Amazon Quietly Expands Its Ad Tech Capabilities; An FCC Proposal Could Hinder Verizon's Plans

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Amazon’s Secrets

Evidence of Amazon’s ad tech platform designs bubble up to the surface in quiet ways, like the company’s constantly brimming Ad Platforms job board or anonymous, NDA-bound partners signaling big things happening in the background. “Still, little is known about Amazon’s longer term ambitions. It’s easy to imagine the company attacking huge, potentially lucrative swaths of the advertising industry,” writes Mike Shields of The Wall Street Journal. Amazon is expected to bring in just over $1 billion in 2017, according to eMarketer, which is well off the projections for Google ($34 billion) or Facebook ($15 billion), and more in line with a youngster like Snapchat ($800 million). But a growing chorus of people say Amazon is playing its exceptionally strong poker hand close to the vest. One thing is sure: It ain’t bluffing. More.

Foiled Plans

The FCC wants ISPs to get opt-in consent from consumers to collect and share data around their location, browsing history and app use. That puts a damper on Verizon’s plan to integrate its own data into AOL and Yahoo’s ad tech outfits, writes Kate Kaye for Ad Age. Verizon hasn’t integrated its data with Yahoo yet, but it is leveraging AOL to target users against location data. If the FCC proposal passes, Verizon could regret buying Yahoo at all. "[Verizon] needs to reconsider the potential value of the Yahoo network at all,” said Forrester analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo. “If the FCC decides that Yahoo needs to abide by the same rules as the rest of the Verizon network, there goes the value in in all those users and their data." Silver lining: Verizon would still be able to collect and share data from its broadband ISPs, but it may have to jump through stricter privacy hoops. More.

Growth Spurt

Last week was frenetic for Snapchat’s growing ad platform. In addition to launching its long-awaited ads API and introducing programmatic capabilities [AdExchanger coverage], the messaging app introduced a new post-roll ad unit that plays after a story is viewed. The update coincides with Snapchat’s decision to remove its auto advance feature, which automatically plays the next story in a user’s feed, to give users more control over the content they view. It’s unclear how often Snap Ads will be shown as post-rolls after users’ stories; Snapchat is walking the tightrope between increasing ad load and disrupting UX. More At Adweek.

Video Lucre

The high prices paid for online video ads mean newspaper publishers sometimes impose gratuitous video content on their readers. But the medium has become essential to The New York Times’ editorial package. In an interview with news analyst Ken Doctor, NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet said, “I think video has tremendous economic possibilities and huge journalistic [ones]. Now we’re at the point where if Arthur [Sulzberger] came down here and said, ‘We’ve just decided we’re never going to make a nickel from video,” I would say, “Well, I have to figure out how to keep doing video.” More At Nieman Lab.

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