“The Sell Sider” is a column written for the sell side of the digital media community.
Today’s column is written by Alessandro De Zanche, an audience and data strategy consultant.
The most serious threat to publishers’ business models is coming from within.
I’m talking about email-based universal IDs.
In the last couple of years, media owners have made large investments in the diversification of revenue sources, especially around subscriptions, registrations, logins, e-commerce, and the first-party data coming from those connections. I see a huge focus on controlling their assets and building a direct relationship with their audience.
To turn around and contribute that data in order to reproduce a system which historically strangled publishers and reduced their activity to a fight for survival, makes little sense. It also makes media owners undermine recent progress and strategies.
I struggle to see why the effect on publishers of an email-based universal ID would be different from the past. Plus, imagine the face of regulators being told that a privacy-first solution for substituting the third-party cookie is… email.
To those trying to maintain the status quo, my visions are dismissed as naïve and detached from the financial element (“Whose finances?” I always reply).
But the cost of a strategy to entice the user to register is in itself a huge commitment in terms of budget, human and time resources.
If in the past what caused the commoditization of publishers’ assets was deciding to join the programmatic open marketplace, putting email addresses into a universal system today has a much higher cost and impact.
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