Home Daily News Roundup Sensor Tower Acquires Data.ai; Can Minute Media Salvage Sports Illustrated?

Sensor Tower Acquires Data.ai; Can Minute Media Salvage Sports Illustrated?


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

Startups In Slowdowns

Sensor Tower, a mobile marketing analytics and benchmarking company, has acquired its direct rival, Data.ai.

Some may recall Data.ai by its former name, App Annie.

Both Data.ai and Sensor Tower track app downloads and engagement rates, which make them oft-cited suppliers of mobile data.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, per the TechCrunch report, but it’s somewhat of a surprise that Sensor Tower, which has raised $46 million, acquired Data.ai, which had received $157 million over previous rounds.

But perhaps the news is not so surprising, considering that profitability has become untenable in their category. Apple and Google have made recent changes that “somewhat impede” the ability of companies like Sensor Tower and Data.ai to collect meaningful data, according to TechCrunch.

This is true in the same way a large concrete wall might “somewhat impede” a horseback rider.

All across digital marketing and analytics, one-time top rivals are running out of steam like boxers leaning on each other deep in a fight. Other notable examples include the collection of SSPs that became Magnite and the would-be merger between Outbrain and Taboola.

A Sporting Chance

Minute Media, a hybrid sports publisher and mar tech business, nabbed distribution rights to Sports Illustrated for a minimum of 10 years, The New York Times reports.

Sports Illustrated’s star dimmed as print readership declined broadly and the publication passed between a series of indifferent owners. Meredith got SI in a bundle with Time Magazine, but later punted it off to Authentic Brands Group, which still owns content rights. ABG then licensed the Sports Illustrated brand and site to Maven, which became The Arena Group.

In the process, SI was run into the ground, eventually resorting to AI-generated content before the company was wracked by mass layoffs in January.

But the world’s not done with Sports Illustrated just yet. That orange still has a few more drops of juice left to squeeze, apparently.

Minute Media will keep the print mag running and hire back laid-off employees.

But changes are afoot. Minute Media, which also owns sports sites The Players’ Tribune and FanSided, specializes in “short-form sports content creation,” CEO Asaf Peled tells the Times. Sports Illustrated’s long-form journalism is “an exception to our core strategy,” he says.

So that part of SI, at least, will be gone for good.

The Compliance Alliance

The EU Commission is hosting a series of DMA compliance workshops to give “interested parties” an opportunity to pepper so-called gatekeeper companies with questions.

On the hot seat Monday: Apple.

The discussion reinforced how tricky enforcement will be and how often Big Tech gatekeeper platforms struggle with consumer experience trade-offs (h/t @Kay Jebelli, a Belgian-based privacy and antitrust lawyer, for live-tweeting the event).

Take Safari. Apple must present default browser options for iPhone customers. Safari must be listed randomly and users have to scroll all the way down to the bottom before making their choice.

It’s not the greatest burden, but this forced scroll is just one of many consumer drawbacks.

And consider this: Apple isn’t allowed to oversee other apps and web browsers, which can now use code other than Apple’s WebKit. (Even Chrome uses WebKit for iOS rather than its own Chromium open-source code.)

“You’re going to see Apps that copy or knock off or crack apps, and that is going to affect our developer community,” Apple replied to one question that came in about quality assurances. “It is a real problem.”

But Wait, There’s More!

A “server anomaly” that made it look like some advertisers were bidding billions of dollars sent the ad tech industry into chaos. [Business Insider]

Advertisers are sitting tight on their TikTok budgets. [Digiday]

Apple is in talks to license Google Gemini to power its iOS 18 AI features. [Bloomberg]

OpenAI’s GPT app store – its attempt to do for large-language models what Google and Apple did for mobile apps – is off to a sluggish start. [The Information]

Jimmy Pitaro’s chaotic race to remake ESPN. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

Adweek has a new editor-in-chief: AdExchanger alum Ryan Joe. Congrats! [Adweek]

Kristen Cavallo, MullenLowe’s global CEO, is retiring to pursue a career in politics and social activism. [Ad Age]

Must Read

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.

Marketecture Buys AdTechGod (No, Really)

Marketecture has acquired AdTechGod – an anonymous ad tech Twitter poster turned one-man content studio – and the AdTech Forum, an information resource hosted by AdTechGod and Jeremy Bloom.