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Apple cost social media $10B. Here are the ads that cash could buy

Who needs ad targeting when you've got Super Bowl and James Bond commercials?

Apple cost social media $10B. Here are the ads that cash could buy
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC. Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC.

Apple’s introduction of App Tracking Transparency hasn’t proven popular with social media platforms.

The privacy shift has vaporized an estimated $9.85 billion of revenues for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snap, according to The Financial Times.

The new policy, which launched in April, requires the social media platforms to gain permission from iPhone users before tracking them across other apps.

Unsurprisingly, many of them have opted out, which has made ad targetting on social media less effective. As a result, advertisers have shifted their budgets to other sources — including Apple’s own expanding ads business.

That’s conveniently beneficial to Apple, but rather concerning for social media firms whose businesses are built on tracking people. With ad targetting now less attractive, we investigated what else advertisers could buy for $9.85 billion.

1,515 Super Bowl ads

The Super Bowl is the most-watched TV event in the US, but the action on the pitch isn’t the main attraction for many viewers. Close to 50% of viewers actually watch the commercials more than the game, according to Stephen Master, VP of Nielsen Sports media research.

Those eyeballs are extremely valuable to advertisers. Indeed, some sponsors pay as much as $6.5 million for 30 seconds of ad time. That’s some serious cash for most companies, but if you’ve got $9.85 billion goin spare, you could bag 1,515 of the slots.

219 product placement spots in James Bond films

Skyfall had all the hallmarks of a classic James Bond film: Aston Martins, megalomaniac villains, a catchy theme tune, and copious product placement.

One of the sponsors, however, sullied a Bond staple: Heineken reportedly paid $45 million for Bond to swap his vodka martini for a beer.

If the company had an extra $9.85 billion to spend, it could have got Daniel Craig to drink 219 Heinikens. That would buy enough screentime to make the beer bottle one of the film’s most complex characters.

15,760 weeks on a Times Square billboard

The dazzling billboards that illuminate New York’s Times Square have become a tourist attraction in their own right — and a lucrative source of revenue. Just four weeks on one of the megascreens could set you back $2.5 million.

That puts the billboards out of reach for your average mom-and-pop store. But give them $9.85 billion and they could spend 302 years on a Times Square billboard, dazzling the city until 2323.

The Silicon Valley giants would also appreciate the budget, but the lost revenues aren’t likely to threaten their survival. Facebook alone made $9.2 billion in profit for the third quarter of this year, despite the advertising issues and mounting controversies.

If they want to recoup the missing ad money, they may need a new idea to replace tracking iPhone users.

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