Dirty clean room services; Do publishers pay for their paywalls?
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Clean rooms get messy
The purpose of cleanroom technology is to protect user data by limiting access to that data while still allowing it to be queried for analysis or identification matching. But is the proliferation of cleanroom services — and the growing need for interoperability — defeating the purpose?
Not only are there too many cleanrooms in general, but the cleanroom technology offered by walled gardens is somewhat myopic. They only analyze their own media. Google makes Google, Amazon makes Amazon, Facebook makes Facebook – you get the picture.
While retailers and even brands create their own versions, “the biggest problem is having 700 clean rooms – it’s not scalable,” said Chris Moore, director of Publishers Clearing House. Digiday.
An explosion of post-cookie identity solutions designed to centralize and anonymize data only complicates matters further.
For now, it looks like cleanrooms will require a tedious, one-by-one approach with no consistent scanning across departments.
” Everyone thinks [clean rooms] will be a panacea, but they only provide insight into an individual publisher,” says one agency buyer.
Back against the wall
Publishers have taken a heavy toll on paywall strategies in recent years as they shifted their priorities to focus on subscriptions and authenticated, connected traffic.
But paywall tactics require a lot of nuance, because a direct paywall approach — blocking all readers or giving away only one or a few free items before demanding a credit card — can often end up disabling new readers or curbing the distribution.
Quartz, a business news site that was an early proponent of a paywall model, has decided to take down its wall in favor of soliciting free email logins, The New York Times reports.
Although its subscriber count has grown from 17,680 in 2020 to 25,000 paying members today – not too shabby from a percentage growth standpoint – it can’t sustain a newsroom. from 50 to 100 people.
Ads still make up the bulk of Quartz’s revenue. Removing a paywall often improves traffic and generates a much higher revenue rate for advertising.
In other paywall news, Dow Jones & Co, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for follow-up news subscription aggregation service Nic.kl, which Dow says uses 18 individual Journal subscriptions to redistribute login credentials to its users. It’s a tactic that Nic.kl calls “commercialized password sharing”.
The Market Market
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has published its third annual report Top 100 of the market list, which tracks consumer-facing startups in the marketplace.
Since the list began in 2019, it largely reflects fluctuations in consumer behavior as seen during the pandemic.
But it’s an instructive benchmark, and the advertising industry should keep a close eye, as companies in the market that don’t yet operate advertising businesses are likely to fall into the category.
A big trend pointed out by Andreessen Horowitz is that marketplaces are acquiring other marketplaces.
For example, the music catalog platform Bandcamp, no. 29 in 2021, was acquired by Epic Games – which debuted separately as no. 20 this year with an in-game Creator Market.
Uber went public in 2019, thus “dropping” from the list of startups. But last year, it bought two top 100 companies: Postmates and Drizly. Etsy has acquired a fashion resale marketplace, Depop.
Instacart has an iron grip on the top spot. It accounted for 71.5% of the gross merchandise value of the overall market, although that percentage has fallen to 64.2% this year.
Andreessen Horowitz predicts “a flurry of exits for companies that have defined digital markets combined with new technologies and an evolving business model have created an opportunity for the next group of market giants to step in.”
But wait, there’s more!
Listen: unpacking Google’s abandonment of its Ad ID and privacy sandbox for Android. [Mobile Dev Memo]
Elon Musk rushes Twitter with $43 billion cash offer. [Reuters]
…but Twitter’s board isn’t interested. [The Verge]
Snowplow joins the Snowflake Partner Program. Brrr… [release]
New data from Adjust shows record revenue in apps for fintech, e-commerce and gaming. [release]
Digital consulting startup Backbone raises $14M in seed funding. [TechCrunch]
Alexa devices now support TuneIn Premium radio streaming. [Engadget]
You are engaged!
Brandtech Group Hires Linsey Loy as Chief Growth Officer. [release]
Aki Technologies appoints Katherine Herb as head of sales for a new automotive division. [release]
Vevo taps Univision vet Greg Osborne as vice president of West Coast ad sales. [NextTV]
Former Jellyfish director Kevin Buerger joins Incubeta as US CEO. [release]