Publishers Need Deep Audience Insights Now More Than Ever

There’s been a crackdown on audience insights in the publishing world.

Metrics and numbers that were once plentiful are now slowly dwindling. The reason for this fallout? Of course, it’s the answers we see repeatedly – cookies, identity, data, privacy, or some intersection of them all.

The demise of third-party cookies limits the amount of data publishers can leverage to enrich their own audience data. They need those prized data insights to get a fuller profile of the people consuming their media. Because without insights, advertisers are paying for access to a rather blurry picture of a publisher’s users.

The publishing industry has been plagued by audience insight issues long before the third-party cookie started its farewell tour, but access to the right tools is more important now than ever to help chart a post-cookie course.

People first. Partnership always. Performance now.

Enriching Audience Data for Future-Proof Insights

Sometimes it sounds like publishers are just having one big party — first-party, second-party, and third-party. But though they are sitting on lots of data, it isn’t exactly a time to celebrate. 

Internally, there are challenges getting a complete view of their audiences as data tends to be siloed across departments and not fully optimized. Externally, publishers face mounting privacy regulations and updates from the likes of Apple and Google, making it tougher to activate their audiences on and off their sites. 

And yet, publishers have more control and power over their first-party data now more than ever; the larger need is how to take this data, analyze it, and turn it into valuable insights. The value of audience staples like demo and location remains, but publishers need to go beyond the basics to monetize audiences truly. Knowing what makes audiences tick, such as interests and behaviors, is where the real value lies.

Let’s say the Tooth Fairy has a site, and she’s offering an audience of parents 18-34. Her competitor provides parents with kids ages 5-9 who spend $25 per tooth. It’s obvious what option sounds more appealing to a potential advertiser.

Insights are where it’s at because these little nuggets will become the foundation of a publisher’s ability to win business — especially in a post persistent identifier world. They can customize their data to the unique needs of each and every advertiser.

Publishers who tap into insights can deliver campaigns based on an advertiser’s audience objectives and are rewarded with a continuous revenue cycle.

A Full View of Audience Insights for the Win

Publishers who have access to the kinds of deep insights about their audiences that advertisers crave have the upper hand. Not only will they be able to broaden their reach and demonstrate campaign performance, but they can also offer buyers more efficient access to the value-added insights they desire.  

But how can publishers glean a clearer understanding of their audiences to make better decisions about monetization? It starts with having the right tools to bring together deep insights plus cookieless, privacy-first solutions. 

An organization that is supporting the publishing ecosystem with these types of tools is Yahoo.

Since launching Yahoo ConnectID in 2020, Yahoo has been using consent-based, first-party data. The identity solution pulls opted-in user data from Yahoo’s global portfolio of owned and operated media properties.

Yahoo ConnectID has over 500 million globally mapped user profiles based on direct, content-driven relationships.  Yahoo’s Director of Product Management, Shalini Vats, says, “Yahoo ConnectID has a wealth of audience information. Through various touchpoints, we have a complete view of audience behavior across various devices to understand insights around purchases, travel, subscriptions, or media consumption behavior.”

First-Party and Privacy-First Solutions for First-Rate Audience Insights

The Yahoo Publisher Insights Dashboard builds upon the Yahoo ConnectID identity solution to give publishers the valuable insights they need to be better partners for their advertisers. 

The informational dashboard leverages Yahoo’s proprietary first-party data — coming directly from Yahoo’s owned and operated users — and cross-references it with a publisher’s user data.

The Yahoo Publisher Insights Dashboard is exclusively available to publishers who adopt Yahoo ConnectID. More than 12,000 web domains have implemented Yahoo ConnectID, including leading publishers like Cafe Media, BuzzFeed, and The Arena Group.

Governance and security controls within the Yahoo Publisher Insights Dashboard ensure the data stays within the Yahoo ecosystem.

Vats says, “We are careful not to bring in any PII [Personal Identifiable Information] to our Publisher Insights Dashboard. For example, we see millions of emails flowing to Yahoo email accounts every day with our Yahoo Mail product. We allow users to opt-out, and we are not touching that data.” 

This treasure trove of consent-driven data provides publishers with a 360-degree view of their audiences. Publishers can monetize the data by providing their high-value audiences to advertisers looking to target specific consumers. 

Vats says the Yahoo Publisher Insights Dashboard benefits publishers because, “They might have their first-party data, but that data may not be good enough or complete enough for them to really compete in this market. Yahoo’s powerful analytics is differentiated because it helps publishers understand deeper insights on users on different test points.”