Web 3? More like the Web 30%; Balancing “Commercial” and “Surveillance”

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Maybe Web 4

Apple has asserted its dominance over Web 3 developers.

In his last app review tipswhich went live this week, Apple introduced language to clarify that apps “cannot use their own mechanisms to unlock content or features, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, codes QR, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.”

All apps that allow users to mint, sell or trade NFTs will be eligible for Apple’s 30% in-app purchase discount.

TL;DR: The Web 3 agenda doesn’t match Apple’s priorities.

It’s the quintessential example of decentralization versus centralized control — and the fact is, Apple has the power to crush entire categories, even ones with as much momentum behind them as crypto.

Have you ever heard of Progressive Web Apps? They are browser-app hybrid products that could have made the web much cooler. But Apple benefits when people use apps, not when they browse the web. So… RIP, PWA.

With a base tax of 30%, crypto and NFT-based mobile apps face a miserable road to profitability on Apple devices. Counterintuitively, Web 3 developers and trading platforms may need to switch to PCs or rely on a native browser like Brave if they ever want to approach scale.

What’s scarier than surveillance?

The FTC postponed its deadline for feedback on an ongoing review of “Business Surveillance and Data Security”.

This gave Garrett Johnson, a professor of marketing at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, time to submit his thoughts on the subject.

While it’s good that the FTC has come out of its dormancy and gotten into the debate over online advertising and privacy, Johnson writes that the commission’s “unfit and loaded” focus on “commercial oversight” betrays an attitude that is not open to balancing the needs of web publishers, technology companies and the entire data economy as legitimate stakeholders. “I fear that such language effectively stifles debate,” he writes.

The FTC also fits into an older framework of online advertising. Data-driven third-party targeting and cross-app, cross-site identifiers are already on the way out, and the FTC may be missing the forest for the trees.

Arguably the most important focus for regulators right now is how Google and Apple reset advertising and privacy policies – and how they can do so in a way that greatly benefits their own advertising activities and harms to challengers.

Death by 3,000 cuts

A wave of layoffs in the media portends difficult times.

The United States has lost nearly 3,000 media jobs this year, more than a third of them in the media, Axios reports.

The cuts come amid slowing advertising and subscriptions and follow the end of content partnerships between publishers and Big Tech.

In the past two months alone, BDG, Gannett, Recurrent, CNN, Netflix, Acast, Future and Warner Bros. Discovery have announced layoffs or hiring freezes.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is on track to lose money this year thanks to a drop in subscribers, while The Atlantic faces its second straight year of losses of more than $10 million. . Additionally, thanks to a frosty investor landscape, startups like Puck and Substack have scrapped their fundraising plans for this year.

Wall Street has also been tough on media brands. BuzzFeed’s valuation has fallen four-fifths since its March IPO. Ouch.

But information is not the only sector that suffers. Streaming giants like Netflix, Disney and Paramount have lost tens of billions of dollars in market capitalization.

Unlike streaming platforms, however, news publishers do not benefit from a potential recovery in November and December. Instead, they can expect to offer heavily discounted subscription offers followed by high churn.

But wait, there’s more!

Meta released an API for reporting intellectual property violations and updated its trademark rights protection tool. [AdWeek]

YouTube megastar MrBeast is seeking a $150 million investment with a 10-figure valuation to expand his video empire into restaurants, consumer goods and merchandise. [Axios]

TelevisaUnivision has signed a multi-year agreement with Nielsen ONE. [release]

A 40,000 word primer on all things crypto, metaverse and web 3. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

The FTC is seeking to hold Drizly’s CEO accountable for alleged security breaches – even if he moves to a new company. [CNBC]

Celebrity deepfakes started appearing in ads without their permission. [WSJ]

You are engaged!

The Consumer Brands Association names David Chavern as its next president and CEO. [release]

Recurring CEO Lance Johnson steps down, board appoints COO Alex Vargas as new CEO. [release]

DISQO appoints Nicholas Weaver as vice president of engineering for its B2B SaaS portfolio. [release]