Doesn’t the growing third party data segment mean that online publishers have given up on audience?
In the old days, you bought ads in GQ because you assumed readers of the magazine fit the segment you wanted. GQ got paid a premium because they aggregated that audience.
But the trend in online is to use third party data to slice out audiences from different pools of traffic. Information gathered about users’ web habits, search history, their gender etc. can be used to make assumptions about the kind of ads to serve, carving out a segment independent of the publishers audience.
“Thanks New York Times but I will go find my own users on your website.”
If advertisers feel they need these data suppliers to truly aggregate the audience they want, this begs the question: what value do publishers bring beyond raw ad impressions?
Of course the assumption is that all the data and attendant blackbox targeting actually works.
But assuming it does perform as advertised – no one should be buying premium.
If publishers were doing their job, there should not be a serious market for third party data.