Apple Scolds Ad Tech; Google Lifts Political Ad Ban

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Apple Strikes Back

“Dramatic,” “outlandish” and “false” – that’s how Apple SVP Craig Federighi described claims being made by the ad tech industry about Apple’s forthcoming IDFA changes in iOS 14. During a recorded speech at the European Data Protection & Privacy Conference on Tuesday, Federighi referred to online tracking as privacy’s “biggest” challenge,” claiming that Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency feature, which will require apps to get consent before using an IDFA for cross-app tracking, represents “the front line of user privacy.” Facebook has complained mightily that the upcoming IDFA changes will have a major negative impact on the app publishers that rely on Facebook’s Audience Network in order to monetize on iOS. Four online advertising trade groups have also banded together to file an antitrust complaint against Apple in France that seeks to derail Apple’s privacy changes on competition grounds. But Apple ain’t backing down. “Never before has the right to privacy – the right to keep personal data under your own control – been under assault like it is today,” Federighi said. Apple had been due to introduce its iOS 14 privacy enhancement this fall, but delayed the rollout until early 2021 after the ad industry sorta freaked out that there wouldn’t be enough time to prepare. TechCrunch has more.

Off To The Races

Google is lifting its post-election political ad ban a little less than a month before two crucial Georgia runoffs that will determine who has control of the Senate, Business Insider reports. The ban was first announced in October when a “sensitive event” policy was initially created to prevent the spread of misinformation about the elections and the public health crisis. At the time, advertisers were told that they should expect the ban to last for at least seven days after Election Day and that Google would review the situation on a weekly basis.The ban ended up being extended longer than anticipated in an effort to limit post-election misinformation. But starting on Dec. 10, advertisers can now buy ads across all ad-serving platforms, including Google Ads, DV360 and AdX. Although the post-election period is now no longer being considered a sensitive event, Google says it will continue to “rigorously enforce” its ad policies.

Rolling Out SDK

The IAB Tech Lab will roll out web video advertising as part of its Open Measurement SDK starting on Dec. 17. Previously, OM SDK, which provides a standardized way to measure in-app viewability, was only available for mobile apps. Adding in web video ads will allow publishers and video players to offer a single, consistent, scalable and more accurate solution to measure impressions and viewability, and enable advertisers to use one VAST tag to measure all their video ads as opposed to having separate measurement tags per platform. “It is a move to improved, seamless and transparent video measurement,” said Shailley Singh, VP of product at the IAB Tech Lab. “Expanding Open Measurement SDK to web video ads also lessens the dependency on VPAID, which is being phased out as a request from the industry.” OM SDK is one of IAB Tech Lab’s most widely adopted solutions. Read the release.

Ready To Rock

Pop culture and entertainment publishers are already licking their chops at the prospect of more advertising and affiliate revenues coming their way next year as streaming services race to reach ambitious subscriber targets. Digiday reports that through the first three quarters of 2020, brands spent more than $205 million promoting streaming services and another $119 million promoting specific programs available on streaming services, as per Nielsen. As diffuse as the streaming landscape can seem at times, it’s really only dominated by less than a dozen brands, with the biggies being Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and HBO Max. Over the course of 2020, entertainment site Fandom, which reaches 315 million monthly unique users globally, saw revenue from streamers rise 63%, said CRO Ken Shapiro, while Ranker CEO Clark Benson noted that streaming services became the top advertising category for his sites this year. Benson expects even more growth in the category in 2021. And this flood of promotions isn’t likely to let up anytime soon, said Andrew Wallenstein, president and chief media analyst for the Variety Intelligence Platform. “Shelter at home culture has made the streaming audience fishes in a barrel,” he said.

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