Can Standardized Content Taxonomies Level The Playing Field For Publishers?
Scale. That’s the dirty five-letter word that keeps advertisers and agencies spending their budgets with Google and Meta. Even the largest and most prestigious publishers can’t come close to delivering that kind of scale.
But one area where publishers have an advantage over the duopoly is content. For all of their eyeballs and engagement, neither Google nor Meta offer much original content (outside of YouTube). Publishers have a lot of it.
The IAB Tech Lab announced seller-defined audiences (SDA) earlier this year. Seller-defined audiences provide publishers with 1,600 IAB audience taxonomies and enable them to define audience segments using demographics, interests and purchase-intent attributes.
There is no doubt that the scale that SDA would offer marketers could generate a lot of revenue and shift budgets from walled gardens to the open web – if enough publishers implement it. But that’s a big “if.”
Over the years, there have been many publisher-centric initiatives, yet Google and Meta have continued to dominate. Here’s why things may unfold differently this time around.
- Big Tech will have to support ad tech
- SDA is a true first-party, privacy-friendly offering
The value of SDAs vs. Big Tech only happens when there is scale. Therefore, publishers have an incentive to work together to accrue the greatest benefit from SDAs.
Timing is everything. With the current pressure on Big Tech, are we in the midst of a perfect storm that will drive the growth of seller-defined audiences? Or will it be yet another missed opportunity for publishers?