As publishers adapt their monetization strategies to thrive in the next era of digital advertising, many are turning to first-party data to minimize the impact of losing third-party cookies and device IDs. First-party data is considered privacy-forward because it is collected with the user's consent, directly from their activity on a specific site or app. In the past, first-party data has proven to be valuable in traditional reservations and programmatic direct, but its use has been largely limited to one-to-one deals. Today, publishers are experimenting with new ways to scale the use of first-party data in programmatic bidding.
Leading Spanish-language content and media company, TelevisaUnivision, is one of many global partners currently evaluating the beta of publisher provided signals (PPS), a new Google Ad Manager solution that helps publishers create and package their audiences for programmatic buyers. Many beta testers have been building and activating PPS audiences themselves and others like TelevisaUnivison have opted to partner with Audience Platforms, like Permutive, to support audience development and implementation.
Standardizing audiences for auction
Recognizing the value of their deep relationships with their audiences, TelevisaUnivision and Permutive knew that activating first-party data in the auction could improve the publisher’s programmatic ad performance and potentially unlock new revenue growth.
“There's a huge opportunity for publishers to drive value from first-party data in new ways. The rich audience data publishers own gives them the unique potential to impact their revenue via diversified demand channels.”
, Head of Publisher Strategy, Permutive
First-party data has been historically restricted to direct deals because each publisher’s audience cohorts are unique to their business; both in terms of makeup as well as operational elements like naming and classification. To help TelevisaUnivision and other publishers scale the use of their data in privacy-forward ways, the IAB has developed a seller-defined audience protocol to standardize how publishers market their audiences to programmatic buyers. When publishers classify first-party data using a common taxonomy, advertisers can reach specified audiences across multiple publisher properties in one buy.
Activating audiences in Ad Manager
To begin their publisher provided signals test, TelevisaUnivision worked with Permutive to categorize their users according to Permutive's proprietary standard audience cohorts — automatically generated interest-based audience segments based on publishers' first-party data — such as style and fashion enthusiasts and people interested in books and literature. TelevisaUnivision then imported their audiences into Ad Manager using key-values for each cohort. This allowed TelevisaUnivision's ad requests to Ad Manager to include Permutive's standard cohorts in a privacy-preserving manner.
Once the audiences were in Ad Manager, Permutive used Google’s mapping features to quickly match TelevisaUnivision’s audience key-values to the IAB’s Audience Taxonomy 1.1. When complete, TelevisaUnivision’s first-party data began being passed to Google’s programmatic demand to help advertisers reach desired audiences across the publisher’s properties. And because publisher provided signals are a reportable dimension in Ad Manager’s query tool, TelevisaUnivision was able to easily evaluate how their audiences performed across the exchange.
“We will always meet our advertisers where and how they are buying. And we partner with platforms like Google and Permutive because they are leading the market in privacy-safe audience capabilities.”
, Vice President of Data & Advertising Operations, TelevisaUnivision
Exhaustive signal coverage
At a time when third-party data is being restricted, publisher provided signals offer publishers the opportunity to add value and meaning to their programmatic inventory. Looking at their US inventory, TelevisaUnivision is now seeing an average of 1.24 audience categories per impression. By categorizing the majority of impressions into at least one audience cohort across their properties, TelevisaUnivision has enabled advertisers to make more informed and effective buying decisions on their inventory.
According to Hillman, “The TelevisaUnivision platform supports an underrepresented population in media spend, which has a very clear buying proposition. One of the reasons publisher provided signals is so interesting is that it enables us to create and activate a variety of audience cohorts for our programmatic buyers. This helps us attract new and different types of advertiser clients.”
“The partnership between Permutive and TelevisaUnivision is only the beginning of a shift in monetization strategy to better leverage first-party data,” said Ogunjobi. "With addressability collapsing on the open web, publisher first-party data is one of the most effective ways to address audiences at scale," he added.
By investing in innovative solutions like publisher provided signals, publishers can continue to produce returns for their advertisers, deliver better ad experiences for their users, and grow revenue themselves. All without a third-party cookie.
TelevisaUnivision and Google have formed a strategic partnership to help power the media company’s digital transformation and deepen relationships with Hispanic audiences and communities. By leveraging Google Cloud, Ad Manager, Android, Android TV OS, YouTube, Play, and Search, TelevisaUnivision is creating industry-leading content for the next generation of Spanish-speaking viewers.