European news sites are among the worst offenders when it comes to third-party cookies and content

The forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation on May 25 is pushing publishers to take a hard look at just how dependent their outlets have become on cookies third-party trackers they load on their own sites in order to collect data from their visitors.

News sites actually load more third-party content and set more third-party cookies than other top websites, according to a new study of websites across seven European countries from the Reuters Institute. Continue reading “European news sites are among the worst offenders when it comes to third-party cookies and content”

Cheatsheet: How marketers are planning for ‘post-cookie’ digital media

Conversations around how best to create scaled, single user-ID propositions — also known as people-based marketing, audience planning, identity or ID management, to name a few — continue occurring. Whatever the name, the race is on to own the best-scaled consumer ID proposition.

The need for them persists: Mobile continues to eat the world, making cookie-based targeting increasingly obsolete. Plus, urgency around competing with the scaled persistent ID propositions of Google and Facebook is top of mind, particularly for the ad tech and publishing industries. Now, the General Data Protection Regulation is adding another layer of complexity.

“First-party ID management is evolving, as the need for consent will intensify over the next year and put pressure on the archaic streak of user data capture and storage,” said Amir Malik, digital marketing head for Accenture.

Here’s a cheatsheet on the state of scaled consumer ID propositions:

Key players

  • Agency holding groups have invested heavily in building scaled customer ID propositions over the last year. WPP’s mPlatform launched a year ago, with the aim of building an “mID” for its customers across devices — similar to a Google or Facebook ID.
  • Dentsu Aegis Network-owned performance agency Merkle rolled out its M1 platform, which stores the consumer IDs of around 280 million people in the U.S. based on personally identifiable information like names and email addresses, to Dentsu Aegis Network media agencies in the summer.
  • Omnicom has its own audience-based planning platform called Hearts & Science, which builds identity graphs for clients in collaboration with the agency group’s data and analytics arm Annalect.
  • It may seem like pie in the sky, but 2018 could be the year that ad tech vendors put their competitive agendas aside and work more closely in the name of building scaled, unified ID platforms. There are several consortiums, one of which is DigiTrust, a nonprofit cooperative of ad tech vendors and publishers designed to create a single ID for demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms, data-management platforms and exchanges.
  • AppNexus is leading its own ID consortium with other ad tech vendors.
  • Even publishers are having a go at creating universal customer IDs, albeit of a different kind and for separate reasons. In Germany, Axel Springer has pooled efforts with Deutsche Telekom, auto manufacturer Daimler and other brands to create a GDPR-compliant single customer login platform.

Why it matters 

  • Mobile continues to eat the world but can’t be tracked effectively using cookies.
  • The looming ePrivacy Regulation could throw an unwelcome curveball into the middle of any business reliant on cookie targeting, particularly third-party cookies.
  • Companies need to figure out ways to offer scaled single ID propositions to survive against the walled gardens.
  • The enforcement of the GDPR will be messy. Unified ID logins could help with simply gaining consent.
  • One goal of the ad tech co-ops is to reduce the number of ad calls and other strains on publisher pages that cause page-load latency. That would, in theory, help improve user experience.

The barriers
The GDPR is holding up pretty much any development in digital media and advertising. The uncertainty around how it will be enforced prevents businesses from moving forward with unified ID propositions.

“The industry is in a holding pattern currently,” said Paul Gubbins, independent ad tech consultant. “They can’t go full steam ahead into product research and development and ID deployment until they know the full facts around GDPR and the rules of engagement when it comes to the collection and passing of consent through the connected pipes of the programmatic ecosystem.”

That said, once the Information Commissioner’s Office clarifies the final details around how consent can be gained and how data can be collected and passed on, there will be a mad dash toward scaling ID propositions, according to Gubbins. “There’ll be a race by all vendors to own the scaled ID,” he said. “Building in silos isn’t great for the industry, as there will be that many more IDs to factor into planning and buying.”

The post Cheatsheet: How marketers are planning for ‘post-cookie’ digital media appeared first on Digiday.

