Facebook Unnerves Publishers; Apple Becoming A Publisher

July 10, 2015

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Facebook’s ‘Finders Keepers’

Facebook has been skating on thin ice with publishers, as products like Instant Articles provide new revenue streams for content producers but put the social media in charge. Now, anonymous publishers are claiming that Facebook plans to institute a new policy in November that will force pubs from Facebook mobile ads if they don’t agree to divulge “device-level attribution data” about customers downloading apps. The unnamed publishing execs believe Facebook will use the information to retarget on behalf of competitive apps. The policy could also cause friction with Apple, notoriously sensitive about sharing user data. More at VentureBeat.

Apple News Looms

Fast Company’s Joel Johnson takes a look at Apple’s publishing product, Apple News, which will be baked into iOS 9. Though ads were not displayed in the app’s demo, Johnson says they will be an integral part of Apple News. But bigger questions loom about the changing nature of publisher relationships with Apple and Facebook. “Let’s not mistake the upside for Apple: it can appeal to user experience and privacy and be a force for good, while simultaneously creating an environment where it not only controls the publishing channel through its app, but also scrapes a percentage of the advertising for its effort,” writes Johnson. “This has immediate consequences for independent media at the operational level.” Power to the platform. Read it.

Playing Along

eMarketer estimates that more than half of the US population will be mobile phone gamers this year. Though ad spend isn’t following the trend quite yet, that could change once marketers realize game developers’ reach. “I can leverage a program for Coca-Cola today that reaches 28 million unique users in the US through one title,” said Julie Shumaker, VP of ad sales at game publisher Zynga. “In console, one publisher couldn’t reach 28 million users in a day, let alone a month.” And another trend that might sway advertisers on mobile games is the opportunity for brand integration, something Zynga and CrowdStar are already tinkering with. Read more via eMarketer.

Mobile Client Conquest

Mobile engagement platform SITO Mobile snapped up Hipcricket’s mobile advertising business, in a takeover that extends SITO’s access to Hipcricket’s existing advertiser and brand clients. Hipcricket’s adServe platform helped it earn nearly $30 million in the last 30 months. “This transaction marks the successful culmination of a process we began over a year ago,” said SITO Mobile CEO Jerry Hug. The cash and stock deal is worth $3.7 million. Read the release.

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