Amazon Turns Up The Volume On TV Ads; How Apple ITP Shuts Down Tracking

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Playing With Fire

Amazon is “throwing a whole kitchen sink” of inventory at advertisers across Fire TV and its video ad services, according to a sales deck obtained by Digiday. Big picture: Amazon is pitching OTT audiences at scale, which advertisers desperately need. Fire TV has more than 37 million monthly active users, and Amazon has rev-share deals with apps on the platform. The deck also touts Amazon’s reach in live programming, with a news app and its Thursday Night Football broadcast, which was viewed by 2.6 million people (for at least 30 seconds), up 31% from the year before. The deck also shows the incremental reach of IMDb TV, Amazon’s AVOD channel, though it doesn’t have major traction. Amazon is also selling an Alexa voice integration that allows viewers to interact with or place an order from an ad. More.

Better Safe Than Safari

If you thought Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) for Safari put a stop to the cat-and-mouse game with trackers … think again. Apple has routinely updated ITP to shut down tactics such as fingerprinting and click redirects, and late last year it ratcheted up standards even more to disguise individual pages (so a merchant that previously saw “https://store.example/baby/strollers/deluxe-stroller-navy-blue.html” now just sees “https://store.example/”). At the time, the Safari WebKit team credited Google researchers who had identified ways to use that data for inappropriate tracking. And now those Google researchers are out with a full report on ITP’s vulnerabilities. ITP’s strength is that it’s not a preset list of sites, tags or formats that are blocked: It’s built-in machine learning software that tracks users itself to discover which publishers or tech companies are tracking them as well. By creating individualized tracker-blocking models that target certain sites, ITP creates a way to fingerprint users based on the domains that are blocked. Google information security engineer Artur Janc has a Twitter thread with more details and the full report.

Real World, Real Money

Niantic announced that it generated a quarter of a billion dollars in combined tourism revenue for Chicago, Montreal and Dortmund during Pokémon Go events hosted in the cities last year. Read the release. Niantic is an AR and mobile gaming software company co-owned by Google, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. Pokémon Go is its golden goose, but Niantic also owns Ingress and is launching a Harry Potter-based AR game this year. The Niantic pitch to brand partners and advertisers states that its games “require movement and exploration to progress. As a result, it’s now easy to secure real-world foot traffic and transactions through location-based marketing no matter where you are.”

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