Following Apple’s launch of privacy labels, Google to add a ‘safety’ section in Google Play

Months after Apple’s App Store introduced privacy labels for apps, Google announced its own mobile app marketplace, Google Play, will follow suit. The company today pre-announced its plans to introduce a new “safety” section in Google Play, rolling out next year, which will require app developers to share what sort of data their apps collect, how it’s stored, and how it’s used.

For example, developers will need to share what sort of personal information their apps collect, like users’ names or emails, and whether it collects information from the phone, like the user’s precise location, their media files or contacts. Apps will also need to explain how the app uses that information — for example, for enhancing the app’s functionality or for personalization purposes.

Developers who already adhere to specific security and privacy practices will additionally be able to highlight that in their app listing. On this front, Google says it will add new elements that detail whether the app uses security practices like data encryption; if the app follows Google’s Families policy, related to child safety; if the app’s safety section has been verified by an independent third party; whether the app needs data to function or allows users to choose whether or not share data; and whether the developer agrees to delete user data when a user uninstalls the app in question.

Apps will also be required to provide their privacy policies.

While clearly inspired by Apple’s privacy labels, there are several key differences. Apple’s labels focus on what data is being collected for tracking purposes and what’s linked to the end user. Google’s additions seem to be more about whether or not you can trust the data being collected is being handled responsibility, by allowing the developer to showcase if they follow best practices around data security, for instance. It also gives the developer a way to make a case for why it’s collecting data right on the listing page itself. (Apple’s “ask to track” pop-ups on iOS now force developers to beg inside their apps for access user data).

Another interesting addition is that Google will allow the app data labels to be independently verified. Assuming these verifications are handled by trusted names, they could help to convey to users that the disclosures aren’t lies. One early criticism of Apple’s privacy labels was that many were providing inaccurate information — and were getting away with it, too.

Google says the new features will not roll out until Q2 2022, but it wanted to announce now in order to give developers plenty of time to prepare.

Image Credits: Google

There is, of course, a lot of irony to be found in an app privacy announcement from Google.

The company was one of the longest holdouts on issuing privacy labels for its own iOS apps, as it scrambled to review (and re-review, we understand) the labels’ content and disclosures. After initially claiming its labels would roll out “soon,” many of Google’s top apps then entered a lengthy period where they received no updates at all, as they were no longer compliant with App Store policies.

It took Google months after the deadline had passed to provide labels for its top apps. And when it did, it was mocked by critics — like privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo — for how much data apps like Chrome and the Google app collect.

Google’s plan to add a safety section of its own to Google Play gives it a chance to shift the narrative a bit.

It’s not a privacy push, necessarily. They’re not even called privacy labels! Instead, the changes seem designed to allow app developers to better explain if you can trust their app with your data, rather than setting the expectation that the app should not be collecting data in the first place.

How well this will resonate with consumers remains to be seen. Apple has made a solid case that it’s a company that compares about user privacy, and is adding features that put users in control of their data. It’s a hard argument to fight back against — especially in an era that’s seen too many data breaches to count, careless handling of private data by tech giants, widespread government spying, and a creepy adtech industry that grew to feel entitled to user data collection without disclosure.

Google says when the changes roll out, non-compliant apps will be required to fix their violations or become subject to policy enforcement. It hasn’t yet detailed how that process will be handled, or whether it will pause app updates for apps in violation.

The company noted its own apps would be required to share this same information and a privacy policy, too.

 

Snap to launch a new Creator Marketplace this month, initially focused on Lens Creators

Snap on Wednesday announced its plan to soon launch a Creator Marketplace, which will make it easier for businesses to find and partner with Snapchat creators, including lens creators, AR creators and later, prominent Snapchat creators known as Snap Stars. At launch, the marketplace will focus on connecting brands and AR creators for AR ads. It will then expand to support all Snap Creators by 2022.

The company had previously helped connect its creator community with advertisers through its Snapchat Storytellers program, which first launched into pilot testing in 2018 — already a late arrival to the space. However, that program’s focus was similar to Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager, as it focused on helping businesses find Snap creators who could produce video content.

