Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Data management platform (DMP) provider, Krux, has launched a peer-to-peer data sharing service aimed at helping publishers and marketers buy and sell premium audience assets in a transparent, reportable way.
Krux Link was officially launched this week globally, but has been in development for the past 18 months and is now being used by select clients globally. Early participants in Link include A&E, Edmunds.com, Tribune, LÓreal and Annalect (Part of Omnicom Media Group).
According to the vendor’s chief solutions officer, Mike Moreau, Link addresses rising demand for data-as-a-service and provides a mechanism for publishers and brands to trade whatever de-identified audience data sets they have - on their terms. It’s designed as a complement to Krux’s core data platform.
“What we have found is that over time, more and more customers are doing data deals with each other,” Moreau told CMO. “Sometimes it’s publishers and marketers on our platform, sometimes it’s publishers on our platform and marketers on another DMP, or marketers who might not have a DMP. In all these cases, we’re seeing a real need for policy-controlled data transfer and ease of use.
“Being able to send and receive data in a safe way and immediately is actually very difficult to do.”
Most data exchanges to date have been oriented around better media targeting and programmatic ad buys. Moreau said emerging use cases include data for analytics purposes, filling holes in a marketer or publisher’s own data sets, tapping data assets for social or email activation, content targeting or further customer insights.
Krux Link will help facilitate these transactions while also building data protection into the process, he said. For example, Krux could facilitate a publisher wanting to sell premium audience assets to any buyer by making it available in the Link store.
“Or we could send data to a specific buyer allowed by the publisher,” he said. “There are many different execution options, but the key is all of this is transparent.”
The vendor will then charge a flat fee to both the buyer and seller for its services.
While DMPs generally integrate with the platform a user wants to send data to, there has historically been no reporting around how the buyer was using data, Moreau claimed.
“We are really cutting out a lot of ‘black box’ middle men from this process,” he added. “As a publisher, for example, you find out who bought your data, at what rate, and if you don’t want certain buyers to buy it, you have full control and the ability to block them. In the past, there was no opportunity to do that.”
Moreau claimed significant investments have made to enable Krux Link. For instance, while the vendor’s core DMP offers data transportation functionality, Link required building proprietary analytics capabilities in order to give real-time insights on audience segment prices.
These are displayed in Krux’s Link Index, a real-time trend and price ticker showing average CPMs for different classes of audience data traded by the DMP’s customers. Krux interacts with 3 billion devices and browsers per month.
Moreau noted pricing is often the stumbling block for organisations looking to exchange data sets.
“Secondly, we had to deepen our integrations with all DSPs, ad servers, some content management systems, and all the various execution systems that could accept data,” he continued. “We had to go beyond simply passing data; we needed to have the infrastructure to track usage, get new contractual terms in place with those execution systems.
“We also had to build functionality that allowed marketers to show up with their own audiences that they were looking to reach across the Krux client base either for media activation, or just to find those across the Krux universe for data-only deals.”
In addition, Krux implemented strict quality guidelines for data, Moreau said. “It took a lot of time to do this right, now it’s time to make it explode in commercial markets,” he said.
As an example of Krux Link in action, Moreau pointed to current dealings with beauty brand, L’Oreal, digital music provider, Spotify, and US food and family-oriented media company, Meredith, around their respective data sets.
“All three partners have a real interest in leveraging data – it could be Spotify targeting consumers using L’Oreal and Spotify data in order to get greater spend from LÓreal. Or Meredith might have more contextually relevant sites, while Spotify has fantastic cross-device information that might be valuable to LÓreal,” he said. “These strategic deals are much more than just a simple transaction.”
In December, Krux also signed on car shopping website, Edmunds.com, to make its audience data available on Krux Link as a standalone, monetisable asset.
“We’re not a marketplace or exchange, we’re a simple technology company providing technology to both sides to make this happen,” Moreau added.