Magnite Lays Off; Mozilla Tracks

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Staff Cuts

Magnite is laying off about 6% of its staff following its $1.17 billion acquisition deal with video supply-side platform SpotX, Adweek reports. Buying SpotX is part of Magnite’s CTV growth plan, after already taking on Telaria. Though the acquisition nearly doubled the company’s size, Magnite is letting go of nearly 60 employees “across all departments,” and 45 open positions at both SpotX and Magnite are being dropped. That move is a cost-cutting measure since the deal was finalized in April, presumably since there are so many duplicate roles across the rival SSPs. Magnite CEO Michael Barrett said to expect cuts when the deal was announced in February. Barrett also said that Magnite would look at its vendor contracts as potential areas to reduce costs, according to Adweek. [Related in AdExchanger: Magnite Acquires SpotX For An Eye-Watering $1.17 Billion]

Rally 

Mozilla doesn’t allow third-party ad trackers in the Firefox app, but it’s not against tracking for the right reasons. The non-profit introduced a new service, Mozilla Rally, that will allow browser users to sign up for data collection and tracking purposes for specific research proposals. Researchers at Princeton University, for instance, are asking Rally users to share browsing data for a study of how political and COVID news is read and shared online. Another study tracks “doomscrolling,” how deeply users scroll through social media feeds, and how browsing habits vary by time of day or day of the week. “It’s time you put your data to work for you, not them,” according to the Rally release post

The Art Of Podcasting

Amazon continued its march into podcasting and audio monetization on Friday with the acquisition of Art19, a podcast hosting and ad-insertion startup. Amazon isn’t a heavy hitter in podcast and streaming audio ads … yet. The company only started offering podcasts on Amazon Music last September, The Verge reports. But Audible, Amazon’s audio library, followed up with a podcast platform in October. And Amazon Music acquired the independent podcast platform Wondery in December. Amazon and other streaming audio leaders, including Spotify and iHeartMedia, started out by buying up podcast content (Wondery), before adding sophisticated ad-stitching and targeting tech. But having superior podcast ad tech helps build the content library, because hosts and programmers go where there’s reliable revenue. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

IBM is developing an artificial intelligence solution to spot and remove targeting bias from online ads. [Reuters]

Snapchat recently expanded its advertising offerings, but brands have questioned whether they add value to their media plans. [Digiday]

Add another antitrust investigation to the seemingly endless list against big tech companies. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority launched a probe against Amazon and Google into how the companies handle fake reviews. [TechCrunch]

Upfront TV ad spending in the United States is expected to increase by 7.6% year-over-year to nearly $20 billion in 2021 and 2022, while Upfront digital video ad spending, which includes connected TV, will increase by nearly 50% this year to $4.51 billion. [eMarketer]

Creators using YouTube’s TikTok rival Shorts are seeing huge growth when it comes to subscribers, but the short-form video platform has yet to prove financially lucrative. [Business Insider]

You’re Hired

Samsung Ads Europe hired Sinead Gilbody as its European mobile development lead. [Ad Tech Daily]

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