Snap’s new marketplace, meanwhile, has a broader focus in terms of connecting all sorts of creators with the Snap advertising ecosystem. This includes Lens Creators, Developers and Partners, and then later, Snap’s popular creators with public profiles.

Snap says the Creator Marketplace will open to businesses later this month to help them partner with a select group of AR Creators in Snap’s Lens Network. These creators can help businesses build AR experiences without the need for extensive creative resources, which makes access to Snap’s AR ads more accessible to businesses, including smaller businesses without in-house developer talent.

Lens creators have already found opportunity working for businesses that want to grow their Snapchat presence — even allowing some creators to quit their day jobs and just build lens for a living. Snap has been further investing in this area of its business, having announced in December a $3.5 million fund directed towards AR Lens creation. The company said at the time there were tens of thousands of Lens creators who had collectively made over 1.5 million Lenses to date.

Using Lenses has grown more popular, too, the company had noted, saying that over 180 million people interact with a Snapchat Lens every day — up from 70 million daily active users of Lenses when the Lens Explorer section first launched in the app in 2018.

Now, Snap says that over 200 million Snapchat users interact with augmented reality on a daily basis, on average, out of its 280 million daily users. The majority (over 90%) of these users are 13-25 year olds. In total, users are posting over 5 billion Snaps per day.

Snap says the Creator Marketplace will remain focused on connecting businesses with AR Lens Creators throughout 2021.

The following year, it will expand to include the community of professional creators and storytellers who understand the current trends and interests of the Snap user base and can help businesses with their ad campaigns. The company will not take a cut of the deals facilitated through the Marketplace, it says.

This would include the creators making content for Snap’s new TikTok rival, Spotlight, which launched in November 2020. Snap encouraged adoption of the feature by shelling out $1 million per day to creators of top videos. In March 2021, over 125 million Snapchat users watched Spotlight, it says.

Image Credits: Snapchat

Spotlight isn’t the only way Snap is challenging TikTok.

The company also on Wednesday announced it’s snagging two of TikTok’s biggest stars for its upcoming Snap Originals lineup: Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. The siblings, who have gained over 20 million follows on Snapchat this past year, will star in the series “Charli vs. Dixie.” Other new Originals will feature names like artist Megan Thee Stallion, actor Ryan Reynolds, twins and influencers Niki and Gabi DeMartino, and YouTube beauty vlogger Manny Mua, among others.

Snap’s shows were watched by over 400 million people in 2020, including 93% of the Gen Z population in the U.S., it noted.

 

 

Disqus facing $3M fine in Norway for tracking users without consent

Disqus, a commenting plugin that’s used by a number of news websites and which can share user data for ad targeting purposes, has got into hot water in Norway for tracking users without their consent.

The local data protection agency said today it has notified the U.S.-based company of an intent to fine it €2.5 million (~$3M) for failures to comply with requirements in Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on accountability, lawfulness and transparency.

Disqus’ parent, Zeta Global, has been contacted for comment.

Datatilsynet said it acted following a 2019 investigation in Norway’s national press — which found that default settings buried in the Disqus’ plug-in opted sites into sharing user data on millions of users in markets including the U.S.

And while in most of Europe the company was found to have applied an opt-in to gather consent from users to be tracked — likely in order to avoid trouble with the GDPR — it appears to have been unaware that the regulation applies in Norway.

Norway is not a member of the European Union but is in the European Economic Area — which adopted the GDPR in July 2018, slightly after it came into force elsewhere in the EU. (Norway transposed the regulation into national law also in July 2018.)

The Norwegian DPA writes that Disqus’ unlawful data-sharing has “predominantly been an issue in Norway” — and says that seven websites are affected: NRK.no/ytring, P3.no, tv.2.no/broom, khrono.no, adressa.no, rights.no and document.no.

“Disqus has argued that their practices could be based on the legitimate interest balancing test as a lawful basis, despite the company being unaware that the GDPR applied to data subjects in Norway,” the DPA’s director-general, Bjørn Erik Thon, goes on.

“Based on our investigation so far, we believe that Disqus could not rely on legitimate interest as a legal basis for tracking across websites, services or devices, profiling and disclosure of personal data for marketing purposes, and that this type of tracking would require consent.”

