Australia’s Chance To Build A New Data Independence Era For Publishers?

Australia’s Chance To Build A New Data Independence Era For Publishers?

Marcelo Ulvert is the Co-Founder and CEO of Australian media technology company WINR. In this piece, he presents the case on why publishers and advertisers should move towards a new data collection and monetisation model.

Over the past decade, as the Internet giants including Facebook and Google grew their audiences, we observed the AdTech industry mould itself around the notion that more data equals more dollars, and deeper audience engagement.

Publishers and advertisers, seeing the opportunities those massive audience databases present, were quick to make social media platforms, Internet browsers and search engines their best allies.

Today, we are learning the painful lessons of the over-reliance on those Internet giants. Leading voices around the world are rising loud and clear: we need a brand new AdTech model.

A seismic shift leading to a global realisation: the era of data independence has come

In just a few weeks a seismic AdTech quake made the world realise we need a new AdTech model, not in 10 years but now.

First, Facebook surprised everyone by pulling the plug on removing news sharing on its platform for all its Australian users – to put it back on a few days later. Then, it was Google’s turn to formally announce the end of its third-party cookies and their decision not to build an alternative identifier system.

In this unstable environment where a small decision from one of the big tech can literally put an entire industry down, industry leaders all agree:

  • “With Google Chrome removing support for third-party cookies by 2022, the time for marketers to start investing in the future is now” – Sir Martin Sorrell, founder, and executive chairman of S4 Capital.
  • IAB Australia issued a blog following the announcement which recommended publishers commit to a “competent first-party data strategy”.
  • Jakub Otrzasek, head of data analytics, Asia Pacific at MightyHive from S4 Capital said that marketers should “relentlessly” focus on their own data strategies over the next 12 months.
  • According to Verizon Media’s head of data ANZ Dan Richardson, collection of user IDs that doesn’t rely on cookies or mobile device IDs is the next step for the new advertising ecosystem.

Put simply; publishers need to urgently gain more data independence over the Internet behemoths and build their own addressable audiences.

A new win-win-win model where publishers are in control

An AdTech supply chain equilibrium needs to be re-instated and the way to practically and sustainably do it is to change what’s at the core of today’s faulty model: data collection.

A model where publishers gather their own first-party data based on users’ consent has the power to build addressable audiences at scale, and empower publishers to better monetise and engage with their audiences.

Shifting to a consent-based first-party data model can give publishers their independence back, and control over their own destiny.

It means we can build an AdTech supply chain framework that is of equal benefits to all parties involved. A model that is clear, transparent, and that ultimately will help restore the trust that the big Internet giants have slowly eroded.

Can Australia lead the way?

Australia has been the centre of attention following the recent Facebook events. In the process, publishers, advertisers and other AdTech players around the world have been made aware of Australia’s firm intent to stand up against the tech behemoths’ over-dominance, and push for a more balanced AdTech supply chain.

Now is our chance to show the world that Australia can lead the revolution and disruption desperately needed by the AdTech and publishing industry.

The good news is: many publishers are already on their way to this independence journey, and can serve as examples for the rest of the industry, both locally and globally.

Over a number of years, some of our local publishers have committed to consent-based data capture, at scale. They have seen the amazing results that this model can deliver with the ability to deepen their audience with richer, self-reported information from their readers to continue to provide the level of targeting that advertisers require to maintain their investment in the channel.

The outcome? Robust and mature data strategies delivering higher data-driven revenues.

Companies like Nine, who have invested heavily in the development of their Nine Tribes product, will benefit from the scale of the data strategy they started many years ago by being able to offer their clients the quality and quantity of addressable audiences needed to maintain and grow budgets.

Other large publishers will need to over-invest in the next 24 months to catch up, but they inevitably will.

The real challenge is now for the smaller publishers to play catch-up and make the necessary, strategic investments into this new first-party data model.

While there is a view that building out a committed long-term data strategy is complex and expensive, it’s simply not the case. There are so many platforms that deliver out of the box solutions for small and large publishers alike.

Making that first step toward investing in a new data collection and monetisation model will be the first step toward that independence all publishers are craving for.


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