Publishers Struggle To Monetize Apple News Audiences; The Road To A Federal Privacy Law

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Apple Newsonomics

Publishers are struggling to make money from Apple News because the platform doesn’t allow them to use third-party data or execute programmatic sales, Digiday concludes based on interviews with seven unnamed publishers. A source described an “abysmal” fill rate of less than 20%. Still, publishers are seeing significant traffic from the app, especially when stories are highlighted in its “Top News” widget. Others have had success with subscriptions. “There are all kinds of issues with it, but it’s better than nothing,” says one. More.

Privacy Please

Privacy advocates and tech companies are pressuring lawmakers to develop a national privacy law, and so lawmakers are doing what they do best: holding hearings. Separate House and Senate committees are scheduled to host hearings with lobbyists Tuesday and Wednesday to talk about the path toward broad federal privacy legislation. One of the biggest issues facing lawmakers on that front is whether they should craft a law that preempts state-based privacy laws – like the one in California – in favor of giving more agency to the Federal Trade Commission. Right now, the FTC has limited power to make rules and issue fines. Not everyone is a fan of preemption, though. Some privacy advocates and Democrats are firmly on the side of states’ rights. “Congress ought to use these hearings as an opportunity to ask companies what they should not and will not do with data,” said Joseph Jerome, privacy and data policy counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology.  More.

Doing Just Fi

Google Fi, the company’s mobile network service, is blazing a new trail into the wireless industry. Google Fi buys bandwidth from T-Mobile, Sprint and other US carriers and resells data to device owners. Nowadays, most carriers anchor their products around the phone, with free upgrades to new models or low-cost loans that hook people into annual contracts. Google Fi has strong selling points, including lower costs for many individuals and worldwide service without roaming, writes The Wall Street Journal. But the service is limited by its reliance on other carriers. Google Fi data doesn’t connect to Google advertising profiles, but even at an aggregate level the network operator data is valuable. More.

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