Week Kickoff: Cook makes a big Apple crumble

Last week was a little bit like a SpaceX launch: ultimately explosive, but in a really technically-savvy way. There were regulatory and policy announcements galore, as the G7 nations signed a joint declaration on online safety and Apple rolled out its latest privacy-centric iOS update. The UK Association for Online Publishing (AOP) has published some promising digital publishing figures, and as if all that wasn’t enough a bombshell announcement from Meredith yesterday almost overshadowed it all! So join us for liftoff… 

G7 Leaders sign joint declaration on online safety

Announced by the UK Government last Wednesday, the G7 nations along with the EU have signed a joint declaration that contains a series of shared principles on how to tackle the global challenge of online safety. The move comes ahead of this year’s G7 Summit, to be held in the UK in June, and is being positioned by ministers as part of a wider shift towards ‘stronger cooperation to address concerns over the market power of big tech platforms.’

Speaking on the GOV.UK website, Oliver Dowden, UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said: “As a coalition of the world’s leading democracies and technological powers, we want to forge a compelling vision of how tech should support and enhance open and democratic societies in the digital age. Together we have agreed a number of priorities in areas ranging from internet safety to digital competition to make sure the digital revolution is a democratic one that enhances global prosperity for all.” More here

Apple’s latest iOS update accelerates demise of third-party tracking

Last week, Apple launched its latest software update. iOS 14.5 comes complete with ‘Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch, more diverse Siri voice options, and new privacy controls’. The latter has poured fuel onto the existing advertiser-tracking bonfire, making the sharing of user data with apps explicitly opt in. In recent days and weeks we’ve seen reactions from publishers, advertisers, and everyone in-between, but what does Apple’s new privacy policy really tell us about the state of the digital advertising industry at large, as we move further into Q2 2021? FIPP takes an industry level look at the changes here

And if you thought Apple was in the industry bad books, then spare a thought for Facebook, Twitter, and this time YouTube specifically instead of Google, who were back on the Capitol again last week, this time to answer questions about the addictive nature of their algorithms. Senator Coons, who opened the hearing, said that changes needed to be made to the way the companies operated, “Whether voluntary, regulatory, or legislative”. 

UK digital publishing revenues up 13%

Digital publishing revenues in the UK increased to £165.1 million (US$229.52 million) in Q4 2020, up by 13.1% in comparison to Q4 2019, according to the latest quarterly Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte. 

The success is largely attributable to a 44.0 per cent increase in subscriptions and 16.8 per cent growth in display advertising, amidst a boom for digital subscriptions across the board. Over Q4 2020, display advertising held its place as the largest revenue category for digital publishers, with income reaching £78.4 million (US$108.96 million), an increase of 16.8 per cent against Q4 2019. Revenue from miscellaneous also grew by an impressive 38.8 per cent respectively compared to Q4 2019.

You can read the full story on the FIPP website here.

Meredith to sell TV division for $2.7 Billion

Meredith Corporation has announced that it is to sell Local Media Group – the company’s 17 station strong television division – to Gray Television for US$2.7 Billion. The move will allow Meredith to focus exclusively on its National Media Group (NMG), which includes magazine brands like People, Better Homes & Gardens, and Parents magazine. Ream more

As for FIPP…

We recently announced the launch of our brand new D2C Summit, in partnership with Peninsula Strategies, which will hone-in on subscription and membership models. So high has interest in this area of the industry been, that between now and then we’ll now also be running a series of training sessions on ‘How to build and better your subscriptions businesses’, hosted by Lead Strategy Consultant for Peninsula, Robbie Baxter. 

The 5-module, 5-week online course will begin next Thursday 13th May. FIPP members can attend the course for FREE, thanks to a generous sponsorship by Zephr, the subscriptions experience platform. It’s also just a nominal fee of £195 for non-members and you can find out more here

And finally… 

We started with SpaceX, so we might as well land with it as well, as the four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, completing NASA’s first commercial crew, long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station. The trip marks the longest-duration mission of a crewed American spacecraft to date and once of course again a global media celebration of human (and technological) ingenuity, which you can watch in full here.  

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