The Big Story: Rolling With The Punches

The Big Story podcast

It feels a tad early to be buying pumpkin spice lattes (even though you apparently can). But one thing it’s definitely not too early to do? Get ready for Apple’s IDFA changes in iOS 14.

And even the biggies need to prepare. Last week, Facebook got very vocal about its plans, which involve not collecting the IDFA at all anymore for iOS 14 users – performance on the Audience Network be damned.

Google, however, is taking a more curious approach. It’ll keep on collecting the IDFA while waiting and watching to see what happens after iOS 14 rolls out. There’s little doubt that Google will be avidly observing any fallout to inform what it eventually does with its own mobile ad ID for Android.

But what exactly does Google use the IDFA for, what do Google developers have to do to prepare for iOS 14 and why is Google reacting to the situation so much differently than Facebook? The team digs in.

And speaking of watching and waiting, it appears that the Powers That Be at AT&T are tired of waiting for the Xandr dream to materialize. The Wall Street Journal reports that the telco is exploring a sale of its ad tech unit a little less than two years after its launch.

The fact that a sale of Xandr could be in the cards isn’t surprising, says senior editor Alison Weissbrot.

Elliott Management has been breathing down the AT&T board’s neck since last year and Randall Stephenson, who championed the Xandr narrative from the start, was pushed out as CEO in April. Seeing the writing on the wall, Xandr CEO Brian Lesser resigned in March followed in August by Kirk McDonald, who had been serving as interim head of Xandr since Lesser’s departure.

“This has been a long time coming,” Alison says. “The vision maybe hasn’t been performing as well as people were expecting at the company.”

Also in this episode: Why everything old is new again, a primer on tROAS and the connection between Stevie Nicks and the media brand formerly known as Oath. (Believe us, there actually is one.)

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