Google Play To Launch 'Safety Section;' ViacomCBS Beats The Street (Thank You, SVOD)

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Half Measure

Almost a full year after Apple dropped its AppTrackingTransparency bombshell on the mobile developer world, Google is following suit … well, sort of. On Thursday, Google said that, starting next year, apps on Google Play will have to display details about what data they collect, including information related to their privacy and security practices. The info will appear in a new, so-called “safety section” as part of an app’s listing in Google’s app store, The Verge reports. The move is reminiscent of Apple’s privacy nutrition labels, which are now required of developers in the App Store to inform users about their app’s privacy practices. Unlike Apple, though, Google isn’t saying anything about what might happen – or not – with its mobile ad ID. Apple, of course, made its proprietary IDFA permissioned-based starting with iOS 14. There’s been mad speculation about whether Google might do something similar with GAIN, but as with almost everything else these days, the future on that front remains uncertain.

Stream Dreams

ViacomCBS beat Wall Street’s expectations with a gangbusters first quarter thanks in large part to streaming, Deadline reports. Streaming revenue grew by 65% to $816 million led by the ViacomCBS SVOD service, Paramount Plus. Key subscription drivers for the quarter included the Super Bowl in February, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament the following month and Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Although most of the 36 million global streaming subscribers ViacomCBS had as of the end of the quarter were signed up to Paramount Plus, Showtime’s OTT service and BET+ also contributed. ViacomCBS is now more than halfway toward the company’s stated goal of attracting between 65 million and 75 million subscribers by 2024. But what of AVOD? Pluto TV, the free, ad-supported streaming service that Viacom acquired in 2019 before its re-merger with CBS, clocked in at nearly 50 million monthly active users by the end of Q1, a gain of 6 million across domestic and international. [Related in AdExchanger: “ViacomCBS Setting Itself Apart With Paramount Plus And Pluto TV”]

TikTok Vs. TV

Here’s an eye-popping stat from the TikTok NewFronts presentation on Thursday: TikTok users spend more than a movie-length amount of time on the platform every day. “And I don’t see that stopping at all when people are outside,” said Sandie Hawkins, TikTok’s GM of North America and head of global business solutions. Engagement on TikTok spiked during the pandemic, particularly in the US as work and school largely transitioned into the home. TikTok recently hit a milestone of more than 100 million US monthly active users. But is that growth trajectory really going to continue as life begins to normalize (and, by extension, is it a place where brands should put their money)? Unsurprisingly, TikTok’s answer is, “hells yeah.” According to research TikTok conducted with Kantar, 88% of users in the US say they intend to spend the same amount of time or more on TiKTok during the next six months. And that engagement might actually come at the expense of everyone’s darling: streaming. Kantar also recently found that 30% of US TikTokers claim to watch less TV, streaming or other video content after they join the platform. [In other TikTok news: TechCrunch reports on TikTok's new developer tools, which include a “Login with TikTok” feature.]

But Wait, There’s More!

The promise of owning content to deliver ads fueled by mobile subscriber data was a powerful lure driving Verizon to acquire two of the web’s oldest and best-known media brands – but Verizon’s self-imposed data privacy limits contributed to the demise of its media ambitions. [Digiday]

U.S. News & World Report has launched its own first-party data platform based on behavioral data drawn from its more than 450 million annual visitors. [release]

News that Facebook isn't lifting its suspension of former President Donald Trump's account isn't sitting well with some Republican lawmakers. [MediaPost]

GroupM-owned digital media business Xaxis is teaming up with advertising cloud company Cavai to create more personalized experiences for consumers using programmatic and without relying on third-party cookies. [Adweek]

IP audience targeting vendor Semcasting has partnered with Affinity Solutions, a global insights firm with access to brand insights and first-party data, including transactional information. [release]

Tencent is reportedly negotiating agreements with a US national security panel that would allow it to keep its ownership stakes in US video game developers Riot Games and Epic Games. [Reuters]

Civil rights nonprofit Rise and RUN AAPI have launched a pledge to denounce violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US. Uber, the NBA, Change.org, Pivotal Ventures and numerous others have already signed. [release]

Omnichannel digital marketing platform AcuityAds has announced a partnership with contextual intelligence provider GumGum. [Next TV]

You’re Hired!

Dynamic in-content ad platform Mirriad has appointed Miles Lewis as its CRO. [release]

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