“Our preliminary conclusion is that Disqus has processed personal data unlawfully. However, our investigation also discovered serious issues regarding transparency and accountability,” Thon added.

The DPA said the infringements are serious and have affected “several hundred thousands of individuals”, adding that the affected personal data “are highly private and may relate to minors or reveal political opinions”.

“The tracking, profiling and disclosure of data was invasive and nontransparent,” it added.

The DPA has given Disqus until May 31 to comment on the findings ahead of issuing a fine decision.

Publishers reminded of their responsibility

Datatilsynet has also fired a warning shot at local publishers who were using the Disqus platform — pointing out that website owners “are also responsible under the GDPR for which third parties they allow on their websites”.

So, in other words, even if you didn’t know about a default data-sharing setting that’s not an excuse because it’s your legal responsibility to know what any code you put on your website is doing with user data.

The DPA adds that “in the present case” it has focused the investigation on Disqus — providing publishers with an opportunity to get their houses in order ahead of any future checks it might make.

Norway’s DPA also has some admirably plain language to explain the “serious” problem of profiling people without their consent. “Hidden tracking and profiling is very invasive,” says Thon. “Without information that someone is using our personal data, we lose the opportunity to exercise our rights to access, and to object to the use of our personal data for marketing purposes.

“An aggravating circumstance is that disclosure of personal data for programmatic advertising entails a high risk that individuals will lose control over who processes their personal data.”

Zooming out, the issue of adtech industry tracking and GDPR compliance has become a major headache for DPAs across Europe — which have been repeatedly slammed for failing to enforce the law in this area since GDPR came into application in May 2018.

In the UK, for example (which transposed the GDPR before Brexit so still has an equivalent data protection framework for now), the ICO has been investigating GDPR complaints against real-time bidding’s (RTB) use of personal data to run behavioral ads for years — yet hasn’t issued a single fine or order, despite repeatedly warning the industry that it’s acting unlawfully.

The regulator is now being sued by complainants over its inaction.

Ireland’s DPC, meanwhile — which is the lead DPA for a swathe of adtech giants which site their regional HQ in the country — has a number of open GDPR investigations into adtech (including RTB). But has also failed to issue any decisions in this area almost three years after the regulation begun being applied.

Its lack of action on adtech complaints has contributed significantly to rising domestic (and international) pressure on its GDPR enforcement record more generally, including from the European Commission. (And it’s notable that the latter’s most recent legislative proposals in the digital arena include provisions that seek to avoid the risk of similar enforcement bottlenecks.)

The story on adtech and the GDPR looks a little different in Belgium, though, where the DPA appears to be inching toward a major slap-down of current adtech practices.

A preliminary report last year by its investigatory division called into question the legal standard of the consents being gathered via a flagship industry framework, designed by the IAB Europe. This so-called ‘Transparency and Consent’ framework (TCF) was found not to comply with the GDPR’s principles of transparency, fairness and accountability, or the lawfulness of processing.

A final decision is expected on that case this year — but if the DPA upholds the division’s findings it could deal a massive blow to the behavioral ad industry’s ability to track and target Europeans.

Studies suggest Internet users in Europe would overwhelmingly choose not to be tracked if they were actually offered the GDPR standard of a specific, clear, informed and free choice, i.e. without any loopholes or manipulative dark patterns.

MoviePass co-founder’s PreShow Interactive raises $3M to expand into gaming

PreShow Interactive is giving gamers a new way to earn in-game currency in exchange for watching ads — a concept that’s become familiar in mobile games but hasn’t really made much headway on PCs or consoles.

The startup is led by MoviePass’ founding CEO Stacy Spikes. When I spoke to Spikes about PreShow two years ago, he was beta testing an app that provided users with free movie tickets in exchange for watching ads. But obviously, theatrical moviegoing has taken a big hit in the past year.

Spikes told me yesterday that he’d always hoped to bring the PreShow concept to four categories — theatrical movies, gaming, subscription streaming and video on demand — but the pandemic forced the startup to shift focus more quickly than expected and explore what a gaming experience might look like.

The current plans is to launch a new PreShow Interactive app this summer, where viewers can connect their in-game accounts and identify how much virtual currency they want to earn. Then they watch a package of ads and PreShow will automatically transfer the currency to their account — in other words, it’s buying the currency for them.

