The Set-Top Box Battle Continues; Snapchat Kills Local Stories Feature

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Battle Of The Box

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rattled content owners and advertisers when he revealed an initial proposal to “free” the set-top box from cable’s control. Wheeler listened to a counterproposal from content producers [AdExchanger coverage] that would restrict set-top boxes but would have cable companies allow access to their feeds in an app. Now, cable and satellite providers are pushing back, calling this revised approach “unnecessary and unworkable,” according to The Wall Street Journal. No smooth sailing on the five-member FCC committee either, as the proposal has struggled to gain the three-vote majority needed to pass the Wheeler’s plan. More.

Local No More

Snapchat has whacked its Local Stories feature, which consisted of user-uploaded content about happenings in the local neighborhood. According to Bloomberg, Snapchat intends to focus on live events “like Fourth of July celebrations and the Super Bowl.” Read more. That prospective feature will likely trespass on Twitter’s advertising terrain. Remember how Twitter is always talking about how it can amplify big, cultural moments? Looks like Snapchat wants to take its cut too. And for good reason. Snapchat wants to file an IPO either late this year or early next, according to The Information. (Fair warning: Speculation about a Snapchat IPO is a habitual thing these days.) If that timeline is accurate, though, it’s just about Profit Time!

To Watch And To Want

Can marketers connect what you watch and listen to online with what you buy or want to buy? Nielsen-incubated Crossense hopes so, since it’s developing tech to analyze just that. And Toluna, which manages consumer surveys, hopes so too, since it just bought Crossense. Fortune provides the following example: “A marketer can track whether individuals who viewed certain ads online subsequently watched videos about those products or services, and then went on to make a purchase.” Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Surveying tech isn’t new or sexy, but it’s become a must-have for Fortune-100 types. Read more.

Pubs Are Friends, Not Food

Uh oh. Facebook is inserting itself between publishers and their readers. Now media companies are testing, with different degrees of desperation, to find ways to bring readers back to their own properties. While many pubs understood this would happen, they all signed on Facebook’s dotted line. “The benefits accrue to whoever’s closest to the customer,” said Bounce Exchange COO Omri Bloch to Max Willen at Digiday. It’s a similar effect to what Amazon has for many sellers/competitors. You have no choice but to turn to the platform giant for distribution, and slowly but surely it drinks your milkshake. More.

DMP Detachment

Remember a year or so ago when we had all that chatter about whether a DSP should be connected to a data management platform (DMP)? Seems like there’s enough demand to justify more DMPs detaching from their suites. Danish ad tech company Adform (which is making inroads into the US – read AdExchanger’s coverage here) is the latest to offer its DMP as a standalone. “The addition of a standalone option to the Audience Base platform is a direct response to feedback from major clients,” sayeth ye olde press release.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

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