Home Daily News Roundup Apple Passes DMA Costs Back To Developers; Ad Fraud And AI-Generated Obituaries

Apple Passes DMA Costs Back To Developers; Ad Fraud And AI-Generated Obituaries


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Apple has a history of not quite breaching antitrust rulings, but blithely flaunting orders. 

In 2022, for example, a Dutch court ruled Apple must allow payment alternatives. Apple paid 5 million euros per week in noncompliance fines over months. It eventually acquiesced to payment alternatives, but created an onerous separate setup that no developer would choose, considering the benefit is only a fee reduction from 30% to 27%, and only for Dutch users. 

Which is the setup for Apple’s announcement last week about how it would follow new compliance measures for the EU’s Digital Markets Act. 

Apple must now allow third-party app stores and payments across Europe, but it goes to great lengths to prevent adoption for outside app store services. 

Under the DMA, Apple must reduce in-app purchase fees. Despite lower fees, though, Apple’s new policies don’t work out for a few small developers. 

Scratch that. They net out for nobody

Users trafficking outside browsers or app stores see warnings that they “open new avenues for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and harmful content, and other privacy & security threats.”

Technically, it’s true. It’s also a scare tactic that prohibits adoption for anyone other than large, preexisting app store operators, like Google, Microsoft or Epic’s Fortnite (maybe). 

Dead Wrong

Generative AI-fueled content farms are gaming Google to make ad bucks on shoddy, hastily assembled obituaries, The New York Times reports.

An individual behind one of these content farms actually gave the NYT a walkthrough on how the scheme works. The scammers monitor Google trending topics for searches related to a recent death, then use generative content software to craft an obituary using information from social media, news outlets and other sources.

The recent death of college student Matthew Sachman in an NYC subway accident offered a case study in how this content propagates online. After hearing of Sachman’s death, his family and friends went to Google searching for details. What they found were junk posts and YouTube videos that got biographical info wrong and conflated him with a 29-year-old victim who was stabbed in the same subway system a day after Sachman’s death. 

These “obituary pirates” monetize through Google Ads and YouTube. The NYT’s source claims he earns thousands of dollars from Google Ads each month, but digital ad experts say this kind of content likely only generates pennies in ad revenue.

TV’s Last Stand

Cable television ad revenue has been propelled forward by overall advertising growth and moments like the upfronts. It is finally slowing down – 2023 saw a 2.8% YOY decline in cable and broadcast advertising, per industry analyst Brian Wieser. And it declined despite strong growth in advertising overall and digital advertising in particular. 

Still, don’t hold your breath that 2024 is the year the bottom falls out of the TV advertising machine. There are incremental tailwinds. The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, for one, and the US election year could tip another $12 billion or so into TV coffers, Bloomberg reports. That’s more than marginal.

Network news and newspaper publishers likely won’t benefit much from the fraught election year, though. While the first Biden vs. Trump race animated the country and drove many readers to news subscriptions, there’s relatively little excitement this time around, according to Bloomberg.  

Political fundraising is still high, though. And the ad money will find you, no matter how hard people try to avoid the ads themselves. 

But Wait, There’s More!

DSPs warn that Google’s Privacy Sandbox testing could be skewed by third-party ad IDs. [Ad Age]

WTF is the Attribution Reporting API in Google’s Privacy Sandbox? [Digiday]

The FTC takes on AI deals. [NYT]

Bannister: More details on Raptive’s third-party cookie deprecation testing framework. [tweet]

You’re Hired!

Video analytics platform Qortex, formerly known as CatapultX, announces five executive leadership appointments. [release]

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