Krux Research Shows 400% Increase in Data Collection

June 18, 2012 - Press Release - 0
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Second Annual Krux Cross-Industry Study Shows the Scale and Complexity of Data Risks Publishers Face

San Francisco, June 19, 2012 – Krux (www.krux.com), the technology leader in cloud-based consumer data solutions, today released its second annual Cross-Industry Study (CIS).  The report provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of web data collection activity and highlights key year-over-year trends.  Across the publishers included in the study, Krux observed a 400% increase in the average number of data collection events per page.  Further, 54% of the collection was performed by companies who were ‘ushered’ to the page by other third-parties rather than by the publishers themselves. 

“It’s instructive that the majority of third-party data collectors are venture-backed start-ups.  We’re seeing scores of entrepreneurs and investors rushing to get a piece of the data pie, mounting what are, in essence, zero-COGS businesses premised on ‘grey market’ data collection and reuse,” explained Tom Chavez, Krux co-founder and CEO.  “The silver lining for web publishers?  All of this activity affirms that their data does, in fact, have real value.”

Highlights from the study include:

  • Activity:  Data collection volume increased by 400% year-over-year, from an average of 10 collection events per page to 50, and 54% of that activity was entirely beyond publishers’ control (compared to 31% the previous year). 
  • Access:  78% of all third-party data collectors were also observed serving as ‘ushers,’ bringing other collectors to a web page.  This is up from 55% the previous year. 
  • Risk:  42% of all collection observed was from companies that may be using the data to power competitive media or data businesses.  This is up from 27% the previous year.
  • Actors:  The number of individual data collectors nearly doubled, with more than 300 parties observed in the 2012 CIS, compared to 167 the previous year.

This dramatic growth in data collection reflects the display advertising market’s shift to audience-based buying and is happening hand-in-glove with the growth of RTB (real-time bidding).  Media buyers and resellers are pairing premium data with low cost exchange-based media, bypassing direct ad sales channels entirely.  Much of the data collection explored in this study is powering that audience-based buying activity.  IDC analysts have reported that RTB is on pace to represent more than a quarter of all US display advertising spending by 2015, growing to more than $5 billion (IDC, October 2011). 

“As a former web publisher, I was well aware of the buy-side's head start in the data arms race,” stated Krux president, Gordon McLeod.  “But the dramatic increases in data theft that we found underscore the urgent need for all web publishers to better protect both their valuable data assets and the privacy of their users.  And unfortunately, stolen data is not the publisher's only concern.  Unauthorized third-party collection often leads to page load latency – the longer the wait time for users, the lower the publisher’s search rankings, the sharper the decline in overall site traffic and revenues over time.”

Krux’s cloud-based infrastructure helps websites protect, manage, and monetize consumer data signatures across all digital screens and sources.  For the CIS, Krux used the proprietary, cloud-based data scanning capabilities of their platform to analyze data collection activity across more than fifty top ad-supported websites in the US.  Krux selected a representative set of pages from each site, emulated individual browser sessions for each of those URLs, and precisely measured the resulting data collection events within those browser sessions.  In this study, a data collection event is defined as any instance when a cookie is set, referenced, or modified on a user’s browser.

The 2012 Krux Cross-Industry Study has been released as an infographic, available for download from the Krux website: http://bit.ly/2012-CIS

About Krux
Founded in 2010, Krux delivers data fabric for the consumer web.  The company's platform helps websites protect, manage, and monetize data across screens and sources.  With Krux, websites give their consumers cooler, safer, faster, smarter web experiences. With Krux, consumers gain confidence that their favorite websites are operating under the plain light of day.  Website operators in the US, Europe, and Asia have adopted Krux technology, including companies like The New York Times, NBC Universal, Sanoma, Recruit, Financial Times, msnbc.com, BrainyQuote, GrooveShark, and The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.  Find out more at www.krux.com.

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