App Store Wars; Programmatic AI Is Coming

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App Store Cold War

App Annie published its “2015 Retrospective” on Wednesday, highlighting the new frontiers of app monetization. A big part of it is literal frontiers, with markets like India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam experiencing an app revenue surge in tandem with smartphone penetration gains. Other frontiers are of the platform variety, as downloads on Google Play are now more than double those of iOS. Apple continues to shine in what’s probably a more important statistic though: fewer downloads, but higher revenues.

AI Persuasion

In an interview with Adweek, Omnicom-owned PHD’s new marketing technology director, Ben Samuels, says programmatic will eventually encompass artificial intelligence. “At that point, the role of media really changes from one of trying to get in front of a user to one of trying to influence a personal digital assistant to deliver that message to an end user. Programmatic is 100 percent going to play in that space. This isn't today, but our focus is on thinking about how programmatic will evolve.” Siri, can I interest you in a handbag? More.

Check Your Pipes

In a wide-ranging interview with WSJ, ESPN CEO John Skipper peels back the curtain on the network’s struggle with cord-cutting and new consumption habits – or industry “sturm und drang,” as he puts it. “We are still engaged in the most successful business model in the history of media,” he says, defending cable TV (which is surpassed only by heat and electricity as popular household services). The word “still” is the most important in that sentence, though – ESPN isn’t abandoning the model, the model is abandoning it. More.

Brave Face

Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla, hit the press rodeo on the launch of his new browser, Brave, which will have ad blocking preinstalled and other user controls that take power from brands, publishers and, in particular, third parties that tag sites for tracking or measurement. Brave will track its users, but won’t enable advertisers to use its data for targeting. It’s an interesting PR play, but gaining user adoption in the browser field is easier said than done, not to mention establishing a revenue stream. (Bear in mind, Mozilla is a nonprofit.)

Industry Preview

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