Snowflake Launches A Media Cloud, As It Builds Out Programmatic Services

Snowflake, the cloud data services company, launched a Media Cloud on Tuesday, bringing together customers and businesses with specific needs related to media and advertising.

The new Media Cloud is a suite of data products and integrations for services such as measurement and attribution, identity resolution, profile enrichment and advertising activations.

Experian’s identity data and onboarding, for instance, will be natively integrated with the Media Cloud. Other early partners include VideoAmp for measurement and Comscore and Merkle for data enrichment.

Any Snowflake account holder was already able to share data with any other Snowflake customer. But by using the Media Cloud, data isn’t sent back and forth by API as formerly was the case for data sharing or collaborations between different Snowflake customers, said Bill Stratton, Snowflake’s head of media, advertising and entertainment verticals.

In the past, Experian would have to pull a company’s first-party data from Snowflake via API, resolve customer IDs between itself and the company and then port the final data back into Snowflake. Now, Experian can resolve IDs within the Media Cloud without any data leaving the system, Stratton said.

In addition to the time savings and more efficient resource management, companies inevitably lose data and match rates suffer when large data sets are passed from company to company by API.

Snowflake has been heavily investing this year to beef up its services and product development specifically for the advertising industry – which is no surprise, considering media and advertising is the $100 billion company’s single largest vertical.

In July, Snowflake announced a native integration with the Unified ID 2.0 framework, The Trade Desk-led ad ID initiative, so marketers can take their first-party customer data stored on Snowflake and turn it into UID2 IDs that can be passed to a DSP or SSP for online advertising.

The Media Cloud is Snowflake’s second vertical-specific cloud suite, after launching Financial Services Data Cloud last month.

“It’s natural that Snowflake would start to verticalize its services,” Stratton said.

That also seems to be the trend in the overall market.

Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle have increasingly consolidated their assorted commerce, advertising, customer experience and analytics clouds, and call the combined service a customer data platform. The smaller marketing cloud Zeta Global also announced during its latest earnings report in August that it restructured its sales structure so that execs don’t sell services by technology type – a CRM, a DMP, a DSP, etc. – but by industry vertical.

What legacy clouds are discovering is that data requirements are diverging or growing more tailored by industry, Stratton said. Although there are high privacy and data governance standards for industries such as pharma, financial services or media and advertising, those standards are still completely different by industry.

Snowflake has the fortune of being able to grow while focusing on multiple verticals, rather than having to sell by vendor category like ecommerce and customer experience tech.

“As the industries mature, their data needs are getting more specific,” Stratton said, “and the products that execute on top of that data are getting more specific.”

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