Users will have to download a separate app to watch the ads and get the benefits, but Spikes said this is actually better than trying to integrate advertising or branded content into the game itself, which can be a slow process for the developer and the advertiser, while also being distracting for the players. And this means PreShow Interactive should able to support 20,000 games at launch, across PCs, consoles and virtual reality.

PreShow Interactive

Image Credits: PreShow Interactive

“We just didn’t see the purpose of spending the time on integrations when it’s not really necessary,” he added. “Our deal is only with the consumer for their time. We’re saying, ‘This is your time. It has value.'”

One of the key elements to Preshow’s approach is technology that can detect when the viewer is actually looking at their phone screen — the ads will stop playing if you turn away. This has been criticized as “creepy surveillance tech,” but Spikes claimed that early PreShow users have embraced it. He also argued that it’s more transparent than the data collection and targeting currently driving online advertising.

“We used to think data was the new oil, but now our feeling is that permission and engagement and attention is the new oil,” he said.

In addition to revealing its new strategy, PreShow is announcing that it has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Harlem Capital, with participation Canaan Partners, Wavemaker Ventures, Front Row Fund, ROC Fund, BK Fulton and Monroe Harris.

And to be clear, Spikes said PreShow isn’t abandoning theatrical movies. He said that the PreShow app will eventually offer both movie and gaming deals “under one roof,” but brands aren’t currently eager to advertise to moviegoers.

“We’re ready to go when the marketplace is ready to go,” he said.

 

Near acquires the location data company formerly known as UberMedia

Data intelligence company Near is announcing the acquisition of another company in the data business — UM.

In some ways, this echoes Near’s acquisition of Teemo last fall. Just as that deal helped Singapore-headquartered Near expand into Europe (with Teemo founder and CEO Benoit Grouchko becoming Near’s chief privacy officer), CEO Anil Mathews said that this new acquisition will help Near build a presence in the United States, turning the company into “a truly global organization,” while also tailoring its product to offer “local flavors” in each country.

The addition of UM’s 60-person team brings Near’s total headcount to around 200, with UM CEO Gladys Kong becoming CEO of Near North America.

At the same time, Mathews suggested that this deal isn’t simply about geography, because the data offered by Near and UM are “very complementary,” allowing both teams to upsell current customers on new offerings. He described Near’s mission as “merging two diverse worlds, the online world and the offline world,” essentially creating a unified profile of consumers for marketers and other businesses. Apparently, UM is particularly strong on the offline side, thanks to its focus on location data.

Near CEO Anil Mathews and UM CEO Gladys Kong

Near CEO Anil Mathews and UM CEO Gladys Kong

“UM has a very strong understanding of places, they’ve mastered their understanding of footfalls and dwell times,” Mathews added. “As a result, most of the use cases where UM is seeing growth — in tourism, retail, real estate — are in industries struggling due to the pandemic, where they’re using data to figure out, ‘How do we come out of the pandemic?'”

TechCrunch readers may be more familiar with UM under its old name UberMedia, which created social apps like Echofon and UberSocial before pivoting its business to ad attribution and location data. Kong said that contrary to her fears, the company had “an amazing 2020” as businesses realized they needed UM’s data (its customers include RAND Corporation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Columbia University and Yale University).

And the year was capped by connecting with Near and realizing that the two companies have “a lot of synergies.” In fact, Kong recalled that UM’s rebranding last month was partly at Mathews’ suggestion: “He said, ‘Why do you have media in your name when you don’t do media?’ And we realized that’s probably how the world saw us, so we decided to change [our name] to make it clear what we do.”

Founded in 2010, UM raised a total of $34.6 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

 

The big story: iOS 14.5 brings privacy changes and more

Apple’s latest software upgrade brings a big change, Roku accuses Google of anti-competitive behavior and Brex raises a big funding round. This is your Daily Crunch for April 26, 2021.

The big story: iOS 14.5 brings privacy changes and more

Apple released the latest version of its mobile operating system today, which includes the much-discussed App Tracking Transparency feature, allowing users to control which apps are sharing their data with third parties for ad-targeting purposes.

