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The App Store is the Games Store. Apple should recognize this.

One passage in the 185-page ruling issued last week in the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit forces clarity on the convoluted patchwork of rules governing platform fee applicability by expressly acknowledging the beating heart of the App Store economy: Further, the evidence demonstrates that most App Store revenue is generated by mobile gaming apps,...

Facing domestic restrictions, will Chinese tech companies look West?

In late August, the top legislative body in the People’s Republic of China voted to adopt a national privacy directive called the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL). PIPL is an omnibus privacy law that will go into effect on November 1st and represents the latest in a series of regulatory incursions by the Chinese government into the country’s...

Does ATT wreck the prospect of alternative app stores?

One nearly-universal complaint about the iOS App Store: as a landing page, it’s barely customizable, and it lacks the opportunities for optimization that exist on the web. This is why the practice of App Store Optimization (ASO) is mostly a function of curating search keywords and running limited experiments with icons and screenshots through third-party...

Unpacking Apple’s recent App Store policy changes

Apple’s policies related to in-app monetization — the 30% platform fee it applies to in-app purchases, the forced use of iTunes Connect as an in-app payments processor — have lived on borrowed time at least since Epic goaded Apple into removing Fortnite from the App Store last August. Epic sued Apple over that, and a judgment in that suit is forthcoming,...

The digital advertising fear complex

One common premise put forth by critics of digital advertising is that it simply doesn’t work. This argument is usually encapsulated in some variation of: digital ad platforms traffic exclusively in junk inventory that doesn’t produce marginal value to the advertiser, and these platforms merely claim credit for sales, revenue, engagement, etc. from...

Apple robbed the mob’s bank, part 2

Yesterday, Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani issued an outperform rating for Apple’s stock, claiming that its advertising business is poised to grow to as much as $20BN in annual revenue by 2025 from an estimated $2BN in 2021 as a direct result of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy policy. Daryanani notes that while $20BN is small relative...

Google’s approach to privacy is ATT-lite

Back in June, Google announced that its “Opt Out of Ads Personalization” setting on Android would begin to restrict developer access to the Google Advertising ID (GAID) when activated on Android 12 devices starting in “late 2021.” Previously, this setting didn’t limit developer access to the GAID when it was activated, and therefore the setting had...

Dear FTC, repeat after me: ad platforms don’t set prices

The FTC today re-filed its antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, with its previous lawsuit thrown out in June after a federal judge deemed that the agency failed to prove that Facebook exerts monopoly power in the market for personal social networking (and indeed that the agency had not even established which metrics might be used to determine such a...

Is app store regulation too little, too late?

Last week, a bipartisan bill titled the Open App Markets Act was introduced in the Senate that would introduce new rules on the operation of app stores mostly targeting distribution, payments, and competitive positioning. Two days after the Senate bill was introduced, a similar (and similarly bipartisan) bill was introduced in the House. The...

Facebook’s privacy calculus

Yesterday, Facebook published a blog post detailing the work it is doing to transition its advertising infrastructure away from “individual third-party data.” In the blog post, Facebook cites platform policy changes and an evolving regulatory landscape as instigating this change — the post also champions the utility of privacy-preserving technologies...

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