ExchangeWire on Apple’s Ad Move, ANA’s Transparency Challenge, and Amazon’s Clean Room

On this week's episode of The MadTech Podcast, ExchangeWire's Lindsay Rowntree is joined by Rachel Smith and Ciaran O'Kane to discuss Apple's latest push into advertising, ANA's struggling audit into 'the ad tech tax', and Amazon's placement of its data clean room-equivalent, Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), at the centre of its ad business.


Apple push further into advertising

Will it be possible for Apple to maintain their image as a privacy focused company whilst providing targeted advertising?

Apple are furthering their efforts to become a key player in digital advertising. The iPhone maker began allowing companies to buy ad space on their App Store’s front page earlier this year, and are now reportedly wooing advertisers with the aim of getting them to snap up inventory on Apple TV.

The move forms part of a wider push by Apple to diversify their revenue as iterations and sales of their staple hardware stagnate. Some experts suggest that Apple are seeking to replicate the success of fellow Big Tech-er Amazon, whilst many consider the expansion an attempt to steal share from the current digital advertising leaders, Meta and Google. Experts warn that the pursuit of a fully-fledged advertising business could decimate Apple’s long-curated image as a privacy-centric tech firm.


ANA audit into ad tech tax struggles

If completed, what do you expect this audit to find and what impact do you think it will have on the programmatic ecosystem?

The results of an audit of the ‘ad tech tax’ commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) with PwC have been delayed. The findings of the transparency study, which the ANA had hoped to make public at their Masters of Marketing conference this month, are now not expected to be released until next year.

According to reports, the investigation has been waylaid by the use of differing reporting methodologies, as well as by the so-called “vested interests” of dominant figures in the space. According to an anonymous source, Google have frustrated the audit’s progress by apparently denying they have access to sell-side data, and are therefore unable to share it with auditors. Meanwhile, leading DSP The Trade Desk declined to participate in the audit because they disagree with the investigation’s methodologies and lesser focus on walled-gardens.

As economic headwinds persist, advertisers will be more concerned with finding out where their advertising spend goes, making reports of the audit’s slow progress discouraging for some. As Digiday’s Seb Joseph and Ronan Shields point out, Google may rebuff critics by pointing to their Confirming Gross Revenue service, which aims to make the fee structure of their individual services to tech vendors who work on both the buy and sell sides of digital advertising.


Amazon put AMC front-and-centre of ads business

What does this move suggest about the importance (or anticipated importance) of clean rooms?

Amazon are putting their equivalent to a data clean room at the centre of their advertising business. The Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), which was built on Amazon Web Services infrastructure by the Amazon Ads Group, is used by brands for marketing and analytics, enabling them to anonymously aggregate their first-party data with that from Amazon’s suite of properties, including Twitch, Fire TV, and Sizmek.

Advertisers will need to use Amazon’s DSP in order to be able to use the AMC’s audience activation service.