Broadcasters could be facing more than $2 billion in collective revenue losses unless they move quickly to develop and implement first-party data strategies.
That’s the warning in a new report from the National Association of Broadcasters’ innovation arm, PILOT, based on an accelerator program with nine broadcasters: Beasley Media Group, Capitol Broadcasting, E.W. Scripps, Graham Media Group, Gray TV, Hubbard Radio, Morgan Murphy Media, TEGNA and Salem Media Group.
The companies met over six months to share the outcomes of first-party data projects and strategies for leveraging audiences that “have largely remained anonymous, while also ensuring privacy protections.” Each participant also developed and tested a plan to tackle a specific question or hypothesis. Their results, along with advice from the collaboration, are included in the report.
* Third-party cookies are already being deprecated across many platforms, and their eventual obsolescence could result in an annual loss of $1.1 million for the average TV station and $735,163 for the average multi-station radio market cluster, according to Borrell Associates estimates. Digital consumer data is tied to every part of media businesses, including revenue, sales, content, product, marketing, technology and innovation — all of which are in jeopardy at companies that fail to begin acting now to “streamline processes and amass as much first-party data as possible,” says the report.
* The CEO and leadership team at each company need to make the data transition a major priority.
* The most effective path is often to identify or hire a cross-functional data analyst “whose sole focus is to create and implement a cohesive, enterprise-level data strategy” spanning technology, engineering, sales, operations, legal, content and other departments. Existing vendors will be challenged to adapt their services, and new vendors may be needed to fill specific needs.
*The program confirmed that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for broadcasters. How the data practice is organized, the tools and vendors required, first-party data exploitation goals and other factors vary by organization.
*Rigorous testing should begin once pieces are put in place. Because different areas of the business will have different goals, tests will most likely center around collection and consent, audience segmentation, client and sales tactics and conversion.