Stat: Caesar’s vast store of customer data has been valued at about $1 billion

Last year, Harrah’s parent company, Caesar’s Entertainment, declared bankruptcy as a consequence of overextension and growing competition. During proceedings, creditors appraised Caesar’s vast store of customer data as the company’s most valuable asset, worth about $1 billion.

Harrah’s pioneered the now industry standard Total Rewards player tracking system, first with a punchcard program introduced in 1985, then with a digital program and magnetic cards in the 1990s. Slots were easy to track, and stood at the very center of the program. The system grew even more sophisticated under the auspices of former CEO Gary Loveman. Loveman arrived at Harrah’s fresh from teaching at Harvard Business School, and he brought a methodical business savvy to an industry that, in many ways, had spent decades winging it.

 

via Slot machines perfected addictive gaming. Now, tech wants their tricks | The Verge.

Ad Blocks’ Doomsday Scenarios | Monday Note

Along with The Netherlands, the German market is by far the most affected one by the ad blocking phenomenon. There, ad block use approaches 40% of the internet population.

 

The US market seems the less affected with 15%-17% of the internet population, again on average, using an ad blocking extension.

via Ad Blocks’ Doomsday Scenarios | Monday Note.

And thoughts on publisher reactions:

But the most potent response evolves around the idea of changing the commercial relationship between publishers and their customers. They could consider three different kind of deals:
– Option #1: use an ad blocking extension and face your preferred site displaying various annoying tricks that will deny or slow down access.
– Option #2: opt-in, i.e. register with a valid email address. Yes, you will get ads, but on a selective basis: No autoplay videos, no pop-in windows, etc. From the publisher’s perspective, an opt-in reader is more valuable than an anonymous one, and the loss on the number of formats can be offset by a stiffer rate-card.
– Option #3: simply subscribe and you get rid of any ads (except Branded Content that I see as another form of editorial — not my favorite one, for sure — but carrying the best value for publishers and the smaller inconvenience for users. Even better, entire sites and apps will load much faster, which is a solid argument when 50% of the audience reads through mobile.
This idea goes with several conditions: news publishers defining themselves as quality-oriented (lower audience but higher CPMs), acting in concert, and an ad community willing to focus on the quality of the campaign — as opposed to only betting on programmatic selling. None of which is a given.

Chrome for Android goes almost ‘entirely open source’ | 9to5Google

Good for the Android ecosystem. Good for open mobile web.  Good for Chrome.

Now that Chrome for Android has been open-sourced through a Chromium version, developers can create new mobile browsers with their own unique features and takes on the web browsing experience using the same solid codebase powering Chrome and 1-in-4 desktop Internet users’ window to the web. The desktop version of the browser already powers popular alternatives like Opera and Vivaldi, so we can expect to see a lot of new ones available on mobile very soon.

via Chrome for Android goes almost ‘entirely open source’ | 9to5Google.

An Aging Instagram Tries To Win Us Back With Email “Highlights”

FB starting to apply that growth hacking juice to Instagram.  Also, this shows just how extremely durable and valuable email is today.

After spotting Highlights, Instagram confirmed to me that this is the first time it’s sent any type of promotional or re-engagement email. It’s so fresh there’s not even a setting to control it. When I tried hitting Unsubscribe to see where it took me, I discovered there was no email settings menu and no way to re-subscribe.

via An Aging Instagram Tries To Win Us Back With Email “Highlights” | TechCrunch.

Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015

A very Mozilla-ish argument against tracking and ads:

the decrease in page load time with tracking protection enabled is even higher (44%!) than in our Air Mozilla talk last August, due to prevalence of embedded third party content on news sites. You can read the paper here…
Advertising does not make content free. It merely externalizes the costs in a way that incentivizes malicious or incompetent players to build things like Superfish, infect 1 in 20 machines with ad injection malware, and create sites that require unsafe plugins and take twice as many resources to load, quite expensive in terms of bandwidth, power, and stability.

via Monica at Mozilla: Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015.

Strategy behind Uber’s Higher Take Rate

WSJ article on Uber’s take rate from this week:

Uber Tests 30% Fee, Its Highest Yet: Company now charges some drivers 30% of fares in San Francisco and San Diego

via Uber Tests 30% Fee, Its Highest Yet – WSJ.

The reality is that this is a move to dis-incentivize drivers from multi-homing, or driving for multiple networks.  Think of it like a loyalty program that all drivers are automatically enrolled in.  After a certain mileage hurdle, Uber’s take rate goes down, so there’s more incentive to stick with Uber even if Lyft may provide more immediate revenue.

 

 

 

Firefox Will Soon Get Sponsored Suggested Tiles Based On Your Browsing History | TechCrunch

It feels like Mozilla is reinventing the wheel here, based on what I see.  I’m not so sure if it’s execution or the culture that’s holding them back though.  If latter, it makes it a tougher situation to do advertising well.

This move doesn’t come as a major surprise. Mozilla has featured sponsored ‘Directory Tiles‘ in Firefox for a few months now, after all, and Suggested Tiles are the logical next step. Unlike Directory Tiles, which are the default tiles that appear for new users without a browsing history, Sponsored Tiles are based on your browsing history. To do this, the advertising service looks at your browsing history to figure out your interests by comparing it to a set of URLs that fit into a given category.

via Firefox Will Soon Get Sponsored Suggested Tiles Based On Your Browsing History | TechCrunch.

Kraft: Digital advertising has a serious data quality problem

One of the main recurring themes of my writing here is about quality of traffic.  This extends to data:

“You have to understand when they collected that information, what the consumer did to get put into that classification,” said Bob Rupczynski, vp of media, data and CRM at Kraft Foods, at the Digiday Programmatic Summit on Friday. “There’s just so many problems with the quality and the recency, the supply chain on that data that third-party data has a problem. We’ve got to get to the bottom of it.”

via Kraft: Digital advertising has a serious data quality problem – Digiday. (via jonathanmendez)

European mobile networks plan to block ads

A report from the Financial Times today claims that European mobile networks are preparing to block advertising across the Web.

According to the story, which cites anonymous sources, the carriers have installed software from Israeli ad-blocking firm Shine in their data centers to block advertising in Web pages and apps, but not social networks.

The plan – which would be devastating to companies reliant on advertising – is not limited to a single European network. Its apparent aim is to break Google’s hold on advertising.

The FT report says that “an executive at a European carrier confirmed that it and several of its peers are planning to start blocking adverts this year” and will be available as an “opt-in service” however they are also considering applying the technology across their entire mobile networks.

via European mobile networks plan to block ads.