Having worked for a large magazine publisher for much of the 2000's, I've seen them cede their once powerful market to others online. Traditional media was slow to get on the Internet and once there, didn't know how to leverage it. They haven't gotten much smarter in the last few years, allowing public ad exchanges to capture the largest benefits of their online offerings. For decades, traditional media had captive audiences that came to them. But with the ever expanding and change footprint of the web, these publishers of high-quality content have found it difficult to make the transition. Many of them sold their online inventory off to generic advertising exchanges on the cheap because they didn't know how to evaluate and price it.
Now more so than ever, they need to understand their large audiences and reclaim their online ad inventories. In order to accomplish this, they need to leverage big data to optimize their pricing, get much better analytics about their customer base and their own offerings. Publishers like International Data Group, weather.com, Forbes, CBS, Conde Nast and quadrantONE have formed private exchanges where they have found that real-time bidding on their own exchange increases their ad unit rate by more than 50% over Google's AdEx. The Financial Times is using big data to optimize pricing by section, audience, targeting parameters, geography and time of day. They also have found undersold areas of the publication that they can now capture premium pricing directly helping the bottom line.
For years now data-driven trading has benefited the buyers in the global media market. It's time the sellers employ the same tactics and use analytics to fully take advantage of their audience and benefit from the size of their audiences and the niche offerings they can deliver.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Can Big Data Save Publishing?
Posted by Dave Milne at 9:34 PM