The End of Free Content: Would Consumers Rather Pay with Money?

Apr 24, 2019

Lauren Wakefield

‘Free’ online content is rarely free in the true sense of the word. It is, more often than not paid for with the most valuable currency that users own – their data and the marketing they receive based on this data.

But with new data privacy regulations coming into force and a heightened focus on data misuse dominating headlines, consumers are coming to the realization that their data is, in fact, precious. It is collected and shared without prior knowledge or explicit consent, and too often (mis)used for unwanted marketing purposes.  

If organizations want to leverage quality user data to reach new heights of business success, user trust needs to be earned, choice needs to be given, and a true value exchange offered.

The Data Boom Era 

Data has become arguably the most important commodity of the modern age. Every action we take online leaves behind data imprints; snippets of information that build a compelling picture of who we are and what we like to do. This data has become gold-dust for companies looking to form meaningful relationships with consumers. And consumers know this too.

As the ecosystem matures, so do consumers. They are beginning to understand that accessing quality online content comes with an exchange of value, and they want to make it a fair one. No group understands this more than the data-savvy generation of millennials.

Millennials: The Real Data Drivers 

Millennials, the generation who reached young adulthood in the early 21st century. Having grown up with the internet, they are the epitome of a digital and mobile-first world. As such, they are on the radar of companies looking to forge meaningful relationships with mobile users.

Millennials are comfortable and familiar with technology, and more willing to share their data than older generations as a result.

38% of younger generations fall into the most ‘data unconcerned’ group

. They are more laid back about giving their consent to share data, but equally know how best to benefit from the exchange, simply because they use data for everything. They use it to inform their purchasing decisions, they understand its value, and by extension the value of their own data.

When it comes to digital marketing, Millennials are more willing to trade personal information in exchange for exclusive incentives or benefits, and expect to receive tailored brand recommendations as a result.

67% millennials expect offers to be personalized and 47% are happy to share their data with brands if they know they will get something in return. They foster expectations born out of a desire to get value out of the data they are providing. They know they can, and should, only exchange it for experiences that resonate with their interests.

But whilst they are driven by the allure of personalization and the benefits of a valuable data exchange, they are also aware of the risks associated with data misuse. 60% of millennials show concerns about their information being compromised because of A.I. They see the good that can come from it, but they know a balance built on trust and control is required. 95% millennials are more likely to be loyal to an organisation they trust with 92% more likely to trust brands with personal information if they are given full control.

For brands and publishers, this trust is as powerful a currency as the quality data sought. Respecting your users’ rights to a fair deal in return for their data is the key to earning this consumer confidence and building business success on mobile.

The Three Pillars of Trust

To establish trust, mobile organizations need to embrace a new model for user choice founded on crystal clarity, fair exchange, and unwavering integrity. Ensuring all three pillars are met is the only way to avoid toxic data and the kind of rogue marketing that erodes user trust.

Providing clarity from the outset on the consent contract between consumers and publishers or brands should be outlined in clear, concise language and based on a fair choice, of how consumers help fund the online content they need and appreciate:

  1. Pay with money to access content in a marketing and data collection free environment.
  2. Exchange anonymous data, and receive personalized and relevant marketing recommendations that align to passions and interests.
  3. Opt-out from sharing data and currency entirely, at the risk of receiving irrelevant ads that damage user experience.

Layered with a level of integrity, guaranteeing that user’s choices are respected in full. It is simply about putting the user in control of their digital marketing experience.

Since founding the company in 2014, Ogury has held the belief that trust among users, brands and publishers is fundamental to long-term business success. Long before GDPR came into force, we emphasized that trust, by giving users a clear, explicit and unambiguous choice over their data. And if they opted-in, we enabled them to opt-out with every piece of content they are served.

With Ogury Consent Manager featuring Fair Choice, we are adding a third choice; the possibility to pay a fair price for a data collection free and marketing free digital experience. This is the first technology solution that fully implements the three pillars of trust.

The real currency to fund a free internet: Users’ Trust

In building and preserving the user trust, organisations have the opportunity to attract more data savvy users with both the content and marketing that they will appreciate.

In doing this, brands and publishers have the chance to keep the very foundations of quality online content alive, and at the right price for all to enjoy.

Should you have any questions or queries about user consent, the power of quality first-party data, or about Ogury’s MJM solutions, contact us at hello@ogury.com

 

Elie Kanaan, Chief Marketing Officer