Friday, May 22, 2020

New York Times Phasing Out 3rd-Party Advertising Data

Sara Fischer:

The New York Times will no longer use 3rd-party data to target ads come 2021, executives tell Axios, and it is building out a proprietary first-party data platform.


The Times will begin to offer clients 45 new proprietary first-party audience segments to target ads.


Other publishers like Vox Media and The Washington Post have also begun building out first-party data solutions in response to the growing industry backlash against using third-party data to target ads.

This is being reported as a pro-privacy move, which it is in the sense that the data won’t all end up at Facebook, Google, and Twitter. On the other hand, the large media companies are ramping up data collection and tracking within their sites.

Antonio García Martínez:

Due to GDPR penalizing third-party data, and due to the advantages granted thereby to large first-party repositories of data, the NYT is precisely emulating FB and becoming a data collector (but with worse privacy probably).


You can have better privacy controls, but it’ll result in more entrenched incumbents. Or you can have a competitive data landscape, but no privacy. But not both.


It means there will be a menu of segments (based on your data) for “Young Influencers” and “Suburban Affluents” or whatever BS their PMM cooks up. But since the NYT allows 3rd-party ad serving, it’ll all leak and be used elsewhere too.

Balaji S. Srinivasan:

Folks, when we say NYT is a competitor to tech companies we aren’t kidding.

They’re literally offering ad targeting services.

A direct competitor is not a neutral arbiter.

One could also say that tech—by which he means Silicon Valley unicorns—moved into media. Regardless, hostilities between the two groups have been increasing for the past few years.

Nick Heer:

The personalized advertising model of the last decade or so is toxic to the web. It incentivizes surveillance of users to create highly granular categories of behaviour and interests because there is the assumption that more data points lead to better targeting which, I guess, is supposed to mean a greater likelihood of conversion into ad clicks. In return, users are supposed to be comfortable with their every click and scroll being tracked from website to website — all for only about 4% greater ad revenue than non-tracking ads with relevant context.


I would vastly prefer to revert to a pre-personalized ad world, but I still see this move as a step in the right direction.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

>A direct competitor is not a neutral arbiter.

I don't see how this is a problem. Media *should* be antagonistic towards corporations. The fact that old-media corporations are antagonistic towards new-media corporations, and vice-versa, is not a bug, it's a feature. That's exactly what we need. We just got so used to tech reporters who are buddy-buddy with multinational tech corporations that we think it's peculiar when there is critical media.

I don't want fanboy media, I want critical coverage.

Leave a Comment