Stampen Media shares technical, audience considerations for first-party data collection

By Håkan Hamrin

Stampen Media

Gothenburg, Sweden


Google keeps pushing back the date for eliminating third-party cookies in Chrome, and you might wonder if the company will ever go through with it. Regardless, you really should have started to gather your own data to give yourself some more options in the future.

Though I believe most news publishers have started this journey, especially the ones connected to INMA, there might be a few out there that can use more information on how to get started. And, perhaps this information can lower the bar for someone getting into the exciting world of first-party data.

With the eventual elimination of the third-party cookie, every media company will need a solution for collecting audience data.
With the eventual elimination of the third-party cookie, every media company will need a solution for collecting audience data.

The first thing to do is get company consensus that you should start gathering data. And, you need to decide that you want to use the data to create more effective products, both for advertisers and readers. If there is insecurity on the board or within company management, there will be a lot of obstacles, and I believe the energy will be insufficient to make it happen.

But, once the decision is reached — and, let’s be honest, it should be! — then you can start the process. Here are the most important things to consider on this journey.


The legal perspectives are extremely important. If you don’t follow legal regulations, you might end up with a huge fine and lose your visitors’ trust.

You don’t need to know everything related to the legal aspects yourself. If you don’t have internal resources, you can find external ones. You might hear different approaches from different legal experts and that is a tough situation. If this is the case, you have some freedom in charting your way forward as long as you have good arguments on why you have chosen a certain path.

If there are no questions about how to proceed legally, the decisions are much easier.

One last piece of advice: Have a conversation with partners and fellow companies. It can be helpful to know what others are doing from this perspective.


From a technical perspective, there is one major decision to make: whether to build your own data platform or go with an external data platform. If you are just getting started, you are probably not in a position to build your own.

If you can build your own, that’s amazing. However, it does require a lot of knowledge, resources, and time. To get started a bit faster, I recommend choosing a supplier. As a bonus, you can also learn a lot from that supplier.

Data and audiences

If you choose an external partner for your data platform, they will need to integrate their product within your site and company. Now you have a new decision: How granular should the data be that is collected?

From a business perspective, there are advantages for having very granular data. However, I think you have a greater advantage by being quicker to the market and reaching the audience instead of digging too deep.

I also recommend starting with only a few simple audiences instead of trying to do too much at the beginning. If you are fast to market and can start using and getting revenue from your data, I think it’s easier to get more traction and resources from the rest of the company.

In a lot of cases, you want to collect data from your logged-in users. Of course, that is the right thing to do. However, while trying to maintain that, you may want to consider setting up audiences independent from a login, based on your content they have visited. If you have consent from them, you can collect that data from all users, and then you can easily build audiences from that.

Offering the data

This is my favourite part. At this point, you have solved the legal parts, chosen the supplier (or built one yourself), collected some data, and created audiences from the data.

Now it’s time to offer the data to the market and make some money. Of course, this is a strategic decision that needs to align with the rest of the strategy you have for your sales. If you have a large sales department collecting all of the revenue, you should be more careful than if you have a lot of your revenue from sources not always connected to sales.

Regardless, you should think about how to offer the data to different systems you are using. For example, try to optimise how to offer the data for each supply-side platform (SSP) and demand-side platform (DSP).

There might be different solutions for different systems. Of course, you should prioritise here as well. Those sources giving you the most revenue without data are most likely the ones with more revenue potential if supported with data. So, start with those.

You must also think about how to offer the data through different browsers. Depending on how you offer the data, it might not work on those blocking third-party cookies. If this is the case, try to find alternative ways, especially since your first-party data is the best way to mitigate the fact that third-party cookies are (probably) going away during the next year.

Inspiration from Stampen Media

Here’s some insight on how our team at Stampen Media has proceeded on the data journey.

Legally, we have tried to have some chill. We don’t implement things as soon as there are rumours. Instead, we have a dialogue with legal counselors so we are not doing things until we are confident about our choice.

Our technical supplier is a local company called Brain Nordic. There are some historical reasons for this, but it is nice having a local supplier and it has been helpful for us to discuss things with our partner. We also appreciate getting new features without having to find them ourselves.

We have chosen a broader perspective on audiences. We aren’t collecting individual data, and there aren’t audiences that are too small. A lot of them are based on what users have read and where they live. Zip codes and cities give us a lot to work with, actually.

We are quite open with how we offer data. Our strategy for programmatic is to make it easy for buyers. This means there are a lot of ways to access our inventory, regardless of what DSP or supplier you work with. This is also true for our data. There are several ways to access it; some have only one DSP to make it easy just for those buyers.

We also have a solution that makes our data-based deals work in all browsers. Instead of syncing IDs between the data management platform (DMP) and SSP, we send the data encrypted on the pageview via what we call ID-free deals.

Most importantly, we do not offer data separately. You can only enrich our ad impressions with our data.

About Håkan Hamrin

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