DME14: Protect your data – it’s the route to a sustainable digital business

Four years ago, Amedia, which operates some 120 local media titles in Norway, cancelled all ad networks, took control of their user data and now use it to create higher value for their advertisers.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | April 7, 2014

Ben Christensen, Vice President Digital, told participants at Digital Media Europe in London this morning that a publisher’s starting point should be defining a data policy.

In Amedia’s case that meant going out to ad agencies and advertisers and getting them to agree that the media titles should make the money on their inventory and audience – rather than ad networks – and everyone has since signed the data policy document with Amedia.

“A lot of publishers in Europe we’ve talked to say they derive 10-15 percent of their digital revenue through the ad networks,” Christensen said. “That means they’ve given up control of this revenue stream to the networks, who then also scrape the data from their properties. Yes, they can make sure your are always sold out, but at a low price, which means it’s not going to create a sustainable business for you.”

To create a large network from which to draw data, Amedia has acquired Norway’s largest blog platform, and also has a number of magazines as well as Norway’s biggest yellow pages website, “which means we get a lot of data about what users are searching for. We have total control of the data in this network of sites, and from this we create value for our advertisers,” said Christensen.

Amedia has set up their own ad network with a daily reach of 2 million people. The network offers highly targeted advertising, which includes 15 main categories of topics (sports, news, family etc), each with subcategories, user groups, based on tracking of users across the network of sites and geotargetting.

Currently Amedia is working on adding user consent to the picture, by requiring registration on the sites, so that personal information can be added to ad products over the course of this year.

“Value is more important than price, if you are going to create a sustainable business,” said Christensen.

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