Industry Group Calls Privacy Sandbox Anticompetitive; Snapchat Launches TikTok Competitor

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A Line In The Sand

An alliance of digital marketing companies filed a complaint with the UK’s competition authority on Monday calling for the regulator to block Google from implementing the technologies within the Chrome Privacy Sandbox. The sandbox houses Google’s proposals for third-party cookie alternatives. Marketers for an Open Web (MOW), the group behind the complaint, believe that Google’s stated rationale for phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome – that it’s being done in the name of consumer privacy – is rather a thinly veiled “ploy to move digital advertising away from the open web and beyond the reach of regulators.” James Rosewell, MOW’s director and CEO of 51Degrees, tells TechCrunch that the sandbox represents “an irreversible step towards a Google-owned ‘walled garden’ web where they control how businesses and users interact online.” MOW argues that regulators need more time to devise remedies to mitigate Google’s dominance before Google makes its move to remove third-party cookies in Chrome, which is by far the most penetrated web browser out there with nearly three quarters of global market share. [Related in AdExchanger: “What The FLoC: Don’t Be A Sheep.”]

Snapping At The Competition

No longer the most popular kid in school, Snapchat is finally ready to compete with TikTok and will pay creators to post on the platform. The Verge reports that the company is officially announcing a new section of Snapchat called Spotlight that will surface vertical video content from users that’s more meme-like and jokey as opposed to the day-in-the-life content Snap previously encouraged. So … basically, it’s TikTok, but on Snapchat. Snap has been hinting at its Spotlight section for months, although the app lacked a feed for these snaps up until now, since Spotlight is specifically designed for viral video formats. With Spotlight, Snap is clearly acknowledging the success of TikTok’s short-form viral videos, similar to Instagram’s admission with its launch of Reels in August. To entice people to post snaps regularly, Snap says it’ll divvy up $1 million between the most popular creators on the app per day through the end of 2020. Spotlight will have its own dedicated tab in the app and initially launch in 11 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia.

Discovering Streaming

Discovery has joined the streaming party, in the UK, at least, as the latest to roll out a “Plus” streaming service, writes The Drum. Already on the + side, there’s Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, ESPN Plus, Hulu Plus, Samsung TV Plus, BET Plus and Paramount Plus. Discovery Plus is actually a relaunched version of Dplay, which is Discovery’s existing ad-funded video on-demand service. Discovery Plus will include a VOD library with access to pay TV channels, as well as upcoming originals focused mainly on crime documentaries and supernatural-themed content. The channel launches with 80 hours of originals, including a documentary about Joe Exotic’s zoo – part of an attempt to recreate Netflix’s “Tiger King” magic – and a Ghost Adventures special. Why, though, would someone sign up for Discovery Plus if they’ve already got Netflix? James Gibbons, Discovery’s EVP and GM for the UK and Nordics, argues that Discovery Plus “will complement rather than compete” with existing streaming services. Even so, Discovery has a long road ahead toward sustainable growth in a very competitive market.

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