Biden Can’t Change US Media’s Toxicity; MediaMath, Merkle Partner For Cookieless ID Solution

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It’s All About Trust

The political and cultural divide in the United States was starkly visible during the 2020 election – especially as the results rolled in last week. President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to be a “healer in chief.” But as Campaign US writes, the newly minted pres-to-be has his work cut out for him, especially given how fragmented “the media” has become. For years, cable television outlets have become increasingly partisan and shrill in the United States – hi there, Fox News – although, to be fair, newspapers have spent centuries framing information through political opinion. More recently, social media has gamified attention by displaying the number of retweets, likes and comments a post receives, giving rise to a virtual “shoutathon” in which the most extreme and performative characters regularly generate the most engagement. “The biggest positive for US media will be a president who respects them and takes difficult questions from all sides,” said Douglas McCabe, chief executive and director of publishing and tech at Enders Analysis. “But this will not stop media digging in and accentuating social and political divides. Nor will it incentivize media to investigate and analyze (not explain away) different perspectives.”

Fully Integrated

Ad tech company MediaMath and data management provider Merkle are teaming up to solve online identity for a world without cookies. The companies announced the full integration of Merkle’s Merkury ID solution into MediaMath’s SOURCE platform, designed to help advertisers identify consumers across devices. This capability will let premium publishers personalize ads without using third-party cookies, which are on the way out the door. Through the integration, digital marketers can personalize campaigns via the person-based Merkury ID and add third-party data for targeting and measurement across multiple devices and supply paths. “The need to evolve beyond the third-party cookie that drove the advertising industry here has spurred much innovation. One of our jobs is to identify, integrate, and scale those solutions that will serve as the basis for the enterprise web that is emerging,” said Joe Zawadzki, CEO and Founder of MediaMath, in a release.

Trump Ghosts TikTok

TikTok may have been granted a temporary reprieve from cancellation in the United States, but the popular video-sharing app is still going to court to try and avoid an all-out ban that’s set to take effect Thursday, Adweek reports. This year has been a wild ride for the short-form social video site. As its popularity in the United States skyrocketed, it faced a regulatory salvo from the Trump administration. But that administration — just voted out of office — has ignored TikTok completely of late. TikTok hasn’t heard from the government in nearly two months. The platform recently averted a US ban when a federal judge granted an injunction against an executive order, where the Commerce Department suggested outlawing TikTok app downloads and web traffic. “In the nearly two months since the president gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement – but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework,” TikTok said in a statement.

Streaming Is The Future

The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced many media companies to cut costs, but the shift to streaming during the crisis will only increase and further fuel the disruption. Digiday reports that the trend is not abating: For at least the better part of the past decade, traditional TV companies such as ESPN have increasingly faced the prospect that they will need to pivot their businesses to streaming. The pandemic has accelerated that need. However, that shift to grow new streaming businesses is intertwined with the softening of TV companies’ linear businesses. Compounding matters, companies stand to bring in only one-sixth as much revenue per streaming household as they do from pay-TV subscribers. In a company memo announcing on Nov. 5 that the network would lay off 300 people, ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said that the TV sports giant has “reached an inflection point. The speed at which change is occurring requires great urgency, and we must now deliver on serving sports fans in a myriad of new ways.”

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