Is This The End For Open Bidding?; B2B Software Co’s Are Getting Into News And Video

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Whoop Deduped

Open Bidding, Google’s alternative to header bidding that maintains its high take rate, has been in the hot seat since last year, after a state-led antitrust suit revealed the lengths to which Google went to stymie header-bidding adoption. 

The Trade Desk cranked the heat even more in January, when the company announced it would remove Open Bidding inventory. Since TTD CEO Jeff Green called header bidding “the best thing that ever happened to us as a company and to the open internet,” cutting off Open Bidding paid homage to the tech that challenged Google’s supply-side dominance for the first time, in the process showing how big (and anticompetitive) it had become.  

And the beats keep coming for Open Bidding, with news this week from Adweek that Yahoo and Amobee will remove OB as a supply path.

The problem isn’t just a beef with Google. DSPs also have major bid-duplication issues, since publishers must send the same impressions down many SSP paths in order to equalize access to inventory. Given Open Bidding’s extra 5% fee and its lack of transparency, it’s an easy lever to decrease a large number of overall duplicate bids. 

”What we are seeing is the slow death of Open Bidding,” one ad tech exec tells Adweek. “Header bidding has won.”

They Mean Business

Last February, HubSpot acquired The Hustle, a newsletter-based resource and community for business and startup news readers. The Hustle is now pushing further into media with the launch of a video business and a YouTube creator channel, in particular, according to a job posting spotted by Shareen Pathak of the media and subscription content consultancy Toolkit. 

As Pathak notes, HubSpot’s seemingly inexplicable pivot into news, newsletters and podcasting was followed by Salesforce launching Salesforce+, a streaming subscription service. 

Why are B2B software companies getting into news, newsletters and podcasts? For one thing, news companies struggle to make news work. CNN ditched CNN+ because the streaming service wasn’t viable and wouldn’t be for many years at best. Salesforce could happily eat a huge loss on Salesforce+ for years.

The Hustle can likewise be a smash hit for HubSpot without being a highly profitable stand-alone business. HubSpot just wants entrepreneurs and small business owners to know about HubSpot. 

An underappreciated benefit is also that B2B media subscriptions are often expensed, not carried by an individual.

How A Bill Unbecomes A Law

Is Big Tech finally worried (ahem … I mean, excited!) about a federal privacy law?

The recent spending indicates the answer is a resounding yes. 

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) – a lobbyist organization jointly headed by Meta, Amazon, Google and Apple – spent $22 million in one week in May on TV campaigns warning against the legislation, per AdImpact.

Apple spent $2.5 million on lobbyists in Q1 alone, more than it spent on lobbying in any previous quarter, Axios reports. 

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are preparing a bill that could hit the Senate floor this summer. It has concessions to business interests from the initial proposal, though the new version is also strongly opposed by the tech lobby, according to Axios. If passed, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act would force Apple to allow external in-app payment systems, prohibit Google from favoring its own media in search results and stop Amazon from favoring private-label brands over third-party sellers. 

The US West Coast tech giants all purportedly support a federal privacy law. Which is to say, they don’t want California’s privacy law to become a new default.

But Wait, There’s More!

Key questions Meta’s ads team must answer as it enters a new era. [Digiday]

AT&T completes sale of the Xandr ad unit to Microsoft. [B&C]

BuzzFeed stock dipped 40% the day employee share lockup expired. [h/t Keith Hernandez]

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz: For the second week in a row, the CPPA dropped a bombshell on a Friday afternoon. [blog]

OAAA: Out-of-home advertising saw a huge 40% year-over-year increase in Q1 2022. [release]

Apple starts connecting the dots for its next big thing. [NYT]

The Federal Trade Commission is planning a “start-to-finish reboot” of its guidance for digital advertisers. [MediaPost]

Leaked emails reveal what Amazon offers to pay influencers to post shoppable livestreams. [Insider]

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