digital-advertising-in-india-2015

India.com, the digital media joint venture between Penske Media Corp and the Essel (Zee) group, has launched iReach, a data management platform that allows advertisers to target audiences on the basis of their activity. Other Data Management Platforms operational in India include adcenter from Times Internet, Xaxis from GroupM, and Adadyn (previously Ozone Media); SVG Media also had a similar service called Precision Match.

Data Management Platforms allow organization of users on the basis of their interests, which can be gleaned from their consumption of content, and hence allows context specific advertising targeting. iReach claims a reach of 40 million unique users, with first party cookie data aggregated from across the India.com group of websites, which includes: BGR.in, Bollywoodlife.com, TheHealthSite.com and India.com. This base of cookies is categorized into over 300 categories, including computer & technology, food & beverages, travel, automobiles, sports, shopping, finance, business & money, health buffs etc, and integrates with an adserver to allow advertisers to target them.

India.com has integrated with the Google Display Network, and is in the process of tying up with Facebook Exchange, which will allow advertisers to target users across these networks, using the cookie data from iReach. “If 100 people came in one month, and data set gets created: for two months, it will be 100 plus 100 minus the overlap. You can target users even if they don’t come to your site in the next month, if you’re integrated with GDN. The wider the base, the higher our chances of finding those audiences,” India.com COO Sandeep Amar told MediaNama. From a privacy perspective, MediaNama readers should note that the cookies have no expiry date (so, clear your cookies regularly please).

On Data Management Platforms and iReach

– On First Party Cookie Data: Amar emphasised that first party cookie data (from the publisher) has far better targeting than second party cookie data (from the advertiser or ad network via a publisher), and third party data (from a contextual widget platforms, ads, javascripts and sources other than the publisher; like Exelate, Bluekai, Lotame, comScore, experian and others). “The first party cookie data has to be the best because we’re able to track users in a single environment: repeat users on a single platform give far richer data. In case of third party cookie data, there is no such option: they get bits and pieces of different data from different platforms,” Amar said. Note that India.com doesn’t have a log-in for users, so the data captured is cookie based. Some excerpts from our conversation:

collected from widgets, ads, javascripts of sources other than publisher. The companies which deal in this are Exelate, Bluekai, Lotame, comScore, experian and others.

– Impact of Mobile on a DMP: Given that most of the Internet usage in India is on mobile, and given that there is a possibility of getting more data on mobile (including perhaps, app installed and location), we wondered how mobile might impact a DMP. “On mobile,” according to Amar, “there is a lot of wastage. iOS has its own complication, and with iOS 9, they are blocking javascript, ads and cookies, and this is not good news for any publisher. On mobile cookies collected are much lesser. However, since there is much more traffic from mobile for us, around 55% to 60% of our cookie base is from mobile and tablets. We get less data on mobile. We get 45-55 million unique visitors on our platform, and the cookies are 30-35 million because some browsers don’t allow the cookie or the javascript.”

– On DMP adoption in India: “We are setting up private auctions for data inventory for both India and outside India on Rubicon platform, but we have higher expectations from outside India, where there are more takers. In Europe and US, majority of the display advertising is happening on the DMP side. The challenge in India is that the Indian advertisers have still not taken on display DMPs. The next 6-18 months should see much more happening on this front.”

Updates: Added details of what constitutes third party and second party data, and corrected incorrect information regarding Taboola and Outbrain collecting and sharing cookie data with advertisers.

Disclosures:
– India.com is an advertiser with MediaNama this month. It’s website BGR.in is potential competition for MediaNama since it also covers technology news.
– Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama.