Apple’s ATT Takes A Bite; Blackstone Buys Into

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More than 70% of Apple devices have upgraded to the latest operating system, with the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy policy. And now mobile advertisers and ad tech are starting to feel the pain, writes Eric Seufert at Mobile Dev Memo. The loudest canary in the coalmine is Facebook, which last week recommended that advertisers consolidate App Event Optimization and Value Optimization campaigns – two major mobile measurement products – due to insufficient iOS audience IDs to gather conversion data at scale. Some of Facebook’s legendary creative optimization will also fall into disrepair, because there isn’t enough “surface area” (a.k.a., trackable users) to mass-test campaigns while targeting granular audiences. And Facebook is not the only mobile player reporting an iOS fallout. Singular said mobile iOS ad spend is down by a third in the past month alone, with a 50% decrease for 90-day LTV for acquired iOS users.

The Rolling Stone

Private equity giant Blackstone bought a co-majority share of, a programmatic and agency management software provider with special strength in local. Blackstone now co-owns with the private equity firm GTCR, and its investment values at a whopping $1.5 billion. “Digital advertising is a high-conviction investment theme at Blackstone and sits at the intersection of multiple attractive tailwinds, including the continued shift in local media spend to programmatic digital and CTV,” said Blackstone co-head of technology investing Martin Brand in the release. Earlier this month, Blackstone outright acquired the B2B data company and programmatic publisher IDG for $1.3 billion. (AdExchanger has more on that)

Security Check

Malvertising is on the rise. Forced page redirects and ads aimed at scamming users (say, a search result by a fake software security provider) are some of the more common ways to deliver malware via digital ads, according to security firm Confiant. Those incidents rose by 26.5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with Q4 2020. Meanwhile, quality violations – which include “heavy” ads that soak up bandwidth – spiked 45%. The company released its quarterly Malvertising and Ad Quality Index report on Monday. Forced redirects are a particular headache for publishers, since their traffic is poached and because such fraudsters are expensive to police. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

A federal court judge has dismissed the FTC’s antitrust complaint against Facebook. [CNBC]

Recent Upfront deals could squeeze inventory in the scatter marketplace. [Digiday]

Fuse Media is launching its fourth streaming service to date this year with Fuse Plus, a platform geared toward multicultural millennial and Gen Z audiences. [Forbes]

Engine Media Exchange has launched its Exchange Business Intelligence dashboard, which shows inventory buying and bidding transaction data. [release]

You’re Hired

BBH tapped Laura Cona as head of growth. [release]

Mediavine hired Yolanda Evans as VP, people experience. [Adweek]

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