Krux Digital Says New Study Shows Publisher Challenge As Data Collectors Are Piggybacking On Data Collectors

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Krux Digital StudyKrux Digital released its cross-industry study which it says shows "that data collection on publisher websites is pervasive, sophisticated, and on the rise." From the study: "31% of all data collection is initiated by entities other than the publishers themselves. (...And,) 55% of all third party data collectors employ standard technical methods to usher in at least one other data collector behind them." Download the study and view the data (sign-up required). And read the release where NBCU EVP Peter Naylor says, "Krux's study, for the first time ever, puts the numbers to the scale and economic impact of this troubling market trend."

Tom Chavez is CEO of Krux Digital. He discussed the publisher data-focused study with AdExchanger.com.

AdExchanger.com: Can publishers balance privacy risk and the need to leverage their own site visitor data to drive yield?

TC: Absolutely.   Think of two Venn bubbles, one for consumer privacy, another for publisher revenue; data protection is the intersection of those two bubbles.    By attacking the data leakage problem, publishers give consumers, legislators, and regulators confidence that they're serving as responsible stewards of consumer data.   They also preserve the opportunity to use that data to drive revenue from first-party advertising, commerce, and content operations.   It's a great opportunity for publishers to do well by doing good.

According to the study, "167 external companies were observed participating in data collection across the 50 publishers in our study. The vast majority of them are venture-funded, underscoring the growing market value of publisher data." Why doesn't venture capital fund more publisher-focused solutions?

We are beginning to see this happen after an extended period of VC funding biased towards the buy side.  Krux was launched to address sell side needs for data protection, management, and monetization.  A number of others in the data space have come to market in the last few months as well.  It's safe to say that we can expect additional focus on the space by the investment community throughout 2011.

In that this study aligns well with Krux Digital's business model, were there any results which beyond your expectations or surprised you?

Discovering that 55% of all data collectors on a publisher page usher in another data collector behind them was perhaps the most surprising result -- clear evidence of how sophisticated and well-coordinated data collection has become.  At a general level we knew it was pervasive, but we we were frankly floored by the its scope and scale.  While this is what we focus on day in and day out, we are continually amazed by the number of players with clear designs on publisher and consumer data - and the new entrants we see every day through ongoing analysis in support of our publisher clients.

By John Ebbert

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2 Responses to “Krux Digital Says New Study Shows Publisher Challenge As Data Collectors Are Piggybacking On Data Collectors”


  1. sara livingston says:

    This was definitely an interesting wp

    Regarding the number of data events when an ad is served- this listed 7 however does anyone else believe there would be more (around 9)?

    The 2 additional ones that initially come to mind are the advertiser's ad server and then any "brand tracking" study the advertiser is running (where data is being collected through the iframe).

    • Ben Crain says:

      Sara - Thanks for the comments on the paper!

      Your question/call-out on number of events is spot on. The seven count corresponds to the simple illustrative view, however across the sample, we saw an average of 10 per page view (consistent with your assertion of "around 9." It's worth noting too that this is all against a site-by-site range from an average of 1 per page view to as many as 40 per page view. -bc

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