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Disney+ advertisers will soon get Hulu’s ad targeting capabilities • TechCrunch

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Disney Advertising held its annual Tech and Data Showcase today, revealing plans to roll out some of Hulu’s ad targeting capabilities to Disney+.

When Disney+ launched its ad-supported tier last month, advertisers couldn’t target ads to specific audiences. By giving Disney+ advertisers access to Hulu’s ad-targeting tools, they can learn a user’s age, gender, and geo-location, which will likely help advertisers make more effective ads and bring in more revenue for both the ad agencies and Disney.

In an exclusive interview with Digiday, Disney Advertising president Rita Ferro said Disney+ would get Hulu’s ad targeting capabilities beginning in April. By July, the full suite of tools will be available across Disney’s streaming portfolio, including ESPN+.

“The past few years we have been focused on building a complete, proprietary ad server for the entire Walt Disney Company. This gives us control over how we deliver ads, how we insert ads, formats of ads we use, how we integrate with programmatic networks, which really just gives us the complete flexibility to reimagine how we want to sell in the future,” said Aaron LaBerge, CTO of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “That Ad server is now powering Hulu and is at the heart of the ads on Disney+.”

Unlike other streaming services, Disney built its own proprietary technology for digital ads, which means Disney has more control and can focus on delivery behavior for its ad partners. The Disney Ad Server (DAS) allows the company to use first-party data. When Netflix launched its ad-supported tier last November, it partnered with Microsoft to run ads off the Xandr platform. This means Netflix must rely on a third-party vendor.

The Disney Ad Server delivers approximately 500 million ad impressions per day, reported Variety.

Disney’s Audience graph, which launched about ten years ago, gives advertisers “three times higher match rates,” claimed Director of Advanced Analytics and Data Solutions, Christine Chung, during today’s showcase. Chung added that Disney Select, the company’s first-party segment offering, is built on over 100,000 audience attributes taken from 235 million devices and User IDs.

During today’s Tech and Data Showcase, Disney added that it plans on automating 50% of its ad sales by 2024. Ferro told Digiday, “We’re at 35% right now, and that’s before the full integration of all of these [ad products and services from Hulu].”

Other announcements include a premiere streaming measurement deal with TV outcomes-based company EDO (Entertainment Data Oracle), which will give Disney access to EDO’s engagement metrics.

“With EDO’s predictive, behavioral engagement data that correlates to market share growth, advertising leaders like Disney can know and predict the effectiveness of Convergent TV campaigns,” Edward Norton, EDO co-founder & chairman, said. “Disney is a leader in defining this new era of critical transformation for our industry, and we are proud to partner.”

Disney also announced the expansion of a multi-year relationship with Samba TV to measure reach and frequency across all connected devices.

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Fifth Wall, focused on real estate tech and managing $3.2B, looks to eat up even more of its market • TechCrunch

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Brendan Wallace’s ambition is beginning to seem almost limitless. The venture firm that Wallace and cofounder Brad Greiwe launched less than seven years ago already has $3.2 billion in assets under management. But that firm, Fifth Wall, which argues there are massive financial returns at the intersection of real estate and tech, isn’t worried about digesting that capital. It’s heavy-hitting investors — CBRE, Starwood, and Arbor Realty Trust among them — don’t seem concerned, either.

Never mind that just last month, Fifth Wall closed the largest-ever venture fund focused on real-estate tech startups with $866 million in capital, or that it closed a $500 million fund earlier in 2022 that aims to decarbonize the property industry. Never mind that on top of these two efforts, Fifth Wall also expanded into Europe last February with a London office and a €140 million fund. As for the fact that office buildings in particular have been shocked by a combination of layoffs, work-from-home policies and higher interest rates, Wallace says he considers it an opportunity.

More, Wallace already sees many more opportunities he wants to pursue, including in Asia, as well as the buying and building of “utility-scale solar and micro grids and wind farms” that Fifth Wall plans to both invest in and to which it will provide financing.

It’s a lot to take on, particularly for a now 80-person outfit whose biggest exits today include the home-flipping outfit OpenDoor, the property insurance company Hippo Insurance, and SmartRent, which sells smart home technology to apartment building owners and developers. None have been spared by public market shareholders; still, talking to Wallace and the picture he paints, it’s easy to see why investors keep throwing money his team. We spoke with him earlier today in a chat that has been edited for length.

TC: How is it that your many real estate investing partners are investing so much capital with you when it’s such a challenging time for real estate, particularly office buildings?

BW: It’s the same thesis we were we were founded on, which is you have the two largest industries in the U.S., which is real estate, which is 13% of US GDP, and tech, and they’re colliding and it represents a huge explosion of economic value [as] we’ve seen in this kind of super cycle of proptech companies that has grown up. Now, this additional layer has been unearthed around climate tech. The biggest opportunity in climate tech is actually the built environment. Real estate accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions, and yet the venture climate tech venture capital ecosystem only has historically put about 6% of climate VC dollars toward tech for the real estate industry.

How do you designate which vehicle — your flagship proptech fund or your climate fund — funds a particular startup?

