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November 8, 2023 | By Tim Peterson

This week’s Future of TV Briefing looks at how Disney’s data clean room business has progressed since rolling out two years ago.

Disney plus data

Two years after Disney unveiled its data clean room, the media conglomerate has gotten 136 individual brands and all the major agency holding companies to plug into the first-party data product. And a major catalyst appears to have been Disney’s work to connect its data clean room to the ad ecosystem, such as demand-side platform The Trade Desk, measurement provider VideoAmp and more recently Yahoo’s DSP and soon Google’s Display & Video 360.

Disney’s data clean room is designed to aid advertisers in both running ads and appraising audiences across its properties. “An additional pillar that we had not planned for around interoperability really has proven to be one of the most important use cases that we’re seeing out of the clean room now,” said Dana McGraw, svp of audience modeling and data science at Disney Advertising.

As the first agency holding company to adopt Disney’s data clean room and with eight brands using it to date, Omnicom Media Group has seen firsthand how interoperability has helped to make the clean room more capable for clients’ campaigns.

“When we started this journey, we were focused and enthusiastic about the measurement piece, which is what we really talked about. In practice, what we’ve observed is there’s a huge impact for our clients in campaign activation on the audience level,” said Kelly Metz, chief investment officer at OMG’s OMD. “If you think about how much work Disney has done [in connecting its clean room to identifiers such as UID 2.0] and all of these activation layers that are all related to this clean room, that’s where we’ve seen the most client impact. What it has enabled us to do is, quite frankly, activate independent of cookies or third-party identifiers or third-party [data] on-boarders.”

In addition to UID 2.0, Disney’s clean room supports LiveRamp’s Ramp ID and Experian’s Living Unit ID as well as agency holding companies’ first-party data platforms, such as Omnicom’s OMNI, Publicis Groupe’s Epsilon and Dentsu’s Merkury. “We’re really trying to take our work in the audience graph identity space and really create a level playing field almost independent of what identity solution a brand or an agency might be using,” said McGraw.

But all of that support wouldn’t count for as much if Disney weren’t able to deliver sufficient audience numbers matched between its and advertisers’ data.

With 110 million U.S. households in its audience graph, the average match rate for Disney’s data clean room ranges from 60% to 80%, according to a Disney spokesperson. For three of OMG’s clients, the match rates have been “north of 92%” compared to 30% to 40% for traditional data on-boarders, said Metz. And Dentsu has achieved match rates “well over 90%” when connecting its Merkury ID graph to Disney’s audience graph, said Keith Camoosa, chief addressability officer at Dentsu Media U.S., which has activated more than 40 clean rooms with Disney so far.

So that seems to cover one consideration advertisers and agencies have when evaluating data clean room options. Another is cost.

Publishers typically levy a premium on their ad prices for applying their data clean rooms to campaigns, and then there are the costs associated with the various ID and tech providers involved in supporting a clean room activation.

The data clean room, and by extension the first-party data it makes available, has helped advertisers and agencies to cut back on wasted impressions and data fees to the point where one agency executive said adopting Disney’s data clean room has resulted in cost savings ranging from 6% “to as much as 25%.”
“Through the clean room, there’s a lot of instances where we can actually remove those third-party costs. So you can actually get to a cheaper CPM for your clients when it’s really working well because you’re using our own advanced audiences through OMNI that are developed right into their inventory spine,” said Geoffrey Calabrese, chief investment officer at Omnicom Media Group.