The procrastinating publisher’s cheat sheet to the new European data rules

Publishers are feeling jittery about the new European privacy and data regulations coming down the pike. The new rules, which take effect in 2018, will drastically change how companies collect their customer and audience data. Like all EU rule changes, the devil is in the details —  and the details can be eye-watering. And it appears publishers are putting off preparations to the last minute.

“I’ve been surprised by how little many people seem to know about it across publishers, agencies and advertisers,” said Pete Wootton, managing director of digital for magazine group Dennis Publishing. “But if publishers don’t prepare, they could lose €20 million [nearly $22 million] or 4 percent of global revenue in fines — and it could potentially restrict their use of data like email list rental, lead generation, all of which becomes harder.”

Here’s what the procrastinators out there need to know.

The goal is more notice about what data is collected and why. 
The General Data Protection Regulation will likely cause a world of hurt, in the short term at least. Publishers need to rethink everything from how they communicate that explicit consent is needed to collect and store audience data, to investing in new tech to facilitate this. They also might need to change relationships with existing ad tech suppliers.

But in the long run, premium publishers that have ticked all the right regulatory boxes could be in a strong competitive position. And it could get rid of a lot of the deadwood.

“I suspect in the long run, it will be good for publishers and the buy side because at first glance, it looks like it will remove a lot of data or make it harder for you to keep data, but the data you do keep and get consent for will be far higher quality,” said Jim Edwards, editor-in-chief of Business Insider UK. And that scarcity in supply could lead to higher demand and prices. “The supply of people willing to tolerate advertising or give over their data is going down, and when that happens, prices go up — making the remaining data more valuable,” he added.

No, the sky (probably) won’t fall.

Once publishers do gain compliance, it’s unlikely a stampede of people would refuse to give consent to collect their data. Users will still want access to the content. In many ways, the ad-blocking crisis hitting publishers is in full swing. Some media execs believe ad blocking is the ideal indicator for the kind of audience drop-off publishers may see — that has ranged from 15 to 30 percent across Europe, according to Internet Advertising Bureau figures. The high number of people switching off ad blockers have reassured individual publishers, leaving a small cohort of people (in the single digits) refusing to entirely. That’s hardly anything to sneeze at, depending on the audience.

“The kind of people you see on Reddit that are annoyed at the lack of consumer privacy, they’ll likely disappear from lists and you could argue they’ll no longer appear inside [data-management platforms] that are looking at cookies,” Edwards said. “You could argue that the ad-blocking population is in some ways a proxy for the amount of people who will decline their consent.”

This is another blow to the cookie. 
Pity the poor cookie. The internet advertising business was, in large part, built off the humble tracking cookie. And now the cookie is under threat on several fronts, particularly with the rise of real user data on platforms like Google and Facebook. Most publishers are driving some kind of personalization strategy, whether it’s for products or ad targeting. For publishers with subscriptions strategies, that means driving free registrations. Much of that centers on using email addresses and logins over cookies. And that’s going to pan out well for GDPR-compliant publishers. Not so much for companies that rely solely on dropping a bunch of cookies on publisher sites.

Content-recommendation engines, for example, will be among those forced to adapt. GDPR could also rid publishers of the number of ad tech companies that plug into their sites and drop cookies.

“Companies like that will have to smarten up or ship out. There will definitely be some kind of shaking-up effect,” said John Barnes, chief digital officer of Incisive Media.

Americans can’t just ignore this as an obscure European bureaucratic issue.
GDPR is going to affect any company with audiences and customers in Europe. That means American companies with global operations will also have to prepare.

“There seems to be a view amongst U.S. companies that it’s a ‘European thing’ that they don’t need to worry about, but that’s clearly not the case if they have any European customers,” said Wootton. It’s true that the regulations will tighten around the data of European web users, but American companies have hundreds of millions of web customers.

Likewise, Brexit will not exempt the U.K. from adhering to the new laws. Publishers like Business Insider, a U.S.-founded but now German-owned company, courtesy of its sale to Axel Springer, will be in a prime position to view the difference in cultural attitudes toward data privacy. “Those are conversations we are going to have to have,” added Edwards.

The post The procrastinating publisher’s cheat sheet to the new European data rules appeared first on Digiday.

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