Whether it was allowing cookies to track users across the web or third parties owning their ratings, for decades publishers didn’t have control over their first-party data. Now, in a world where streaming is quickly dominating the media landscape, publishers have increased opportunity to manage their first-party data in a more strategic way and create a currency that is more accurate and controlled.
But how can we make this happen?
Data is great, but usable data is crucial.
Census-level measurement of viewership, without reliance on surveys, is essential for building a reliable set of data. Insights into content type and engagement as well as reach and frequency, deduplicated by household, builds the identity profile that publishers need to develop ad strategies on streaming. This data needs to then be made it usable by surfacing it in internal data lakes, enriching third-party measurement with a reliable streaming identifier, or unifying identity and performance across different apps and brands.
To be even more powerful, data must also be standardized.
Publishers should consider the need to have a standardized, interoperable way to measure their viewership not only in how data is collected, but also how it’s defined. This makes first-party data more powerful, because it is accurate, reliable, and useable by brands and makes campaigns across varied endpoints executable.
Publishers will need to collaborate in privacy-safe ways.
Publishers should consider how they can own the currency for this platform. Streaming is a place where collaboration will be important and ultimately beneficial for all players involved: publishers, distributors, and advertisers. By implementing “clean rooms,” publishers can share data without concerns of leakage or privacy violations. They can then analyze audience overlaps, benchmark and rank performance against different demographics, and understand exactly how they rank against their peers to better market themselves to advertisers.
As streaming opens new doors for advertisers, publishers, and consumers alike, publishers finally have the opportunity to fully control their most valuable asset—their data. But publishers will also need support as they build their own first-party data strategies with the insights, accuracy, and neutrality that are necessary to measure, identify, and verify viewership.