Unnecessary Location Tracking Proves Lucrative; Facebook Earns Big Political Ad Dollars

trackeverythingHere’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

There’s An App For That

Wanna know the dirty secret about that flashlight app or liquor-delivery app or weather app or neighborhood coupon app or new ridesharing app or whatever app you downloaded? “Making money off otherwise unnecessary location tracking may be the main reason that the app was developed in the first place.” There’s a thriving ecosystem of location data specialists (NinthDecimal, Placed, UberMedia and PlaceIQ, to name a few) that buy location data from apps or have contracts allowing them to piggyback on the location-tracking opt-in from consumer apps, as Kate Kaye covers at Ad Age. It’s a trend strong enough to impact the valuations for apps in certain categories (like delivery and weather) where users all readily opt in to location tracking because it makes sense for the service.

Political Letdown

“Citigroup projects that spending on political ads on Facebook could surpass spending on Alphabet’s Google this year,” reports Christopher Mims at The Wall Street Journal. And that’s no knock on Google, which has also had a monster election season [AdExchanger coverage]. But the overall market for political TV ads is soft, as Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser noted in a Monday research note. Mims writes, “In an ideal world, campaigns would poll every voter in America, then craft strategies to persuade undecideds and motivate supporters to go to the polls.” ’Til that day comes, the state of political advertising is… uncertain. More.

Consolidating The News

Gannett is near a deal to acquire Tronc, a spinoff of Tribune Co. and owner of major daily print outlets like the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. The deal would put these papers under the same roof as Gannett outlets like USA Today and Detroit Free Press. Gannett placed an unsolicited takeover bid for Tronc in April that valued the company at about $815 million (rumors of a renewed deal pushed the share value up substantially higher). Despite publicly scoffing at Gannett’s unsolicited, low-ball deal earlier in the year, it looks like all roads lead to consolidation for the print news industry. More at Variety.

Fairytale Ending?

Disney is struggling to convince Wall Street that its broadcast cash cow, ESPN, will keep growing as cable TV declines, The New York Times reports. Disney is on the shortlist of potential Twitter buyers, pitting it against tech natives like Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. The Disney-Twitter pairing makes sense if you consider the Disney’s financial pressure to expand into streaming channels (which just happens to be Twitter’s newfound purpose in life). Sources close to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey say he wants to sell to a media company to power his OTT and mobile video ambitions.

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