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Weekly Roundup: New York’s Privacy Bill, Amazon TAM, Sizmek Spin Off, and More.

Adtech Weekly Roundup
"We'd have to shut Facebook down in New York"

Next privacy bill is here

It’s a new week. So, it’s time to talk about the new privacy bill (no, it’s not the one we discussed last week) introduced by New York. Dubbed as “The New York Privacy Act” is a bill aimed to arm the residents of New York to control how companies are collecting/using their personal data.

To put it simply, it will push the businesses to act in the interest of their customers. In fact, the bill proposes businesses to act as so-called “data fiduciaries”. Also, called as ‘information fiduciary’, a business has to protect consumers’ data and shouldn’t share it with any third parties unless that’s why the data has been collected in the first place.

A company has to disclose how they’re anonymizing the personal data and with whom the information is being shared. Besides, the bill requires the business to implement proper data protection policies/technologies and delete/correct data upon requests from consumers.

Most importantly, the bill will require the entities to get consent from consumers before sharing and/or selling their information. Unlike CCPA, a New Yorker can sue companies over violations and the law, in effect, will sweep companies of all sizes under its roof.

“The NY Privacy Act, in its current form, is unworkable for businesses that want to comply and fails to provide New York residents meaningful control over how their data is collected, used, and protected.”

– John Olsen, a director for the Internet Association (Wired).

Takeaway:

Of course, the bill isn’t ready to hit the streets yet. Many argue that the proposed privacy act requires rework and companies will find it difficult to comply with the state-wide laws simultaneously. And, as expected, the duopoly will have to deal with the Act, but they probably will handle it – After all, this isn’t something new or unexpected.

“Facebook was basically like, ‘We can’t comply with this. We’d have to shut Facebook down in New York’”

– Kevin Thomas, State Senator (Wired).

What’s still unclear though, is how state-wide laws will coexist and mandate different policies against companies relying on data sharing and/or collection. Remember, what happened b/w GDPR and CNIL’s consent recommendation policies?

Amazon’s TAM Vs Open-source Wrappers

By now, we know that you’re familiar with header bidding and prebid. Publishers are running header auction, to solve the inefficiencies of the waterfall model and they’re pretty happy with the results. Many adtech vendors offer their own proprietary wrappers including Index Exchange, AppNexus, and Amazon.

Amazon wrapper named as “Transparent Ad Marketplace” attracts publishers as TAM can put shoppers’ data from Amazon into action. Besides, Amazon is also setting up guaranteed deals for publishers with the buyers’ using its DSP. Digiday interviewed a couple of publishing executives and found that they are still wary of Amazon.

Amazon even puts publishers in touch with media buyers and that’s an opportunity for publishers to run direct deals and direct spend away from Amazon platforms. So, why Amazon is taking a risk?

Obviously, to gain a strong foothold among the buyers and sellers. As you know, Amazon’s DSP is neither the strongest nor the easiest to work with. The acquisition of Sizmek DCO and ad server will indeed help to woo advertisers. But connecting sellers and buyers to set up and run guaranteed campaigns will lure both the parties towards Amazon.

But is it worth it?

– We have seen companies trying to chip away market share from open-source wrapper like prebid and failed. Because prebid offers transparent, unified, and unbiased auctions and proprietary wrappers typically fail to offer all of them. Check our previous discussion on this very topic.

– Direct deals by Amazon aren’t as lucrative as you think. Amazon’s header integration wouldn’t (and it couldn’t previously) provide the right inventory for an advertiser at the expected scale.

Sizmek spins off its contextual ad platform

Sizmek, which is selling its assets for the last few months, decided to spin off Peer39 – a contextual ad platform, as a separate company. The company page claims that the platform processes 220+ billion ad requests and can allow advertisers to target in 40 languages.

In the midst of privacy laws and third-party cookie blockers, advertisers would be willing to try out contextual ads. Though the results wouldn’t be the same, advertisers and any parties involved in the media transaction don’t have to worry about GDPR, personal data, consent, and policy violations.

Contextual ad targeting has become a value prop, thanks to privacy woes weighing down adtech. Leaving the debate aside, why would Sizmek spin-off Peer39, unlike its other assets?

Well, it’s because of Oracle. Oracle bought Grapeshot, a contextual ad platform similar to Peer39 for allegedly $300 million+ last year. Sizmek is trying to lure an incumbent with its Peer39 and bag a bigger deal than it possibly could by selling it off like other assets.

Browsers run for subscriptions

Hate it or not, browsers are poised to play a bigger role in the future of adtech and advertising on the open internet. While everyone is concerned about Safari’s ITP and Chrome’s upcoming privacy update, Mozilla is planning to get more serious about privacy.

More recently, Mozilla launched its ITP mirror “Enhanced Tracking Prevention” for all its users. And, last week the company’s CEO announced that Mozilla wants to add subscription services to its offering.

“We want to add more subscription services to our mix and focus more on the relationship with the user to become more resilient in business issues”

– Chris Beard, CEO.

How it affects adtech?

Well, apparently, Mozilla plans to keep its free version as it is now –  Free and open to all the users. For those who would like to use Firefox for premium use cases (think Chrome Enterprise), Mozilla aims to offer a premium tier soon.

Chrome proposed Manifest V3 is set to limit ad blockers on its enterprise users and faced backlash for favoring its ad business over user preferences. While Google listed its own reasons, Mozilla wants to capitalize on the opportunity.

It’s not fair to say that Chrome’s enterprise update is causing Mozilla to release a premium tier. But it’s an important factor and the company sees it as a cue that Google will continue to push against ad blockers.

Takeaway:

Most probably, Mozilla won’t make a big impact anytime soon as the market share isn’t as good as chrome. For comparison, Chrome had a market share of 56.9%, when it announced the launch of Chrome Enterprise. FireFox, now, has a market share of 6.8%, which is 2.1% lower than what it had two years ago.

Mary Meeker Internet Report – Highlights

Mary Meeker internet report is full of interesting insights. Here are a few highlights for publishers.

– 33%: Mobile advertising now accounts for 33 percent of advertisers’ ad purchase, thanks to the (increasing) time spent on mobile devices.

– 1.4: Google’s ad revenue grew 1.4 times over the past 9 quarters.

– 1.9: Facebook’s ad revenue increased 1.9 times over the same period.

– 6.3 hours: The avg. US adult spends 6.3 hrs/day with digital media and over half of which is on mobile devices.

Moments that matter

That “$4.7 billion” number for how much money Google makes off the news industry? It’s imaginary – Nieman Lab.

Twitch is emerging as a favorite new platform for publishers – Digiday.

Bleacher Report is on track to grow 50% this year, hit $200m in revenue. Know the strategies behind the growth.

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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