The exchange will allow advertisers to target web ads at users based on their eBay history, via an automated real-time bidding platform, Business Insider reports.
Squarely challenging the likes of Amazon, which already has an ad exchange generating an estimated $500 million in sales, eBay’s efforts are drawing no shortage of chatter among top industry executives and observers, some of whom connected with MMW this week.
“Ebay (along with Amazon) are sitting on the ‘holy grail’ of audience data – shopping intent,” says Howie Schwartz, CEO & Founder of Human Demand. “Its a clear path to make this data available for desktop ads, the next challenge (and opportunity) is synching this with mobile ads. The desktop ad world has the benefit (and the curse – with all the recent issues) of 3rd party cookies that just don’t scale on mobile. Ebay and Amazon will need a different approach to monetizing their data for targeting across mobile.”
“Without cookies,” Schwartz adds, “Ebay and Amazon could look to synch profiles to device ids (like ID for Advertising from Apple’s iOS 6 release last fall) or other device id options. The key will be to make sure this is privacy sensitive and that all parties support an opt-out.”
In this regard, Schwartz definitely knows what he’s talking about. Human Demand recently partnered with Truste to manage mobile privacy / opt-out.
Marc Poirier, the Co-Founder & EVP of Business Development for Acquisio, also weighed in on the news this week.
“I wish we had more details on this story, it sounds as though eBay is getting ready to sell ad inventory through a sel-serve platform for advertisers, that this platform will support RTB and that they feel like they’re competing against Amazon,” Poirier says. “What is not clear is whether or not advertisers can continue to use their current DSP and leverage eBay data for buying targeted ads.”
“eBay data is certainly valuable for some advertisers, however is it as valuable as amazon data – in other words, is data from a segment of buyers who are known for hunting bargains valuable for merchants?” he asks. “I think it will be quite valuable. But like any data, value will be relative, and pricing will be key in whether or not merchants can make it work for them.”