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Apple OTT Coming Soon; The Government Hires A Data Scientist

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Apple TV, The Next Generation

Apple is in talks with TV programmers to debut an OTT pay-TV service, sources tell Re/code. The service would resemble Dish’s Sling TV product, or the similar service Sony is gearing up to launch. “The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming, but not the entire TV lineup that pay-TV providers generally offer, and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web,” writes Peter Kafka. “That means Apple wouldn’t be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it, with its own interface and user experience.”

Data Cabinet

During a conference call on Thursday, Obama adviser John Podesta unveiled a noteworthy White House appointee. Former LinkedIn head of data products DJ Patil will join the White House as a data scientist-in-residence to help the administration handle issues of data and privacy on the web. More on that via Gigaom. Separately, Ad Age reports that Healthcare.gov continues to share user data with third-party firms like Facebook, Rocket Fuel and Twitter Advertising, with the expressed purposed of targeted advertising.

TV Matchmakers

Starcom MediaVest Group, Acxiom and FourthWall Media have hooked up in the name of precise TV ad targeting. Starcom’s TARDIS planning and buying platform will now ingest cable set-top box data from the millions of devices FourthWall claims access to and anonymously match viewing behavior against audience lists at the hashed ID level. This isn’t Starcom’s first go-round with Acxiom. In 2013 it sealed a long-term contract with Acxiom’s data connectivity solution, Audience Operating System, the first agency deal in Acxiom’s 40-year history. Press release.

Search-To-Call Attribution

Marchex debuted an analytics tool on Thursday that aims to solve “the $4 billion blind spot in mobile advertising.” The tool, Call Analytics, lets marketers track and measure keywords that drive calls from search queries on the mobile web. “Advertisers have been pouring billions of dollars into click-to-call ads without 100% measurement of which keywords produce phone calls and which ones don’t,” said Marchex’s Adarsh Nair. “That kind of waste is unconscionable.” Time Warner Cable and Allconnect are using the tool. Read the release.

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