Apple Is Exploring A Video-Sharing Social Network; Fox Sports & Sports Illustrated Team Up Against ESPN

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Privacy Barbed Wire

Bloomberg reports Apple is developing a video-sharing social network akin to Snapchat. With Apple’s knowledge of your contacts and its built-in camera, it has a powerful use case. But the project has to survive a rigorous overview by a “a team inside Apple that analyzes the privacy implications of products before their introduction,” and the team has full veto power if it decides user data is being exposed. (It wouldn’t be the first time Apple killed a promising revenue generator over self-imposed privacy standards.) Facebook, on the other hand, eagerly pursues ways to turn user data into marketing cash. Which is why the promise that WhatsApp user data would never be shared with Facebook got so much attention when the messaging app was acquired in 2014. Except, wait, Facebook is totally going to take WhatsApp data.  

Tipping The Scale

Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated are joining forces to take on ESPN. The two media platforms will share traffic on news and videos and collaborate on editorial content. Advertising will be sold collectively across both entities and revenue will be split. The two companies will remain separate, but the partnership between ostensible rivals is another sign that, in the digital space, the 800-pound gorilla is always going to eat the lunch of a pack of chimpanzees. “Scale really matters in this business,” said Rich Battista, president of Time Inc. Brands, which owns Sports Illustrated. Only problem? After the partnership, ESPN will still be bigger with 79 million visitors compared to Fox/SI’s 68 million. More at The Drum.

Monkey See, Monkey IPO

VC firm Thomvest Ventures unpacks The Trade Desk’s S-1 pre-IPO filing earlier this week [AdExchanger coverage] and finds some important differences from other public ad tech companies. Associate Nima Wedlake writes, “The company has done an excellent job managing expenses relative to revenue,” and adds, “The company hasn’t sacrificed profitability for growth.” Nifty charts too. More.

What A Drag

WPP’s mostly rosy 2016 first-half results [AdExchanger coverage] were held back by its 19.2% stake in comScore. However, the holding company increased its investment in the measurement firm on Tuesday, reports Alexandra Bruell, newly of The Wall Street Journal. ComScore was responsible for a 57% drop in WPP’s net profit and 122 million pounds in write-downs through June. The measurement company is in the middle of a costly audit and a CEO shuffle. “The Group continues to monitor the position and welcomes the most recent management changes, although remains puzzled as to why the audit investigation has taken so long, remains unresolved and has proved so costly,” WPP said on an earnings call. More.

But Wait, There’s More!

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