FTC And FCC Jurisdiction Is Challenged; Twitch’s Niche Audience Proves Challenging For Amazon

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The FTC filed a federal appeals case arguing a decision in August “could open the door for technology companies that also offer phone or broadband service to avoid the FTC’s reach in consumer protection cases,” reports Bloomberg. As phone companies (like Verizon) and tech companies (like Alphabet) converge on internet services, the FCC and FTC are flummoxed by new companies slipping through old categories. “The problem is especially severe in the area of consumer data privacy,” say FTC lawyers. “Consumers would have no protection from breach or misuse of their personal information or practices like false advertising or improper billing.” More.

Live Wire

Despite efforts to broaden its advertiser base, Amazon-owned Twitch is still relegated to game and movie advertisers. In general, brands must be willing to weather brand-safety concerns in order to reach young men (not a big issue for Old Spice, Doritos, Red Bull, Bud Light and Pizza Hut, which are among the non-endemic brands to fill out Twitch’s ad rolls). With Amazon’s resources and data behind it [AdExchanger coverage], Twitch is well-placed to tap new ad budgets, but it’s also a test of what constitutes meaningful digital scale. Twitch has only 10 million daily active users, but on average each spends more than 100 minutes on the platform per day, reports The Wall Street Journal. More.

Not What I Signed Up For

Verizon may renegotiate its purchase terms for Yahoo after the company exposed a major data breach that happened more than two years ago, The Wall Street Journal reports. Verizon’s contract contains material adverse provisions that allow it to walk away from the deal if a “significant development” hurts the transaction value, but such provisions can be difficult to enact. Verizon still sees Yahoo as a valuable asset and will wait for the company to complete its investigation into the breach before taking any legal action. “In fairness we are still understanding what was going on and defining whether it was a material impact on the business or not,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. More.

Upward Mobility

Google will create a dedicated search index for mobile, Search Engine Land reports. This mobile-only index will become Google’s primary response to mobile search queries and will contain different, more up-to-date results than what users may see on desktop. The shift will allow Google to rank mobile content more favorably in search results. It’s not clear when this new mobile model will roll out, but Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, said it will be live “within months.” For advertisers, the change could ignite a new scramble around mobile content. More.

Context Is King

With Branded Moments, Spotify will allow advertisers to serve vertical video ad units to its ad-supported listeners. Similar to Pandora’s Sponsored Listening product, users can watch 30 seconds of a video to opt in to 30 minutes of ad-free listening. Advertisers can sponsor categories, or everyday “moments,” that align with their brands, such as “workout,” “chill” and “commute.” Spotify’s robust insights into user listening habits will help advertisers find strategic alignments with music. “We’re moving away from interruptive ads and actually trying to understand what the user is trying to accomplish,” said Mike Mangione, director of consumer marketing at Bose, which is advertising with the new unit. More at Ad Age.

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