At the heart of the new WMX service is a product called CONNEX, which marketers can use to develop a first-party asset within the Warner platform. When a brand shows up with their own first-party customer data, some customers are matched against WMG’s identity record and the matched IDs can be used to target or measure a campaign. If a brand campaign contains sponsored content on YouTube, WMX can also collect new fans or registered users who come in contact with the brand through this sponsorship.
But there is a catch: CONNEX data cannot leave the WMX platform, said Josephsen, which means that brands cannot build target groups on Warner Media first-time providers and then export those target groups to address them elsewhere. But the CONNEX data grows in size and effectiveness over time and helps inform the creative and overall strategy, he said. For example, a brand might find that a particular genre of music or demographic is responding well to a campaign and focus more on that.
It is now common for large media and advertising platforms to have first-party data and analysis products that only apply to their own and operated media or inventory that they control. Google’s Ads Data Hub is big, but publishers like The New York Times, NBCUniversal, and even retailers like Walmart or Target are following the same path.
Currently, WMX only includes Warner Media’s own websites and inventory, but Josephsen said the company plans to launch an audience expansion product in the future that will allow brands to target known or logged-in audiences programmatically over the web.
Brands are pushing their supply-side partners to provide more data and stronger analytics, Josephsen said. However, given the tightened data protection regulations of technology companies and governments, such granular data can only be used by large media companies with their own audiences.
“Brands are looking for fewer bigger and better partners,” he said. “We are able to get into this specificity with them and do it on a large scale.”