Home Ad Exchange News Can Apple Have Its Cake And Eat It, Too?; Instacart’s IPO Reveal

Can Apple Have Its Cake And Eat It, Too?; Instacart’s IPO Reveal

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

Apple’s Sauce

As Apple wades deeper into the advertising industry sea with its own ad network and attribution system, the company might have to navigate a tricky riptide if it upsets iPhone customers or attracts a regulator’s ire.

For instance, Apple doesn’t apply its third-party data policies to itself. When all app developers had to regain consent with new language and pop-ups, its own apps (Stocks, Maps, Mail, News, etc.) simply didn’t bother. Apple also does cross-app tracking without consent.

Apple avoids the punishment Google would face in that situation because it isn’t a major general ad tech player. But that’s changing, as Digiday reports.

Google, for instance, is prohibited by the UK competition regulator from removing third-party cookies in Chrome without its go-ahead because doing so would impact ad tech competitors that can’t adjust strategies like Google can by using first-party data.

Apple ATT could soon lay waste to many mobile app SDK operators, which underpin the mobile performance marketing economy, and then Apple could quickly slide right into their place as the only show in iOS town.

In The Cart

The grocery chain Albertsons may make $80 million or more from Instacart’s IPO due to a hush-hush stock deal it struck with Instacart a few years ago, The Information reports.

When Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, grocery retailers were shook. Instacart swooped in to ink a number of retailer partnerships with the likes of Albertsons and Kroger.

These relationships helped Instacart secure market share among companies that, let’s be honest, view it as a margin-eating intermediary that should be removed.

Instacart held its own because it commands a large share of overall grocery ecommerce – from 0.6% of its retail partners’ ecommerce orders five years ago to 5% today – and some help from stock dish-outs.

And since 43% of Instacart’s sales come from three clients alone – Kroger, Costco and Publix – Instacart stands to lose big if any of them breaks up with the company.

The Fourth Pillar

Amazon is searching high and low for its next hit product, another platinum record it can put on the wall alongside its online retail marketplace, Amazon Prime and the AWS cloud infrastructure.

This potential “fourth pillar,” which is internal company shorthand for this mythical smash-hit business, is proving elusive, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Amazon walked back its ambition around smart gadgets and Alexa-powered devices since Andy Jassy took over as CEO three years ago. Its health care bets haven’t taken off either.

On the other hand, ummm … hello? Advertising is already the fourth pillar Amazon is looking for.

Advertising is about a $40 billion annual business at this point. And, unlike Amazon’s other golden geese, it scales largely as profit. For instance, Amazon must build warehouses and data server centers, hire and train people to deliver parcels, buy trucks, produce movies, etc. All these things cost more as they grow.

After the immense costs of creating the Prime two-day shipping guarantee, Amazon Studios, AWS and more, Amazon may be leery of advertising’s low-hanging fruit.

But Wait, There’s More!

Why major SSPs monetize the majority of the web’s low-quality sites. [Adweek]

A look at technology’s IPO comeback. [Axios]

Confessions of an MFA publisher. [Adweek]

The AI boom may not have a positive outcome, warns UK competition watchdog. [The Guardian]

You’re Hired!

Integral Ad Science names Yossi Almani as chief legal officer. [release]

Amit Prakash joins SurveyMonkey as chief marketing officer. [release]

Indie agency Fig hires Amber Higgins as its first chief strategy officer. [Ad Age]

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