Publishers need to become ‘audience architects’ so they can protect publisher influence and margins against a data-savvy demand-side, says a new report from Videoplaza and IHS Digest. However, the report also found that the solution isn’t necessarily an adversarial one and that and that data-driven advertising also opens up new opportunities for cooperation between buyers and sellers.
The research looks at how data-driven advertising will have transformed the European publisher landscape by 2017:
- Video advertising will reach a predicted spend of €2.5B – one of the fastest growing categories of online advertising;
- There will be 1.1B devices which will equate to 2.5 devices per person and 3 times as many video capable devices as TVs;
- 32.5% of all online video advertising will be programmatically traded.
While the study found that most publisher data strategies are still in their infancy, European publishers have been responding in some novel ways:
1. Adding demand-side capabilities and audience extension
Some publishers, most notably The Guardian, have taken on demand-side capabilities. In October, the digital media company announced the launch of its home-grown trading desk, Response+. By working with advertisers as an agency would, The Guardian is able to improve its audience data and work closer with advertisers to package audiences more effectively. Specifically, the Guardian offers to plan advertising campaigns and targeting on its own web properties, but also buys them off-site.
2. Publishers are Forming Alliances
In some markets, publishers are forming cooperatives. For instance, in France publishers have gathered in alliances like La Place Media and Audience Square, who are now also expanding into video. In such alliances, publishers can pool data, define common metrics and bundle inventory to work together in novel ways.
3. Introduction of Media IDs
In an increasingly cookieless, multi-screen world, personal log-in data is becoming increasingly important to track consumers across devices. Global players like Google, Microsoft and Facebook have long understood the importance of such data, publishers have lagged behind, although there some interesting and innovative solutions emerging.
For example, in Germany, broadcasters attempted to connect fragmented audiences by tracking user viewing habits through HbbTV (a connected TV standard) across all channels, not just their own. And in neighbouring Belgium, ten media companies (seven publishers and three broadcasters) founded a joint initiative called Media ID at the beginning of 2013, which allowed users to have a unique identification for the use of all the online and mobile services of the ten companies included in the initiative.