Why it matters: Third-party data, which is collected from consumers on other websites, is being phased out of the ad ecosystem because it's not considered privacy-friendly.
- This has forced several big publications to rely on their own first-party data, or data that they collect directly from their users.
- Those segments are broken up into 6 categories: age (age ranges, generation), income (HHI, investable assets, etc.), business (level, industry, retirement, etc.), demo (gender, education, marital status, etc.) and interest (fashion, etc.)
- By the second half of the year, The Times plans to introduce at least 30 more interest segments.
"This can only work because we have 6 million subscribers and millions more registered users that we can identify and because we have a breadth of content," says Allison Murphy, Senior Vice President of Ad Innovation.
- Murphy notes that the company has invested significantly in building out the proprietary targeting solution. "We hired a large team specifically to support this year of a dozen people. The effort has touched at least 50 people and many more in every part of company to get this to work."
Between the lines: The effort is part of a greater push to a privacy-friendly experience from The New York Times.
- Last year, Axios reported that the company's marketing team will no longer use tracking pixels from Facebook and Twitter to track its users' browser history.
The big picture:Many online publishers still use third-party data, which is collected from consumers on other websites using tracking tools, to target consumers with ads.
- But changes to major web browsers to crack down on third-party data collection and new internet privacy rules are making that practice less viable.
Yes, but:Not all publishers have the scale, or user trust, to build out their own first-party data sets.
- Murphy notes: "While a differentiator and I'm thrilled about it, this isn't a path available for every publishers, especially not local who don’t have the scale of resources for building from scratch.."
Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe, said the findings were encouraging, given the current heightened scrutiny over how ad tech uses personal data, but also highlighted how stakeholders in the sector will have to address issues such as skills shortages as well as transparency.“It’s encouraging to see the majority of stakeholders expecting an increase in programmatic investments of up to 80% over the next 12 months,” she added.