Other new features include Watch unlocking (which could help users avoid the annoying “I can’t unlock my phone with my masked face!” phenomenon), new emojis and more.

The tech giants

Roku alleges Google is using its monopoly power in YouTube TV carriage negotiations — Roku is alerting its customers that they may lose access to the YouTube TV channel on its platform after negotiations with Google went south.

Lyft sells self-driving unit to Toyota’s Woven Planet for $550M — Under the acquisition agreement, Lyft’s so-called Level 5 division will be folded into Woven Planet Holdings.

Apple commits to 20,000 US jobs, new North Carolina campus — Apple this morning announced a sweeping plan to invest north of $430 billion over the next five years.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Brex raises $425M at a $7.4B valuation, as the corporate spend war rages on — The company has also put together a new service called Brex Premium that costs $49 per month.

Founded by Australia’s national science agency, Main Sequence launches $250M AUD deep tech fund —  Main Sequence’s second fund will look at issues including healthcare accessibility, increasing the world’s food supply, industrial productivity and space.

Mighty Networks raises $50M to build a creator economy for the masses — The company is led by Gina Bianchini, the co-founder and former CEO of Ning.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Founders who don’t properly vet VCs set up both parties for failure — Due diligence isn’t a one-way street, and founders must do their homework to make sure they’re not jumping into deals with VCs who are only paying lip service to their value-add.

How Brex more than doubled its valuation in a year — An interview with CEO Henrique Dubugras about that giant funding round.

There is no cybersecurity skills gap, but CISOs must think creatively — Netskope’s Lamont Orange doesn’t buy the idea that millions of cybersecurity jobs are going unfilled because there aren’t enough qualified candidates.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

How one founder partnered with NASA to make tires puncture-proof and more sustainable — This week’s episode of Found features The SMART Tire Company co-founder and CEO Earl Cole.

What the MasterClass effect means for edtech — MasterClass copycats are raising plenty of funding.

Hear about building AVs under Amazon from Zoox CTO Jesse Levinson at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 — We’ll hear more about Zoox’s mission to develop and deploy autonomous passenger vehicles.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature has arrived — here’s what you need to know

iOS 14.5 — the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system — is launching today, and with it comes a much-discussed new privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency.

The feature was first announced nearly a year ago, although the company delayed the launch to give developers more time to prepare. Since then, support for the feature has already gone live in iOS and some apps have already adopted it (for example, I’ve seen tracking requests from Duolingo and Venmo), but now Apple says it will actually start enforcing the new rules.

That means iPhone owners will start seeing many more privacy prompts as they continue using their regular apps, each one asking for permission to “track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites.” Every app that requests tracking permission will also show up in a Tracking menu within your broader iOS Privacy settings, allowing you to toggle tracking on and off any time — for individual apps, or for all of them.

What does turning tracking on or off actually do? If you say no to tracking, the app will no longer be able to use Apple’s IDFA identifier to share data about your activity with data brokers and other third parties for ad-targeting purposes. It also means the app can no longer use other identifiers (like hashed email addresses) to track you, although it may be more challenging for Apple to actually enforce that part of the policy.

Apple App Tracking Transparency

Image Credits: Apple

There’s been intense debate around App Tracking Transparency in the lead up to its launch. The pro-ATT side is pretty easy to explain: There’s a tremendous amount of personal information and activity that’s being collected about consumers without their consent (as Apple outlined in a report called A Day in the Life of Your Data), and this gives us a simple way to control that sharing.

However, Facebook has argued that by dealing a serious blow to ad targeting, Apple is also hurting small businesses that depend on targeting to affordable, effective ad campaigns.

The social network even took out ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post declaring that it’s “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.” (The Electronic Frontier Foundation dismissed the campaign as “a laughable attempt from Facebook to distract you from its poor track record of anticompetitive behavior and privacy issues as it tries to derail pro-privacy changes from Apple that are bad for Facebook’s business.”)

Others have suggested that these changes could do “existential” damage to some developers and advertisers, while also benefiting Apple’s bottom line.

The full impact will depend, in part, on how many people choose to opt out of tracking. It’s hard to imagine many normal iPhone owners saying yes when these prompts start to appear — especially since developers are not allowed to restrict any features based on who opts into or out of tracking. However mobile attribution company AppsFlyer says that early data suggests that opt-in rates could be as high as 39%.

