For your radar: Experts expect Obama-era net neutrality rules to be repealed on Thursday, which has enraged progressive activists and Silicon Valley. Axios' Kim Hart has a quick explainer with everything you need to know here.
A new study from Ghostery, an anti-tracking tool, shows that an overwhelming majority (79%) of websites globally are tracking visitors' data — with 10% of these sites actually sending user data to 10 companies or more.
Why it matters: Trackers can collect and sell visitor data in ways that aren't always obvious to consumers. Too many trackers can also slow down website load times. As the trade war for data intensifies, companies that collect the most data through trackers will become the biggest targets of data privacy reform.
Our thought bubble: It benefits these ad companies to have as access to as much data as possible, not just for profit, but because they want to provide better advertising experiences for users. (Studies have shown that consumers prefer customized ads.) Some may argue it's the cost of having free access to their tools.
Jim Roberts, former Mashable executive editor and veteran New York Times and Reuters digital editor, is joining streaming TV startup Cheddar as editor-in-chief to lead Cheddar's newsroom and editorial coverage. The company is also launching "Cheddar Scoops," an exclusive-news reporting unit. Business Insider's Alex Heath is the first Cheddar Scoops hire.
Why it matters: Cheddar continues to expand amid a tumultuous landscape for VC-backed digital media. These hires are part of a push to strengthen the company’s editorial product to keep up with its aggressive business deals.
Sound smart: Roughly a year old, Cheddar now has 100 employees — 46 of which work in content. But most of that editorial staff works on creating the product, not breaking its own news. Now, Cheddar is investing in original reporting, which it hopes will distinguish itself from other over-the-top livestreamers, like The Young Turks and Barstool Sports.
Go deeper: More here about the new hires.
A new study out this morning from 16 publishers, including The Washington Post and Business Insider, as well as Google, Amobee and Quantcast, finds that publishers are losing up to $3.5 million in a single day to counterfeit video inventory — up to $1.27 billion per year.
Why it matters: Inventory fraud has been plaguing the ad industry for years, but for a while it went relatively undetected, so fraudsters got away with it. The largest ad fraud criminal ring in history, the Russian "Methbot," was revealed last year to have stolen up to $5 million in fraudulent ad dollars per day. White Ops, the firm that finally caught it, had been tracking the bad activity for over a year.
Now, publishers are fighting back with an industry-wide initative called ads.txt, which prevents counterfeit ad inventory from being exchanged by forcing publishers to verify businesses that can sell their inventory upfront.
What's next? Now that publishers are on board, the Interactive Advertising Bureau wants ad buyers to be vigilant too. It's created a program called ads.cert for ad buyers to vet publishers' inventory.
Verizon has struck a more than $2 billion deal to show NFL football games on its mobile network as well as its Yahoo, Yahoo Sports and go90 mobile platforms, The Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint reports.
Why it matters: "Verizon was willing to give up exclusive mobile rights in return for NFL content for its other platforms. In its previous deal, exclusivity was seen as crucial for Verizon to attract new wireless customers and keeping existing ones. Now the focus is on building its other platforms, particularly since Verizon bought Yahoo earlier this year for $4.5 billion."
BTIG's Rich Greenfield tweeted a video that shows what it looks like when networks try to cover NFL games without sports rights for different platforms.
New research from Magid Associates, commissioned by Digital Content Next, shows that most people still get the majority of their news and information from Facebook, but that brands' individual websites and apps are still significant gateways of information.
To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?— Netflix US (@netflix) December 11, 2017
Kroger, one of the biggest grocery brands in the U.S., is venturing into retail media, Digiday reports.
Our thought bubble: Digital has democratized the advertising business. Any company with a digital audience — a loyalty program, app, etc., — can monetize it.
Bloomberg's new Twitter 24-hour news network debuting next Monday will be called TicToc, Variety reports. The network will be available on Twitter at @tictoc (twitter.com/tictoc). TicToc is a "completely separate" product from Bloomberg Television.