Apple, Facebook, China, CoVID – 2021 : The year of Upheaval

Quite a few events in past 6 Months have disrupted the adtech world as we know it. Just some if you were busy binging on Netflix or Disney (yeah that too..):

  • Apple made IDFA Opt-in in iOS14.
  • Facebook Lost billions Of Advertising Spends due to #StopHateForProfit
  • COVID forced global business to almost a standstill position eroding and creating Opportunities for Adtech world
  • Antitrust cases filed against adtech companies at an unprecedented scale
  • India banned 59 Apps from the Appstore.

Facebook

Facebook lost 200+ large and small advertisers due to #stopHateForProfit boycott. This eliminated almost USD 60 Billion from the market Cap of Facebook in 3 weeks .

Now, there have been many such fiascoes in the past like Cambridge Analytica, Youtube boycott running ads on terror Videos (i knew you would have forgotten that one) , Wikileaks, Previous BlackLivesMatter protests, improper security measures leading to identity thefts and Subsequent Phishing attacks. The list goes on and on.

But why now and why Facebook?

To an untrained eye, All these seem confounding . But as they say , when it rains , it pours and this all was building up . Maybe COVID just created the right environment :

  • Upto 60% drop in commercial activity with some category spends down by 90+ %(travel, hospitality ), the downside go limited emboldening the factors that had held powers-to-be in check for taking hard calls??
  • Most of the world is still operating from home , giving us time to reconnect with family and our introspect . The George Floyd incident shook us to the core. On a regular day , we would have gone to work , had had some water cooler moments and ,may be, conveniently forgotten the issue under the distraction of work and commute. working from home brought family and human values in focus , Gave the world an opportunity to look at the injustice with complete attention.

Facebook is now making it clear about removing such content irrespective of who posts the content . too little and too late, & not possible in short term in my opinion. Millions of content units being posted per day, it is just really not possible to flag out and remove every thing , especially when work force is getting used to neo-normal of working from home or remote.

Facebook will take time to recover and they Should . They should realise that are an important aspect of many peoples lives and source of influence – good or bad.

However , will large bards pulling out really affect facebook. their self serve ad platform is easy to use, allowing many small and retail customers to use it effectively. And it does drive value to their business . So will out local mom and pop Stores stop using Facebook for Business to support #stophateforprofit???

Apple

Apple Decided to make IDFA opt-in sending $80 Billion Ad industry into a tailspin. Again Why now?

India bans Chinese Apps and Power generation Machinery

https://www.inventiva.co.in/stories/parul/59-chinese-apps-banned-in-india-removed-from-google-play-store-and-apple-store-no-more-tik-tok/

As a commercial response to bloody incursions, on Line of Actual Control between Indian and Chinese defence forces , made couple of significant calls. They banned 59 chinese apps for indian users and stopped import pf power equipment from chinese companies . While we will not consider geopolitical aspects of the situation, let us look at the what Role current economic and commercial situation played on this aspect.

Due to COVID lockdowns, indian power consumption is down by 25% year on year. There is seems to a little chance to return to pre-COVID consumption level with in 2020. The primary consumption is for essential services, Food Production and Processing, Pharma ,Domestic Supply and Offices.

The Key sectors that drive the economic like Manufacturing, Auto , Transport , Industry, Hospitality , Commerce and Entertainment are consuming a fraction of their regular demand. The reduced demand over all and much lower requirement by important sectors can enable the energy companies to undertake capital repairs easily. This also enables the power companies to replace equipment with lesser impact and disruption.

India manufactures be homegrown or previously referenced companies from other developed nations are well equipped to to fullfill and the equipment requirements . Such a move will enforce ‘Make In India’ initiative on a very important sector.

Local manufacturing required at a rapid and large scale (assume remaining 6 months of 2020 till demand comes back), will only be possible with some level of technology transfer . Technology transfer is the only solution for rapid development, Job creation and long term self sustained country and Economy.

I think , this is a smart move , addressing 2 issues at once. Crating a bold posture for a hostile neighbour and developing the economy at the same time when economic risks are lower .

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