Members of the legal and data teams at Hearst Corporation shared lessons learned from the company’s history with copyright battles, mirroring what the industry faces with data challenges in the age of distributed content. Eva Burton, senior vice president/general counsel, said the industry did not fight hard enough during copyright challenges of the past with Google and is making the same mistakes when it comes to data.
“Data is even more global in nature and we’re facing the same battles with Google, Amazon, and Apple. We fed it copyrights and now it wants data. What’s our prize again? Traffic. It may be a shortsighted view.”
Rick McFarland, vice president/chief data scientist, explained what business Hearst is in: “Hearst is actually a massive data creation company.”
Data scientists at Bloomberg Media tracked user habits of financial planners using its content, tracking what products they read and what time they read them. Extrapolating that out to identify readers likely to be financial planners, Bloomberg was able to serve advertisements specific to them.
“Advertisers can serve ads to this user anywhere in the digital universe, allowing the advertiser to reach the right audience at the right time without having to restrict themselves to that specific page [where it was assumed financial planners spent time],” explained Priyanka Naik, data science & insights at Bloomberg. “They could really hone in on what this audience is doing.”
The results: 150% greater CTR; 530% more conversions to the advertiser's landing page; 80% lower cost per conversion.
A bus ride across Manhattan took the study tour group to the headquarters of ProPublica, a non-profit doing “journalism in the public interest.”
In addition to investigative journalism, ProPublica gathers available data for other journalists, academics, researchers, etc., to use, putting it into a format — and earning a little money along the way — that makes it easy to digest at the ProPublica Data Store. Easily obtained data is free; that which takes more time to gather and organise isn’t.
“We see data itself as an output of journalism, not just an input of journalism,” said Scott Klein, managing editor/head of the Data Store. “We hope we can help people realise the data itself is interesting. There is no amount of data we could release that’s more complex than the sports page. And everybody reads the sports page.”
Participants on the study tour join other news media industry leaders Thursday and Friday at the Big Data for Media Conference. Follow here or via #bigdatamedia.