PHOENIX — News publishers need to come together to create a single method of storing user identities, according to News Corp’s programmatic ad sales chief.

In the last two years, rival publishers in many several countries around the world have come together to form joint systems which aim to unify audience data in to holistic reader identities that can be used across sites.

Such cooperatives are rarer in the United States.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Chris Guenther, News Corp global head of programmatic, says more needs to be done.

“As a publisher, as an ecosystem, we need to do better,” Guenther says. “There’s too many competing IDs out there – The Trade Desk with their proprietary… Media Math… the list goes on and on.

“There’s reasons for that, why it works that way, but can we come together, perhaps only around digi-trends or some of these other initiatives to create a more consistent identity across publishers?”

Many news publishers have doubled down on having a relationship with their own unique audience, building a distinct brand that a subscription can be levied for.

But few a kissing goodbye to advertising. In the ongoing quest for ad sales, they remain challenged by the relative scale that big tech platforms and ad networks boast, compared with smaller audiences for individual news sites.

If publishers took take the information they know about their own readers and combine it with other pieces known by other publishers, they could assemble more detailed user profiles to sell to advertisers.

That has been happening in broadcast and VOD, where partners have formed OpenAP to impose some commonality on how media owners describe their audiences in data sets.

“It makes it easier for the buy side,” Guenther adds. “They can more easily match and find their users across, say, a series of publishers.

“Can we as an industry finally come together and create a more consistent identifier?”

But Guenther suggests such initiatives usually need to be instigated from the ad buyers’ side.

News Corp already operates its own News IQ system to store and combine user profiles from across its news sites.

This segment is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting 2019, Phoenix.   This series is sponsored by Telaria.  Please find additional videos from the series on this page