Circling The Data Wagons; Ad Committments Dropping For TV

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Circling The Data Wagons

Retailers are circling the wagons on their first-party, in-store data. MacRumors reports that pharmacy giants CVS and Rite Aid are preparing to block or are blocking near field communication capabilities that enable Apple Pay and Google Wallet in favor of its own proprietary digital payment system, CurrentC. Scheduled to launch next year, the new system is the fruit of a retailer consortium known as Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX. Mac-lover Jon Gruber proclaims from his Daring Fireball blog that the retailers’ efforts are doomed. DOOMED.

Cutting Cable’s Cord

After a four-year stretch of positive growth, ad commitments during cable TV networks’ annual summer upfront dropped 6% to $9.6 billion. “Several big-spending advertisers stated that they anticipated spending fewer ad dollars in this year's upfront, and nearly all cited increased flexibility as their reason why,” said Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau president and CEO Sean Cunningham in a statement. “Cable networks are meeting this instinct for immediacy with multiscreen brand programs around hit shows.” Are advertisers holding out for cheaper prices closer to air dates, or are upfront TV dollars shifting to digital channels? Ad Age has more.

In-App Retargeting

A Google Display Network update lets advertisers target users who have made in-app purchases. In a blog post, Google aims to enable “developers and marketers to show ads to people who have made in-app purchases through the Play Store.” The new targeting feature is available via the AdWords API. Could Google’s answer to Facebook’s cross-device ID be quietly worked into a dozen features like this -- rather than announced at a splashy event like the Atlas release?

New Lieutenant For Larry

Google’s Sundar Pichai got a major promotion and now runs at least five product units, including ads, Re/code reports. Among those now reporting to Pichai is Sridhar Ramaswamy, who was named last year to run ad product development when Susan Wojcicki transferred to YouTube. Pichai will also oversee research, search, maps, Google+, commerce and ad products and infrastructure. All those product chiefs, and Wojcicki too, are 10-plus year veterans of the company. Old Googlers, new layers! Read on.

Video In The Exchange

Unruly and Casale Media’s Index Exchange partnered on a programmatic video trading platform, UnrulyX. In a press release, the companies claim the exchange comes with guaranteed viewability for premium video impressions. "There is no question that viewability is in high demand, and this partnership with Unruly allows us to deliver high-quality, viewable programmatic video inventory that will lead to better outcomes for buyers, while also providing Unruly's publishers with the premium, scalable demand they want and need,” said Alex Gardner, VP of platform solutions at Index Exchange.

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