Hawke Ventures raises $5.6M to back digital marketing startups

Hawke Ventures, the investment arm of marketing consultancy Hawke Media, is announcing that it has closed its first $5.6 million venture fund.

Managing Partner Drew Leahy acknowledged that the firm’s focus on marketing technology isn’t exactly in high demand among other VCs right now.

“People are running away from martech […] but that’s our circle of confidence,” Leahy told me. “If you look at the biggest companies in the world, even Walmart now, they are all martech companies at the end of the day.”

While some might quibble with that description, it’s hard to deny the central role that marketing and advertising play for the internet’s biggest platforms. As for how that translates to Hawke’s strategy, Leahy said the firm is writing checks of between $100,000 and $250,000, with the possibility of follow-on investments.

Leahy, who was previously co-founder and CMO at SnapSuits.com, said that the fund has its roots in the strategic angel investing that he was doing for Hawke Media, ultimately working with the company’s CEO Erik Huberman and COO Tony Delmercado to raise a fund to make bigger bets.

He added that beyond writing checks, the firm can offer access to a network of 51 limited partners who invested in the fund. Those LPs include Deathwish Coffee founder Michael Brown, MVMT Watches founder Jack Kassan, former VaynerMedia executive Jeff Nicholson, husband-and-wife Holly (an actress and actress) and Rodney Pete (a former NFL player), Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Video Genome Product founder Xavier Kochhar and MarketShare founder Jon Vein.

And while most firms would say that they’re trying to fund the next Facebook or Google, Leahy said he has a slightly different focus: “We’re trying to build a different venture firm, that’s not about what we think next the big idea is, but is focused on building actual technology that we can use ourselves.

That also means the firm is mostly focused on products that can be used by small and medium businesses.

“We’re not an enterprise martech fund, we’re a small- and medium-sized business martech fund,” Leahy said. “We’re looking for pieces of technology that hundreds of thousands of users can be a part of.”

Early investments include SMS marketing company Postscript and analytics company Yaguara (acquired by Chord).

“As one of the earliest investors in Postscript, Hawke Ventures has worked with us since the beginning,” said Postscript President Alex Beller in a statement. “The entire Hawke org has been value-add since day one, and we’re proud to continue our partnership with Hawke as we build the definitive platform for Conversational Commerce.”

WhizzCo helps publishers maximize their content recommendation revenue

Israeli startup WhizzCo says it’s time for publishers to take the programmatic, auction-based approach to the ads in content recommendation widgets like Outbrain and Taboola.

After all, publishers regular employ this approach for most of the ads on their websites. But co-founder and CEO Alon Rosenthal said that when trying to monetize his own websites, he discovering for himself that it was “impossible” to maximize the revenue from those widgets in the same way.

“That was our real pain,” he said.

So with WhizzCo, Rosenthal and his team have built what they call a Content Recommendation Yield Platform, pulling native advertising from more than 40 different content recommendation providers, predicting which one will deliver the highest revenue for a given impression (whether that’s measured in CPM, CPC or CPA) and then delivering the ad from that provider.

Rosenthal added that WhizzCo works with publishers to ensure that the recommendation widgets and ads look like they’re a native part of a page, and that their appearance doesn’t change regardless of where the ad comes from He also said the publishers implement WhizzCo’s JavaScript on “not in the header, but on the actual code of the site — by doing that, we eliminate any loading problems whatsoever.”

Although WhizzCo is coming out of stealth now, it was actually founded in 2017 and has already worked with a number of publishers, including Penske Media Corporation’s She Media. In a statement, She Media Senior Vice President of Operations Ryan Nathanson said, “WhizzCo’s platform allowed us to create a competitive ecosystem, which has enabled tighter customization, competition and editorial guideline control, yielding a 75% increase in content recommendation CPM.”

And Rosenthal said that on average, WhizzCo customers see a 37.7% lift in content recommendation revenue.

“Our motto is that no one delivers 100 percent performance, 100 percent of the time,” he said. “No matter who you are, even if you’re Google [or any of the other big ad companies,] you cannot perform best at all times. That’s where we come in with our technology.”