YouTube will be banning some pervasive verticals from purchasing ads in the masthead ad unit starting June 21. This ad placement is prominent on mobile devices and spans the width of smart TV screens. YouTube will be banning companies seeking to advertise alcohol sales, prescription drugs, gambling, and political campaigns from using that prominent placement on its platform. YouTube, among other publishers, has received criticism for hosting political ads on their homepages. Last year, YouTube said it would not allow full-day masthead reservations on its home screen and would be changing it to a per-impression basis like other normal ad placements.
A bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives introduced four new bills aimed at reining in the power of tech giants on Friday, June 11. Two of the bills are to prevent companies from creating marketplace platforms and then joining and competing against the same businesses that are selling from their platform. In other words, these bills are taking aim at Amazon’s strategy.
Other measures ban platforms from operating or owning subsidiaries that compete on the platforms, and yet another makes it illegal in most cases for a platform to give preferences to its own product on its platform. In other words, Amazon’s strategy is right in the crosshairs.
Opponents of the first two bills criticize them for addressing specific tech giant businesses rather than the underlying business practices. As they are, they could be deemed unconstitutional. The third and fourth bills place restrictions on mergers between companies with competing products or services and give users control over their data to be transferred to competing businesses.
Facebook Reality Lab’s focus is to bring more people into the Oculus VR experience. They are testing VR advertisement placements as a means to bring entry costs down. Facebook can then generate its income from advertising spots rather than relying on a subscription model. The purchase of an Oculus headset is still necessary to join the fun, which runs about $299 for two headsets.
Facebook's Oculus headset sales rose 146% YoY, which was likely driven by pandemic-related consumer habits. The VR ad placements are going to be driven by Facebook's existing ad standards, and they are enabling users to have full control over the ad content and options to hide ads just like on the main app.