OTT Platforms Gear Up For Ad Campaigns; Drudge Drops Intermarkets

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Pick Me! Pick Me!

New OTT streaming services, both ad-supported and ad-free, are gearing up to spend heavily on advertising over the next few years. Amazon has launched a “Free Your TV” campaign to promote Fire TV and Prime Video. MediaPost asks, “Is Amazon smelling blood in the water?” and noting that cable companies and pay-TV services like DirecTV and Dish have hemorrhaged subscribers. But Amazon’s not the only one. Tubi is making its own big advertising push. (“Dear NYC, you free tonight? Because we are.”) And Pluto TV has been running commercials with a straightforward value prop: “It’s free TV.”

Programmatic Nepotism

Drudge Report dropped its long-time ads partner Intermarkets in May, replacing it with a new partner called Granite Cubed, according to BuzzFeed. The decision may have been sudden, since the site was without ad monetization for a period from late May to mid-July. The new company appears to be a family connection. The owner is a woman named Margaret Otto who has previous business associations with the Drudge family. Will being a relative unknown pose a problem for ad sales? “Certainly if you decide to go to big brands and sell directly, the Granite Cubed thing is going to be challenging,” said Goodway Group President and CEO Jay Friedman. “[Brands] get 100 requests a week for meetings and this probably isn’t going to float to the top.” More.

Rotten Apple

Top executives from seven apps – including Tile, Allstate-owned Arity and Life360 – signed an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook claiming the tech giant’s privacy policies give its own software an unfair advantage. “As Apple expands into additional services, some of which compete with developers like us, the need for a level playing field becomes ever more critical to allow the ecosystem to flourish,” they claimed in the email, obtained by The Information. The app developers are specifically concerned with a version of iOS 13, which is in public beta and is expected to be released in September, when the newest iPhones hit the market. They claim apps won’t be able to prompt their customers to “always allow” location tracking when the app is first launched. Instead, those customers will either have to root through their settings to enable always-on location, or wait a few days. More.

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