Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…

Craigslist’s Founder Gives $6 Million to Consumer Reports to Monitor Digital Products and Platforms
Consumer Reports, the non-profit watchdog publication, is getting a $6 million grant to expand its coverage of the tech industry. Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, is providing the grant, which is the largest donation in the history of the Consumer Reports, which was established in 1936.

Ironically, Craigslist has been credited with the digital disruption of the newspaper industry by draining the classified advertising revenue that once fueled the newspaper industry. But now, Newmark has become a big sponsor of the newspaper industry. He is seeding a closer watch over digital products and platforms.

Thanks to the gift, Consumer Reports is now establishing a Digital Lab Division, which will be “crash testing” the digital tools that “have become a part of everyday life.”

With Cookies Nearly In the Rear View, Apple Cracks Down On Social Logins
With what is being called a “high profile” assault on third-party tracking, Apple has announced a new feature users will be able to log in to apps and services using Apple Face ID without sharing other personal information. This change is expected to coincide with Apple’s introduction with iOS 13 in the fall.

It will come in the form of a “Sign in With Apple” button and its being described as a way to sign in without all of the tracking and it’s based on the premise that a social account login comes at a cost to privacy despite being convenient and providing a more personalized in-app experience.

Here is how it would work: Apple will randomly generate a different email address for every app or service that person logs in to rather than enabling a user to sign in with an existing account. It will be a way to prevent third parties from connecting a real email address to cross-app activity.

Firefox will Begin Blocking Trackers by Default
Mozilla’s Firefox browser is moving up the privacy chain by blocking thousands of web trackers by default.

The company says this will protect users from many websites, analytics companies, and advertisers that want to track folks across the web. The move is also said to speed up the browser and keep users’ web habits more private and could also encourage advertisers toward less invasive practices.

Firefox’s new approach doesn’t quite go as far as Apple to protect privacy, by trying a “middle road,” the company, by only blocking known trackers and not all cookies, will prevent scenarios where some websites may not function properly as well as “potential usability issues.”

Average US Time Spent with Mobile in 2019 Has Increased
It was bound to happen. Research shows adults in the U.S. now spend more time watching videos on their mobile phones than regular television. This is a “first-ever” moment in the evolution of how we spend our time. And it is smartphone use that is driving the numbers.

However, eMarketer makes a bold prediction. They think media consumption via smartphone will plateau in 2020 based on notion that consumers will become “uneasy” about how much they use mobile devices.

The statistics show the average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes on mobile devices in 2019 while spending just above 3:35 on TV. US consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year from the time spent on mobile. eMarketer also says people are consistently spending the bulk of their time using apps over web browsers.

Political Ad Spending Will Approach $10 Billion in 2020, New Forecast Predicts
Put on your shocked face. Political advertising for the 2020 election is expected to skyrocket. It will surge $3.6 million past 2016 and reach $10 billion, a new high.

These expected numbers are up from $8.7 billion in 2018, when midterm congressional elections were held, and from $6.3 billion in 2016, when President Trump was elected. WPP PLC’s ad-buying unit GroupM, which conducted the research to determine the new numbers, says the pace of election advertising is accelerating from its “shockingly high” levels of 2018.

WLP says digital advertising and fundraising capabilities, along with the increasing competition between parties, are among factors fueling spending,

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