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Changes in the Digital Ad Space

Taboola to Go Public Through a SPAC

Taboola, an advertising company, is aiming to go public through special purpose acquisition corporation ION Acquisition Group. The joint company will be formed around the second quarter of 2021 and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker TBLA.

Taboola is the company behind the content recommendations featured on 9,000 sites around the internet. Consumers may recognize Taboola’s work from sites like CNBC (CMCSA), NBC News, Business Insider, The Independent, and El Mundo, where a recommendation bar with advertisements promotes related content, usually at the bottom of news stories. According to Taboola, the company works with 13,000 advertisers to reach 516 million active users per day.

Google to Remove Third Party Cookies

There are other changes coming to the digital ad landscape. Google (GOOGL) could be on its way to eliminating third-party cookies for advertising, as the search giant said it has a promising proposal that could reshape the digital advertising ecosystem. Google’s goal is to find a solution to replace third-party cookies that will protect user privacy while supporting free content on the open web.

Google said in a blog post that test results on a proposal called FLoC suggested it may be a viable privacy-focused replacement for third-party cookies. With FLoC, advertisers could see up to 95% of the conversions per dollar they tend to get through cookie-based advertising. FLoC would put internet users into groups based on their browsing behaviors. Instead of tracking each individual user on the web like with cookies, Google would track “flocks” of thousands of users.

Discussion Centers on the Open Web

In the digital ad space, there is much talk of “walled gardens” and the “open web.” While the open web theoretically includes content that is open to all users, walled gardens are platforms like YouTube (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) that control what their users see and when they see it. Some skeptics of Google’s new strategy say these decisions could drive advertisers away from the open web and toward walled garden platforms like Facebook (FB).

Meanwhile, Taboola sees itself as an “open web recommendation leader” and “well positioned to challenge the walled gardens.” According to the firm, the open web is a $64 billion advertising market.

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