With Data, Better to Own Than Rent

The Web is not short on data. There’s tons and tons of it sloshing around. Thanks to data exchanges, advertisers can go rent data on, say, in-market car buyers the same way they can get a mailing list. But the value there can be limited since it isn’t a unique data set. In short, it’s better to own rather than rent.

New data-based media networks are finding this to be true. 33across, a social graph targeter, is making a move to own its own data with the acquisition of copy-and-paste publisher tool Tynt, which tracks the content and links that people share the old-fashioned way from publisher sites.

The idea is rather simple: Tynt has a ton of fascinating (and valuable) data on what people are interested in sharing from some 500,000 publishers. Keep in mind that for all the hullabaloo around Facebook and Twitter, more people use copy-and-paste to pass around content and links they find interesting than they use social sharing.

For 33across, it’s a way to differentiate its data from a raft of players out there, including RadiumOne, Media6degrees and others. Eric Wheeler, CEO of 33across, said the data Tynt brings to the table, which it has licensed sparingly, will be a boon to brand advertisers.

“It’s a massive amount of data in real time what they’re interested in, what they’re reading, sharing and searching,” he said.

Tynt is like a variety of publisher tools that are offered for free but come with the understanding that data will be collected. Agreements vary as to what Tynt can do with that data, according to CEO Dave Mandlebrot. The hope is publishers will see the value in the copy-and-paste tool and will be OK with the trade-off of a third party collecting data on its users that will invariably be used to target ads to those users on other media properties.

Wheeler believes top brand publishers are getting much more data savvy, particularly with the rise of private exchanges. As a big buyer of ad inventory across the Web, 33across thinks Tynt’s links with publishers will help the company gain access to choice ad slots, which will make 33across more attractive to brands. That’s premised, of course, on publishers seeing the value in the service.

“There’s a lot in it for publishers,” said Mandlebrot. “For publishers in the future, it’s going to be important for them to develop a customized experience for the user who is visiting their site. They can use the insights we derive from activity on the site from the individual user to deliver a highly customized experience.”

It’s still early days in marrying the user experience to such insights. Some publishers, Mandlebrot said, look at what people are sharing and craft new sections around those in efforts to get people to stick around longer.

Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed. Tynt brings to 33across 17 employees, bringing 33across’ workforce to 80.


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