Big Data, Big Deal! What about Big Media?
Ekapat ChareonlarpJuly 6, 2015
After 15 years on the publisher side and not knowing how my media and my audience were valued, it feels pretty awesome to be on the buy side. One might say that it’s as awesome as riding a rollercoaster for the first time.
At Xaxis, we see over 300 million unique IDs and billions of associated impressions traded programmatically daily. We know which impressions we want and make the buying decisions in real time. But wait…while the adrenaline rush of reaching the height requirement for this ride was overwhelming (I am 5’4’, for reference), actually getting on the ride was a different matter entirely. I call this bad boy “Big Media”( like a rollercoaster) because it comes with a steep vertical drop of viewability, the loopty-loops of KPIs and attribution models that are all engineered perfectly for brand safety to keep everyone on track. But enough with the analogy, what is “Big Media” really about you ask? Allow me to explain…
2005 was the year Roger Mougalas from O’Reilly Media coined the term “Big Data.” This was also the year Hadoop emerged attempting to index the entire web. Internet-based media and Big Data were like twins separated at birth. Having grown up in completely different neighborhoods, they meet again a few years later when the term “programmatic media” was introduced. Programmatic Media and Big Data are both intrinsically interconnected.
So if Big Data is big, how big is Big Media? For perspective, the NYSE trades 5-8Bn shares daily and processes 50TB of data daily; Yes, that’s big. Now hear this: On the media side, AppNexus sees 100Bn impressions daily, and processes over 100TB of data daily. That is more than double the NYSE. The size of addressable digital media gets BIG very quickly, and it’s not about to slow down. To find the right quality impression for the right price in the world of Big Media is no simple task.
Before coming to Xaxis, I thought Big Media was the race to build walled-gardens as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have done. They get to define their own “Big Data + Big Media” twin combo and milk what they’ve got in return for the utility value they provide to the users. But, the web is largely made up of content and these guys create zero content…in fact they are just tools. The web is actually the true force that really powers these businesses. So the real “Big Media” to me is the wall-free content web of people’s expressions, opinions, knowledge sharing and voices regarding the matters of the world and of themselves. With the rise of self-publishing, rapid development in new digital devices and Internet of Things, Big Media has become more exponentially amplified, more enhanced, more connected and naturally more fragmented. The game of reach is no longer enough as the Big Media universe keeps expanding at rocket speed. Buying “attention” becomes more a complex game of advanced mathematics and rule-based measurability. However, unlike Wall Street, these addressable attentions are perishable. Every impression is vulnerable against time exposing Big Media to more types of opportunists than its sibling. It attracts more companies trying to help (over 2,000 major ad tech firms) and more criminals trying to make quick bucks. Big Media sure grows up in a rough neighborhood…