Kelly Scott Madison

05/17/2016

 

Which trends were the most buzzed about at this year's Interactive Conference? 

It’s all about data:

Data ethics:

Last year’s buzz word at South by Southwest (SXSW) was “content,” and this year was all about data. Data is woven into the tools and services used each and every day and yet, there are no formal data ethics in place. Despite several sessions covering the topic, there were more questions than answers. Who should have the power to regulate data collection and its usage? Who is at risk? It’s going to take a societal consensus, and the industry is nowhere near answering these important questions. 

First-party data:

A big key to programmatic advertising’s success is first-party data. If there is one thing to invest in, it’s company-owned data. Understanding how you use it to segment, retarget and layer on third-party data for lookalike modeling will be huge in the coming years.

Content funding and ad blocking:

It’s no secret that the continuous evolution of content publishing has made it challenging for some online entities to fund the content that consumers view every day. Material used to be published on a less frequent basis via print, but today’s digital world demands content published multiple times per day. Although users may feel their reasons for adopting ad blocking are valid (web browsing speed, privacy, bad ads), an important question still remains: are they willing to pay for the content they enjoy? 


While the industry is still monitoring rising ad-blocking adoption rates (the most recent global numbers peg usage at about 6 percent of all internet users), new economic models are already being tested. Current options would let publishers charge users for online content based on a subscription (fee per month) or micro payment (fee per piece of content). Still, most agree that consumer education about quality ad experiences has been lacking. KSM’s 2015 Media and Privacy Survey found that fewer than one in 10 Web users know what the AdChoices icon means. In an effort to improve that figure, the Digital Advertising Alliance recently...


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