Big Pubs Pour Money Into TrustX; Spotify’s IPO

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

Pub Crawl

CBSi, ESPN, Meredith, Fox News and NBCUniversal committed $2.2 million to support TrustX, a nonprofit subsidiary of the publisher trade group Digital Content Next. Read the release. The TrustX platform is a collective private marketplace, with exchange technology licensed from Iponweb and verification from Moat. TrustX’s goal is to reduce the profit margins slipping to ad tech vendors and to prove that a limited supply of only name-brand inventory is more effective than audience targeting across the web. The $2.2 million backing isn’t much by VC standards, but it’s not an investment. The TrustX backing from DCN publishers is more like the time and talent ad tech companies commit to IAB working groups to incubate new products.

Press Play

In its public market debut, Spotify soared 28% above its price target of $132 per share to $165.90, then fell back to $149.01. The company went public in an unusual direct listing, circumventing the traditional bank-backed IPO process to post shares directly on the exchange. Despite a valuation upward of $26.6 billion, Spotify has never been profitable. And investors are sure to keep a close watch on the platform’s relationship with music labels, which consume billions of dollars per year from Spotify in licensing and distribution deals. Recode has more. Related in AdExchanger:Spotify Will Turn Up The Volume On Programmatic And Podcasting


Instagram is throttling the amount of data that developers can pull from its API, going from 5,000 calls per user per hour to only 200 calls. The app also won’t accept submissions from new developers. Apps that analyze follower interactions, analyze audiences and find relevant hashtags are affected. Instagram didn’t officially announce the change and is refusing to comment on it, TechCrunch reports, but the move mirrors updates Facebook made last week to limit third-party data sharing and curb CRM use on its platform in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. For Instagram, the change will remove a subset of third-party developers who make money or fuel audience growth by extracting API data from the platform. More.

Fakes Out

Facebook removed more Russian-backed troll accounts on Tuesday created by the same government-backed farm that meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. The tally: 70 Facebook and Instagram accounts and 138 Facebook pages controlled by the Internet Research Agency were culled because they were controlled by the IRA, “not based on the content,” wrote Facebook CTO Alex Stamos. The majority of the accounts – 95% – were in Russian and targeted at Russian speakers. Facebook deleted them because the IRA has a history of using inauthentic accounts to deceive and manipulate. Last year, Facebook started letting users know if they had followed pages created by the IRA. The accounts that messed with the election were deleted last fall. Facebook has been accused in the past of not acknowledging the scope of problems that hurt its platform – fake news, bots, exploitation by foreign entities – until they’re forced to. But in the new post-Cambridge Analytica era, Facebook is under intense pressure to be more transparent.

ID, please

Momentum is building for a universal ID for over-the-top advertising, as well as standards around ad delivery, measurement and frequency caps across devices and apps. After forming a working group last year, the IAB Tech Lab released new guidelines and recommendations for an identifier for advertising (IFA) in OTT. Chief among them: Create an opt-out mechanism, as well as identify and classify the source of an IFA, whether device-generated or publisher-derived. The guidelines also include specific recommendations for device manufacturers and OTT app publishers. Tim Ware, VP of advanced advertising for video SSP Telaria, a member of the OTT Technical Working Group, expects the guidelines to take effect by the end of the year as OTT investments increase. More from the IAB Tech Lab.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

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!

1 Comment

  1. We always appreciate the mentions and support from AdExchanger. Indeed, the additional capital will help us accelerate our mission across several strategic goals. That said, I’d characterize the phrase “reduce the profit margins slipping to ad tech vendors” differently. What we’re trying to do is, “reduce waste lost to the confusing — and sometimes nefarious — ad tech landscape.”

    TrustX appreciates honest, transparent and value-generating ad-tech, which is how I would characterize our curated, premium marketplace. We play among friends who share the desire to restore trust, transparency and safety to all forms of programmatic advertising.