Amazon Following Spotify’s Lead; Google Helping Publishers Plan For FLoC

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

Everything Store Adds More Audio

Amazon is new to podcasting but it’s moving fast, borrowing from Spotify’s playbook. After scooping up podcast publisher Wondery eight months ago, it’s now signing exclusive distribution and ad deals with buzzy podcasts like SmartLess (hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes), Lucas Shaw reports for Bloomberg. And it’s hiring aggressively, perhaps sensing a media opportunity as yet unexploited by its chief rivals Google and Facebook. “Amazon is at the beginning, but I do anticipate that will continue to grow,” says GroupM’s chief digital investment officer, Susan Schiekofer. The ad revenue associated with any given show is small potatoes for Amazon (SmartLess brings in about $6 million annually), but the scale issues are countered by the strategic opportunity to add a new channel to its existing retail, TV and livestreaming footprint. Read on. 

Privacy Workshop

Google is holding a group of publishers by the hand to bring them up to speed on exactly how its Privacy Sandbox works, Digiday reports. Google was criticized for pushing ahead with plans to phase out third-party cookies – to be replaced by cookieless targeting called federated learning of cohorts (FLoC) – this year before the industry had a chance to prepare for the changes. But not only did Google delay its timeline for third-party cookie deprecation until 2023; it’s also waving a proverbial olive branch to publishers who felt left out of the planning process. A group of Google ads and Chrome engineers and staffers have been working with about 20 major publishers for the past five months to talk about FLoC, first-party data and more. Of course, no one is saying who the big publishers are, and the meetings have been kept under wraps so as not to “alienate smaller publishers.” 

The Unfixable App Stores

A recently proposed bill in the Senate, the Open App Markets Act, seeks to rein in the power and pricing models of mobile app ecosystems. But would it even make a difference? “The mobile app economy was always winner-takes-all, and the winners have already done all the taking,” writes Eric Seufert of Mobile Dev Memo. The largest mobile subscription players already remove all their billing from app store pipes. Netflix doesn’t offer in-app billing. Neither does YouTube TV, Headspace, Duolingo, Noom, nor many other popular subscription apps. The law also gives wide leniency to policies in the name of privacy, which is a main source of frustration for developers and likely wouldn’t change anyways. “The Open App Markets Act could have been transformational on mobile five years ago. Now, it’s too little, too late.”

But Wait, There’s More!  

Axel Springer is reportedly in talks to acquire Politico. [WSJ]

The FTC has until Thursday to file an amended antitrust complaint against Facebook. [Politico]

An executive change at Twitter created turmoil and conflict at the company. [NYT]

Omnicom Media Group is working with Amplified Intelligence to measure ads based on consumer attention. [Ad Age

Facebook still has a vaccine misinformation problem, researchers say. [Vox]

Comscore teamed up with NewsGuard to help brands avoid publishers that post misinformation. [Marketing Brew]

The Week publisher Dennis acquired by Future PLC for $416M. [Adweek]

You’re Hired

Hudson MX made four senior hires to its client team. [release]

Doceree hired former PulsePoint exec Thomas Shea as CRO. [release]

Omnicom’s Doremus tapped Paul Hirsch as president. [Campaign

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!