Big Pubs Embrace Onboarding; Target Ditches Amazon Web Services

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

Onboard-orama

Pandora partnered with Neustar to let advertisers onboard their first-party and CRM data in a self-serve fashion. Read the release. Pandora previously offered data onboarding as a managed service. Brands can build custom audiences to reach Pandora listeners on their own, rather than having to deal with the “data loss, extra cost or waste that commonly comes with a multi-partner approach to onboarding,” Neustar’s Julie Fleischer said in a statement. Separately, Yelp tapped LiveRamp to make its location and search data available for targeting outside the Yelp ecosystem. Ad Age reports that buyers can now use data from Yelp’s 100 million users to create custom audiences, à la Facebook Audience Network. "When people are using Yelp, and they're doing local searches, that translates to purchases at local businesses,” says Drew Canniff, Yelp’s regional VP of agency sales. More.

Spirit Of Competition

Offboarding is in the news too. Target is pulling its business from Amazon Web Services, according to CNBC sources. "If I'm running Azure or Google, I'd go right after those guys," says John Vrionis, a Lightspeed Venture Partners investor in infrastructure technology. In June, Walmart reportedly instructed its mar tech vendors not to conduct Walmart business on AWS technology. Some blue-chip retail AWS clients include Brooks Brothers, Nordstroms, Nike, Under Armour and LuluLemon. The Target discount app Cartwheel has seen 50% user growth in the past year and is a valuable source of data on customer shopping habits. Keeping that data off Amazon technology probably matters more than the marginal dollars ceded to Amazon through cloud platform fees. More.

Share Of Voice

Amazon and Microsoft have forged a partnership to connect data between Microsoft data assets and its Cortana AI assistant with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, writes Nick Wingfield at The New York Times. Cortana and Alexa will also be able to “summon” each other for unique data, like an Alexa voice request that needs to pull calendar and appointment data from Microsoft’s Outlook email management software. Consumers will use different AIs for different things, in the same way they communicate with friends – some you’d ask for restaurant reviews, others for hiking advice – Jeff Bezos says about the deal. “I want them to have access to as many of those AIs as possible.” Bezos may say he wants to see (or hear, rather) Alexa in as many places as possible, but Googlers likely don’t agree. And, how about that, Google announced a slate of new third-party voice-activated device manufacturers that will come with its voice AI embedded in the product.

Mo’mentum, Mo’ Problems

More than half of active hedge fund bets are “on high flyers like technology and online retailers,” reports Bloomberg. That’s a thinly veiled way of saying Amazon and American tech giants like Alphabet and Apple. Can’t argue with the results, since all of those stocks have been on a tear for more than a year. But there’s growing concern from some investors that too much momentum in the category sets up a painful collision if growth hits a wall. “We are concerned about this outsized exposure,” says Joseph Mezrich, a US market quant at the investment bank Nomura. “The last time momentum exposure was this high was in 2013-2014, which led to a sharp decline in fund performance when momentum collapsed.” More.

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