Data’s Future? Look to the past.

Jan 18, 2011 - Krux Digital - 0
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As Brian Morrissey points out in today’s MediaWeek, publishers are increasingly looking inward in resolving the conflict and tension that exist between network/exchange sales and direct sales.

It was particularly resonant with me, having come off several days of client and sales meetings last week. It’s clear that publishers are drawing on hard-won learnings from the media side in defining the rules of play for data. Namely, they don’t want middlemen to get too much for too little, as has been the case so often with impression-based media sold via ad networks and exchanges.

When it comes to making the most of their precious consumer data asset, publishers are returning to three themes time and again:

  1. controlling and protecting what is rightfully theirs: asserting ownership and protecting the data asset, taking proactive countermeasures to prevent leakage and theft
  2. understanding and managing their assets: investing the growth of the sell-side market by making smart platform decisions — securing the technology and know-how needed to effectively compete in a data game currently dominated by advertisers and market middlemen
  3. monetizing data responsibly: exploring and exploiting new modes of cross-industry media and data flow, driving new revenue while preserving consumer trust

One cannot understate the importance of #3. Publishers are already pursuing premium, peer-to-peer data co-ops, establishing mechanisms for private data transactions, and doing so in a way that recognizes (and mitigates) the risks of channel conflict from the outset.

The emerging market model is represented in this graphic, and it illustrates the complexity inherent to the multiple segments of data most publishers must address.

Drawing on lessons from the past, the sell-side is preparing for a complicated data world, moving ahead in a thoughtful and open-eyed way. They know that potential for audience and impression value erosion and further share shift is just too great.

But they’re also doing so aggressively. The market is moving at a blistering pace, and the potential for value creation and share growth is just as great.

It’s exciting to be part of a publisher market that is moving so quickly to capitalize on media’s data-driven future. And we’re glad to be doing our part to help.

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