Home Ad Exchange News Thank You, Digital Markets Act!; Google Needs To Reenergize The Sandbox

Thank You, Digital Markets Act!; Google Needs To Reenergize The Sandbox

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A New Day, A New Apple

Apple engineers are preparing to support third-party app stores on iPhones and iPads, Bloomberg reports. 

But this is not a change of heart on Apple’s part. Apple is simply following the law. A new rule in the EU, the Digital Markets Act, comes into effect in 2024 and will require mobile operators to offer app store choices.

And that’s not all. Apple may also remove its mandate that all iOS apps use WebKit, Apple’s browser engine that powers Safari. Although many browser operators use Chromium – Google’s open-source version – they’re forced to use WebKit on iOS devices.

Problem is, WebKit is inferior. The long-standing cynical take is that Apple underinvests in WebKit because Apple profits from in-app ads and sales but earns little to nothing on the web. 

In addition to embracing (well, allowing) third-party app stores and opening iOS to other browser engines, Apple may even open access to its NFC chip that enables contactless payments. As of now, only Apple Pay and Apple’s Wallet app have access.

All of these changes are about leveling the playing field from an antitrust perspective. But the biggest issue for Apple, or so it claims, is the fear of privacy and security issues as a result of “sideloading” or downloading apps from a third-party store. That’s been Apple’s constant refrain in courts around the world as to why it restricts iOS access to Apple services.

But the argument might not hold water if third-party app stores in the EU work just fine. 

Who’s Playing In The Sandbox?

Google needs to get advertisers and ad tech companies excited about working on post-third party cookie tech. The wind’s been out of the sails now that the deadline for deprecation, originally set for Q2 this year, has been delayed twice. Mark your calendars for the back half of 2024.

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“There is no doubt that 2023 will be a critical year to prepare for a world without third-party cookies,” Joey Trotz, Google’s director of product for Privacy Sandbox Ecosystems, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

But it’ll be tough going.

“Innovation is in the digital advertising industry’s DNA,” writes Trotz. Counterintuitively, so is inaction.

2024 is a long way off. And, hey, if cookie deprecation doesn’t happen by Q3 2024, surely Google will push it again before messing up holiday spend, right?

The Retail Wags The Dog

Retail media has officially earned its place in the marketer’s toolbox.

Buyers see retail media networks as reliable partners in an ecosystem that’s been rattled by signal loss and (eventual) third-party cookie deprecation, Adweek reports.

Out of 800 buy-side stakeholders surveyed by IAB Europe and Microsoft’s Xandr, 90% plan to add a retailer network in 2023. In addition, 92% of advertisers and 74% of agencies have established retailer ad partnerships. And more than two-thirds of respondents say they’ve had positive results so far working with retail media networks.

Oddly, only one-third of advertisers and 28% of agencies cited closed-loop attribution as a key selling point – Isn’t that the special sauce?! – while more than half of buyers say category-level targeting is more valuable than product-level targeting.

But retail media isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. 

One-third of respondents said retail media needs additional scale to grow out of old-school shopper marketing budgets and that the ad tech integrations are limited. The cost of retail media also remains a barrier to investment. Shelling out for CTV is one thing, but shelling out for banners and product listings on grocery websites is quite another.

But Wait, There’s More!

Westworld and other HBO titles may be removed from the streamer and added to a free ad-supported service, partly for ad revenue – and also to avoid paying actor and studio residuals. [Deadline]

Google’s former head of search and other industry vets invest in ProfitWheel. [VC Circle]

Why companies like Netflix see store shelves as a place to connect with customers. [Marketing Brew]

Amplified Intelligence, an attention measurement company, acquires AttentvAds. [release]

The number of people of color in TV ads fell by nearly 7% over the past year. [Ad Age]

You’re Hired!

Forbes promotes Sherry Phillips to CRO and Vadim Supitskiy to chief digital and information officer. [release]

TvScientific hires Michael Bilow as its first head of data science. [release]

TripleLift appoints Sonja Kristiansen as chief business officer. [release]

Operative adds Lindsay Van Kirk as SVP of product; Mike Pollard as SVP of strategic partnerships; David Dembowski as SVP of sales; and Peter Schultz, VP of digital sales. [release]

EDO names Paramount and 20th Century vet Steve Siskind as GM for studio analytics. [Deadline]

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