|News Round Up
Follow The Trends
Mary Meeker delivered her famous “Internet Trends” deck (this one clocking at 294 slides) at Recode’s Code conference Wednesday. Smartphone adoption and internet user growth are slowing, but time spent online continues to rise. US adults spend on average 5.9 hours online per day, up from 5.6 hours in 2017. More than half of that time was on a phone. Ecommerce sales grew 16% in the US last year, with Amazon taking 28% of overall sales. Meanwhile, tech companies, which are becoming a larger overall share of US businesses, are caught in a “privacy paradox” between using data for superior products and protecting consumer privacy. Competition is heating up in China, now home to 20 of the world’s largest internet companies by market cap, while the US has 11. Recode has more.
The success of Fortnite is demonstrating that a hit game can be more lucrative than a blockbuster movie release. Like other multiplayer games, Fortnite has a freemium model where players pay to unlock skills or levels, supplemented with options to buy non-competitive features like in-game costumes or dance moves. Sounds like small potatoes, but Fortnite has a $3 billion run rate right now, and that’s before its Android launch next month and a move into the Chinese market, reports The Gaming Economy. More. It’s a high-stakes industry, and that’s why ad budgets for game-install campaigns remain stratospheric.
Friends On The Block
MediaMath’s strategic business development team and MathCapital, a tech venture fund backed by ad tech vets Eric Franchi and MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadski, made their first early-stage investment in Underscore CLT, a blockchain-based mar tech startup. Isaac Lidsky, who co-founded the DMP [x+1] with Zawadski in 1999, is president of Underscore. “We’ve seen many cycles of adtech innovation through the years. We want to do better than has been done in the past by doing this together,” Zawadski writes in the release. Read on.
Sharing Is Caring
Axel Springer open-sourced its own consent management platform, what it calls an “opt-in layer,” so other pubs can effectively gather consent and integrate with IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework, reports Digiday. Axel Springer has no plans to monetize the service, but it does hope to curtail adoption of Google’s consent management tool. Google folks “know what they are doing and are experts in software,” says Stephanie Caspar, Axel Springer’s president of data and technology. “But ... there is someone else between you and the consumer, which is always a bad thing as a publisher.” More. Related in AdExchanger: Google ticked off some publishers with its default consent tool.
But Wait, There’s More!