How we define proptech is tech that is usable by the real estate construction or hospitality industry, so it needs to be tech that’s immediately usable by them — which can be a lot of different things. It can be leasing, asset management software, fintech, mortgages, operating systems, keyless entry — but it doesn’t necessarily have the effect of decarbonizing the real estate industry. It can be a derivative benefit, but it’s not the core focus. The core focus is simply that you have this industry that has been so slow and late to adopt technology that’s now starting to do so, and as it does, it’s creating all this value. We’ve already had six portfolio companies go public and we’re a six-year-old firm.

[As just one example], do you know how many multifamily units today have a smart device inside them? One percent of all multifamily units in the United States have a single smart device — any smart device: a light switch, shade, access control. There is a massive transition going on right now, where every single thing inside a building is going to become smart. And we’re at the dawn of that right now.

I do believe, though, that the opportunity in climate tech is a multiple of that simply because the cost required to decarbonize the real estate industry is so vast. The cost to decarbonize the U.S. commercial real estate industry is estimated to be $18 trillion. That is just the U.S. commercial real estate industry. To put that in perspective, the U.S. GDP is like $22 trillion to $23 trillion, and we have to decarbonize the real estate industry over the next 20 years, so one way to think about that is that we have to roughly spend one year of U.S. GDP over the next 20 just on decarbonizing our physical assets.

Where are the major spending areas on which you’re focused?

I’ll give you one very concrete example, which is literally concrete. If concrete were a country, it would be the third largest CO2 emitter on planet Earth after the U.S. and China. Fully 7.5% of global CO2 emissions come from making concrete. It’s the most used material on planet Earth after water. So you have this raw material that’s an input for all of our infrastructure — all of our cities, all the homes we inhabit, all the buildings where we do business — and that is generating 7.5% of global co2 emissions. And so the race is on right now to identify an opportunity to make carbon neutral or carbon negative cement. We actually invested in a company called Brimstone alongside Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos because they also see this opportunity that this is one of the major spend categories where that $18 trillion that’s required to decarbonize real estate is going to go. Then you can go further down [list], from glass, steel, cross laminated timber — just all of the materials that are used in making buildings.

More immediately, and this is more a question about repurposing space, but what do you think becomes of underused office space in this country over the next 18 to 24 months? It’s particularly extreme in San Francisco, I realize, given its population of tech workers who haven’t returned to the office.

I wouldn’t draw too much of a conclusion from San Francisco alone. I think San Francisco has probably been the hardest hit city. I don’t think San Francisco is the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the U.S. office industry. But with that said, I think we’re now in a moment where the pendulum has swung obviously very far in the direction of hybrid work and companies downsizing their physical footprints, but you’re already starting to see that these things are circular and cyclical and that some employees actually want to go back to the office, while CEOs are saying, ‘It’s hard to mentor and build culture and drive the kind of operational efficiencies we once had in an office in an entirely remote environment.’ So my sense is that we’re probably two to three years out from another pendulum swing back toward companies retrenching themselves in a physical office. I think we’re in an artificially low ebb in sentiment and demand for office.

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Twitter vows to take ‘less severe actions’ against rule-breaking accounts

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Twitter is promising that it’ll take “less severe actions” when disciplining accounts that break its rules; it’ll only suspend Twitter accounts that engage in “severe or ongoing, repeat violations” of its rules. The company also says it’ll be letting anyone appeal suspensions starting February 1st, and that those doing so will be judged using updated standards.

What will Twitter do instead of suspending your account? The “less severe actions” are things that Twitter has been doing for years, such as limiting visibility of a tweet, or telling a user to remove a tweet before they can get back onto the site. Today’s change is that Twitter is promising to reach for those tools more often, instead of going straight for the ban button.

The company also says it’s planning to be more transparent with its enforcement actions, and will be rolling out some unspecified new features to help with that next month. One possible example: CEO Elon Musk promised last year that Twitter would let you know when you’ve been “shadowbanned,” and why.

Today, Twitter also seems to be justifying its decisions to bring those people back to Twitter, saying it “did not reinstate accounts that engaged in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large-scale spam and platform manipulation, or when there was no recent appeal to have the account reinstated.” That does make it rather odd that Trump’s been let back on, given that Twitter said in 2021 that it permanently suspended the former president “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” However, it’s possible that’s because — like the genesis of the amnesty policy itself — Trump was let back on because Elon wanted him back and decided to poll his own audience.

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Amazon is reportedly making a Tomb Raider TV series written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

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Amazon is developing a TV series based on the Tomb Raider video game franchise with scripts written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Details are light on this new Tomb Raider series, but THR says that while Waller-Bridge will serve as a writer and executive producer, she won’t be starring in the show. The show is apparently still in the development stages, so we probably shouldn’t expect to see it anytime soon.

This new series could be another potentially big video game franchise adaptation for Amazon, which announced in December that it would be making a God of War TV show. But it also marks a further investment from Amazon into the Tomb Raider franchise, as the company will also be publishing the next Tomb Raider game from Crystal Dynamics. Amazon didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Video game adaptations are on something of a hot streak: Netflix’s Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was a hit, while HBO’s The Last of Us was just renewed for a second season after only two episodes. Hopefully, Amazon can bring a similar level of quality as those shows to this new Tomb Raider series. (I never saw the Tomb Raider movies, but my understanding is that they aren’t great.)

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