Home Daily News Roundup Why The Gray Lady Misses Its Old Ads Biz; Google’s Location Data Update Changes Nothing

Why The Gray Lady Misses Its Old Ads Biz; Google’s Location Data Update Changes Nothing

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When Ad Dependence Is Independence

Buried in a worthwhile Economist longread about mainstream news and The New York Times struggling to balance revenue needs with journalistic standards is an interesting nugget about the value of an ad-based business versus one that relies on subscriptions.

“It became one of [then NYT Executive Editor] Dean Baquet’s frequent mordant jokes that he missed the old advertising-based business model,” according to the report.

The keyword blocklists they wield aside, advertisers often feel “much less sense of ownership” compared with subscribers over the content and standards of the paper.

And this dynamic doesn’t only exist in the news industry.

Facebookagram and YouTube, for instance, are largely insulated from advertiser boycotts. You could remove every Fortune 500 advertiser from their platforms and barely dent their demand. 

Meanwhile, over at Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which is launching an ad-supported tier early next year, executives must tread carefully with advertising – but not because advertisers might get upset. They’re worried about their subs.

The fear is that a tasteless, hot-button or problematic placement could cause subscribers to walk.

The Map That Leads To You

Google updated its location history features earlier this week – but the updates may not give users as much control as it initially seemed, according to Ars Technica.

Assuming a user has opted into having their location history tracked, Google Maps Timeline data will now be stored on that user’s device, rather than in the cloud. Users will be allowed to delete their history, searches and shares from this on-device storage.

The catch? Google is still collecting location data that it stores in the cloud and shares with third parties – and users can’t delete that.

Essentially, Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo writes, this creates a false impression among users that they’ve deleted their location history and opted out of tracking when what they’re really doing is simply deleting their on-device storage. Google and other location vendors can still get access to the data.

It’s a perplexing move, considering Google has faced lawsuits in nearly every US state over its use of location data. This could be interpreted as an attempt by Google to give users a false sense of control over their data, potentially creating more fodder for lawsuits.

Europe? More Like, You’re Down

European lawmakers and markets are giving the boot – if not the finger – to American consumer tech.

Amazon’s prospects in Europe are affected by antitrust laws and rulings, according to The Information. For one, it must collect explicit consent to target known shoppers, a capability taken for granted in the US. Amazon also must rein in self-promotion of Amazon-owned products, such as Alexa speakers.

Meta’s forced changes are even more dramatic. In response to privacy concerns, Meta launched a subscription version of Facebook and Instagram with no ads in Europe, which costs about $11 on the web or $14 for app sign-ups.

That’s a huge deviation from Meta’s long-held commitment to being a free and ad-supported service, but it’s really just bait to challenge the GDPR ruling that it must offer an option to avoid personalized advertising. To use the Facebook and Instagram apps for free, Europeans must agree to data collection for ad purposes. 

And then there’s Google. This year, Google said it would no longer store or log IP address data whatsoever. Although it’s legal and common to collect IP addresses in North America, Google Analytics is dealing with major issues in Europe tied to IP address collection.

But Wait, There’s More!

Axel Springer and OpenAI strike a “real-time news” deal for ChatGPT. [Axios]

News publishers see Google’s AI search tool as a traffic-destroying nightmare. [WSJ]

As attention grows up, agency rebundling is one unintended result. [Digiday]

You’re Hired!

Experian and Equifax vet Kevin Dean joins Truthset as general manager of its data collective. [release]

LiveRamp elevates three execs to C-suite roles, including Travis Clinger to chief connectivity and ecosystem officer. [release]

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