Home Daily News Roundup Amazon Ups Its ID And Ratings Game; Throw The Audiobook At Them

Amazon Ups Its ID And Ratings Game; Throw The Audiobook At Them

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Comic: Swamped

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

Signaling Change

Amazon has a new ad measurement product for publishers.

Signal IQ, as it’s called, is designed to help sites measure the impact of alternative IDs on campaign performance, including for streaming media, Ad Age reports. The idea is to make it easier for publishers to directly compare alt IDs available in Amazon’s marketplace, such as LiveRamp’s RampID, The Trade Desk’s UID 2.0 and Yahoo’s ConnectID.

Amazon also announced that the Amazon Publisher Cloud, a clean room measurement product launched in beta last October, will open to all streaming TV services in the US and Canada. [AdExchanger covered Cox Communications when it was a beta broadcast partner of the product last year.]

It makes sense for Amazon to capitalize on the TV industry’s bugbear – measurement – considering its status in ad-supported streaming. For example, while Nielsen is the official measurement partner for Amazon Prime Video’s broadcast of NFL games, Amazon would put out its own weekly ratings for its football broadcasts based on its log-level data. The advertiser budgets stuck to Nielsen, but Amazon’s unofficial self-ratings served as a weekly reminder that it has a deterministic number of logged-in users, in contrast to Nielsen’s panel-based ratings.

Library Carded

Sometimes consumers get a shadowy glimpse of how online ad tracking works and are so unsettled (or horrified) that they publish reports and sometimes even conduct outright crusades against ad targeting and data brokerage.

There are high-profile examples, like Alastair Mactaggart. He was a California realtor whose public ballot initiative became the California Consumer Privacy Act after a Googler explained in passing how ad targeting works. 

Or take Krzysztof Franaszek, a computational biology specialist by training, who was served an ad so poorly targeted he resolved to understand how it had come to be. He eventually launched Adalytics, which now has a litany of exposés about online ad malfeasance.

Which leads to a recent report by Christine Dudley, an attorney well-versed in terms of service agreements, who was targeted by the programmatic borg in some way that was clearly based on her audiobook history with the San Francisco Public Library. She worked with The Register and Zach Edwards, an online advertising and security researcher, to attempt to untangle the supply chain behind this targeting. 

TL;DR: Nobody involved has a satisfactory explanation. But it’s worth the long read.

Spreading The News

Publishers that are already starved for social traffic are feeling apocalyptic about Google Search’s generative AI-fueled transformation. 

With both Google and Meta seemingly abandoning publishers, sites are tying their fates to another Big Tech platform. Apple News is the hot new revenue stream for major outlets, Semafor reports.

Condé Nast, Penske Media, Vox, Hearst and Time all say Apple’s news aggregation app – particularly its single sign-on subscription tier, Apple News+ – has become a growing driver of direct revenue.

Time says its Apple News integration delivers seven figures annually. And, according to Dotdash Meredith, it provides a valuable source of subscription revenue for sites that don’t have their own paywalls. Apple also pays extra for publishers to create content for its Spotlight section, prompting multiple Dotdash Meredith publications to launch dedicated Spotlight teams.

But other publishers that are increasingly dependent on subscription revenue rather than ads are wary of biting a potential poison apple. 

The Washington Post, for instance, has avoided partnering with Apple, citing concerns over its 50% cut of subscriptions. Meanwhile, The New York Times left its Apple News deal in 2020, saying the platform doesn’t align with “building direct relationships with paying readers.”

But Wait, There’s More!

Some publishers are rebuilding their search strategies as Google’s AI search engine grows. [Adweek]

Apollo Global Management and Sony Pictures Entertainment sign nondisclosure agreements to access Paramount’s nonpublic financial information – the next step in the duo’s bid to acquire the studio. [NYT]

Watching all NFL games this year could cost streaming viewers about the same as a cable subscription. [CNET]

Ed Zitron’s history of how Facebook’s growth-at-all-costs mindset changed the platform for the worse. [Where’s Your Ed At?]

You’re Hired!

Raptive appoints Dana Storm Santiago as VP of inclusive partnerships. [release]

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