Is Addressable Linear A Real Thing Now?; Google’s New Pixel Bundle

Wait, Wait … Addressable Linear? 

AMC Networks announced a partnership with The Trade Desk and Magnite to run addressable ads on linear TV. “This is a huge development, for us and for the entire industry, unlocking the value of linear inventory,” said Evan Adlman, SVP of advanced advertising and digital partnerships at AMC Networks. AMC is committed to making 100% of its linear reach available to addressable channels, Variety reports – although, it must be noted, that’s not the same as selling all of AMC Network’s inventory via addressable buys. Even if AMC is committed, it still needs players across the industry to enable addressability. These ad buys rely on clean room data onboarding services (such as Blockgraph or LiveRamp) that match IDs between the programmer and the advertiser, with platforms to execute the deal (The Trade Desk and Magnite in this case). The campaigns require identifying a logged-in, authenticated viewer recognized by both the advertiser and AMC Networks, and typically there needs to be an integration directly with the smart TV operating system. If not, an addressable ad can only get to TV feeds via set-top box video-on-demand or satellite services that can sell a portion of inventory. “We believe in the enhanced efficiency and automation of programmatic buying,” Adlman said. Which is a pretty amazing statement in and of itself, considering broadcasters have long abhorred the P-word. 

Pixel Passes Pack A Peck Of Packaged Products

Apple’s new iPhone and MacBook models start at a cool $1,000 and $2,000, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the MacBook release, Google unveiled its new Pixel smartphone, starting at $599 – a $100 discount from the previous model. Google is borrowing one Apple strategy, though, by releasing its first major bundle of cloud data, media and services tied to a monthly installment plan for the smartphone. The Google Pixel Pass, as it’s called, includes 200GB of Google One cloud storage, YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Pass (a gaming subscription), The Verge reports. It’s a good discount for customers who subscribe to one or more of Google’s ad-free services or those who would be happy to drop a competitor’s version to save money. But Google is enforcing tough rules to keep customers from dining and dashing, so to speak. Anyone who cancels the Pixel Pass pays off the remainder of a two-year contract at a “non-discounted price” – and loses access to each of the bundled services.

Big Tech Bashers

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are drumming up support for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would tighten rules on tech companies that span many markets or platforms. Senator Klobuchar’s release cites many of the usual suspects whose side hustle has become bashing Google and Facebook in legal and antitrust forums. Roku’s SVP of corporate affairs, John Kelly, for example, said his company supports the bill “to modernize our competition laws, promote innovation and protect consumers in the Digital Age.” DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg proclaimed the law would “make clear that self-preferencing behavior ... is illegal, as well as allow consumers to actually choose the services they want to use without interference from dominant platforms.” Spotify’s chief legal officer, Horacio Gutierrez, is unsurprisingly in favor of modernizing competition law in the US. “Gatekeeper platforms use their power to distort markets by manufacturing self-serving advantages at the expense of American consumers and competitors.” Yelp and Match Group execs also chimed in to support the proposal (and denigrate Big Tech). 

But Wait, There’s More!   

New Sharp TVs to feature Roku OS. [The Streamable]

Tremor acquires CTV ad server Spearad for $14.7M, which it plans to integrate into its Unruly SSP. [Advanced Television]

Epsilon and Vistar Media partner to extend audience segments to DOOH. [release]

Gaming products are infiltrating home goods retailers and brands. [Modern Retail]

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai calls for federal tech regulation. [TechCrunch]

IAB: The Internet economy created more than 7M jobs, powered US growth. [blog]

You’re Hired

Max Gendler is News Corp’s new head of consumer data governance. [tweet]

Real estate ad platform Audience Town brings on Karl Vontz as CMO. [release]

Video storytelling tech startup StoryTap brings on four new execs. [release]

Mozilla hires Imo Udom as SVP of innovation ecosystems. [release]

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