers hooked on its products and services. If Apple converts a quarter of iPhone buyers into Apple TV+ streamers, it could be a multibillion-dollar business by next year, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile the Disney+ streaming service, which launches Nov. 12, is being promoted heavily with low-cost deals – the priority being to accrue subscribers, even at disadvantageous early rates. And NBC is considering giving away its ad-supported streaming package Peacock for free when it launches next year, CNBC reports.

But Wait, There’s More

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