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“A clear publisher trend”: Rivals Autovia and Haymarket Automotive join forces to pool first-party audience data

“In a world where third-party data is disappearing, first-party data is the new media currency.”

Two of Britain’s leading automotive publishers – Autovia, the publisher spun out of the sale of Dennis Publishing last year, and Haymarket Automotive – have announced their collaboration to pool first-party data in what is quickly becoming an industry trend.

Under the terms of the collaboration, the specialist automotive market leaders – owners of brands including Autocar, Auto Express, Carbuyer, evo and What Car? – will combine their data sets to offer data-driven advertising solutions across the open web and other digital channels.

With blanket coverage of the UK automotive market, both Autovia and Haymarket offer a formidable first-party data proposition. The new digital solution will be powered by Crimtan and offers ‘dynamic connected media delivery against highly targeted audience signals’.

Our first party publishing data is unique as it understands every users’ journey and we are able to share this insight and service with prospective advertisers.

As a result our customers can take advantage of a simple and effective way to deliver timely and relevant messaging to their target audience as they take their next steps in the car purchase journey.

Chris Daniels, Chief Revenue Officer, Haymarket Automotive

Putting aside rivalry

The move between two publishing rivals is significant and shows the need for publishers to put aside differences in a bid to claw back revenue from the major tech platforms.

Speaking to WNIP, Chris Daniels, Chief Revenue Officer of Haymarket Automotive, says that whilst the two publishers have had a close relationship for a number of years, the latest collaboration “was born out of the recognition that although we have long been fierce competitors, there are bigger and more substantial threats from the Duoploy and others”.

It pushed us to have informal open lines of communication with regular calls and meets, often with others in the market too where we could collaborate on shared challenges. 

Chris Daniels, Chief Revenue Officer, Haymarket Automotive

Tellingly, Daniels says that a key reason the two publishers settled on Crimtan was so they could be in more control of their joint data, “We didn’t want to take the data and merge it into a pre-existing sell or product, which unvalued the purpose of what we want to achieve and the value in our brands – driving a better ROI for clients through quality known audiences that we as publishers control.”

Advice for other publishers

For publishers looking at similar collaborations, Daniels says that keeping an open mind is key, saying, “publishers really need to understand what they want to get out of a partnership and where they see the value in their collective brands, although it can be hard to get to this point, especially when working with people you have pitched against for decades”.

Daniels adds, “Look at where you have data leakage, review your ad tech partners and tighten up any leakages. This is an ongoing process and one which we are undergoing currently, but it is a must if the value of publisher data is to be put back into our hands.”

When you start to look at premium publisher data we can drive better ROIs and, most importantly, at scale. We just need to overcome the psychological barriers in the buyers minds.

We also need to price premium data sources correctly so that the true value is recognised once audience data becomes less readily available via 3rd party data aggregates.

Chris Daniels, Chief Revenue Officer, Haymarket Automotive

Commenting on the collaboration, Jon Westbrook, Publisher Growth Manager at Sovrn, says, “It’s fantastic to see publishers taking the initiative to join forces and build win-win solutions. I think this could and should be just the first of many collaborations between what were previously competitive businesses to create engaged vertical audiences at scale. More publishers should follow their example.”

It comes at a time when more and more publishers are looking to scale up their first-party data offering. Speaking last year at an ExchangeWire roundtable, Morika Georgieva, Customer Success Lead, EMEA at first-party data specialist Permutive, said that publishers such as Business Insider, Future plc, and Vox Media, have “built businesses from their first-party data, launching platforms that package up their consented audiences to advertisers, offering a privacy-compliant solution to third-party data deprecation.”

In a world where third-party data is disappearing, first-party data is the new media currency.

Morika Georgieva, Customer Success Lead, EMEA, Permutive

As if to underline the trend, on Monday this week, Marriott Hotels joined forces with Yahoo to launch a media network that lets advertisers target travel consumers using first-party data. The media network will employ anonymized customer data from searches and bookings made through Marriott’s digital channels to bring guests more targeted ads.

Disclosure: This article contains a comment from Sovrn. WNIP is wholly owned by Sovrn Holdings, Inc.