For the purposes of the framework, Buchheim said the notion of quality can be deceptive.
A brand interested in unique audience reach may want modeled data to add lookalike targets, while some brands would prefer segments rich in site visitors supplied directly by publishers.
About 40% of Pandora’s advertising is targeted using “sophisticated audience segments” that include data beyond base-level age and gender, said Dave Smith, Pandora’s senior VP of monetization and yield and another co-chair of the data transparency group.
Half the data it collects directly from Pandora users, and the other half it buys from third parties to use on behalf of clients.
“What I’d like is the ability to show the characteristics that might indicate quality to advertisers to compare my segments to third-party segments,” Smith said.
There are some lucrative audience segment categories – such as new parents or ethnicity – where Pandora’s data could be stronger than the general market’s, he said.
The framework is an opportunity for publishers to showcase their consumers, said Alysia Borsa, the CMO of Meredith and third co-chair of the transparency working group.
“The industry has been plagued by bad data and had little transparency, which has hurt those companies with real and valuable consumer data,” she said.
The market for data in targeting and measurement has grown and is becoming more variable and sophisticated, said Justus of Lotame.
Companies are starting to sell data as a percentage of media, in addition to the traditional CPM buy, he said. And brands with sophisticated first-party data require more nuanced pre-bid information about how their data will match to audience segment targets.
To prevent bad actors from obscuring data attributes or outright lying about data to improve its value, Buchheim said later this year the IAB will introduce a compliance program, which will require data providers to undergo an audit to be included in the framework.
Those same data companies will have to pay to cover the third-party audit administration. Buchheim predicts that won’t hurt adoption because if the framework gains traction and quality data suppliers see it improving how their data is perceived by buyers, it could reach an inflection point in the industry like Ads.txt, where noncompliance starts to look like a proxy for low quality.