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Twitter Struggles To Balance Ads And Subscrips; Apple Is Playing Sports To Win

The Bird Is Freed?

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Twitter’s Subscription Conniptions

Elon Musk has been a vocal advocate of Twitter’s subscription business. But subscription growth can come at a severe cost to advertising, the actual revenue. 

Twitter Blue, as the subscription is called, promises far fewer ads as part of the deal. But cutting inventory for power users (about whom Twitter just collected all that juicy payment data) is a major hit to Twitter ads. 

One plan to revitalize advertising is to require Twitter users to opt in to personalized ads, Platformer reports. 

Additionally, Twitter might require users to consent to share location data and use contact info shared for the purpose of two-factor password verification for advertising. 

Hard to tell if that’s a notion seized on by Musk himself or something Twitter vets are suggesting. Just this year, Twitter paid a $150 million fine filed jointly by the DOJ and FTC for using two-factor authentication data for advertising. 

Sooooo that might be a problem. 

Requiring people to consent to personalized advertising to access the service or to share location data at all are major no-no’s for both GDPR and Apple’s ATT. 

I Believe Apple Will Win

Apple’s 10-year, $2.5 billion streaming deal with the MLS, the US men’s soccer league, may be the streaming deal of the decade. 


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And it’s a perfect example of why Apple and Amazon are the new favorites for sports broadcast rights.

For one, Apple will make almost every MLS game available on Apple TV+ globally. NBCUniversal, in comparison, has the English Premier League streaming rights but offers one game on the NBC Sports app, which anyone with a TV package can watch, while most games are exclusive to Peacock (and its stand-alone subscription). 

Apple is also catching MLS on the upswing. The MLS is much smaller than the NFL, NBA or MLB, but those leagues have diminishing TV ratings while soccer is growing. Apple stands to gain immense credit for 10 years of US soccer growth.

And Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcast took all of one season to reshape the NFL’s approach to dual-streaming games (rather than sticking with an early game that runs long and joining the next game after it starts), built-in post-game shows and “the demise of the standalone broadcast,” writes John Kosner, who runs a sports marketing agency.

Engine Repairs

This has been a big year in terms of updates to Google’s core search engine product. And the year’s not done yet. 

On Wednesday, the company announced a link spam update that will roll out over the next two weeks. The update takes more aggressive steps to downrank sites that manipulate links or try to attract links through inorganic means. 

“Ranking may change as spammy links are neutralized and any credit passed by these unnatural links are lost,” according to a Google Search Central update

Google is also currently rolling out an update to its “helpful content system,” Search Engine Land reports, which targets made-for-advertising sites or other publishers that focus primarily on gaming the search engine, rather than producing original content. 

But Wait, There’s More!

A brief history of privacy legislation. [Mobile Dev Memo]

Unboxing tomorrow: the 2023 trends report. [Dieline]

Netflix signs on to use Kantar for ad measurement in Brazil. [release]

The Alliance for Audited Media and BPA Worldwide vote to merge next year, pending regulatory approval. [MediaPost]

Federal lawmakers’ next steps in attempting to ban TikTok. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

The IAB hires Pam Zucker as chief strategy officer and Jack Koch as SVP of research and insights. [release]

Ex-Nielsen exec Damian Garbaccio joins purchase data platform Affinity Solutions as chief business and marketing officer. [release]

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