This is the summary of an article by Joseph Turow. It talks about the workings of corporations in people’s relationships to the becoming apparent of the digital media system. It also discusses the new contours of the digital marketing ecosystem, which use online user data without their permission. You can get the pdf of the behavioral targeting article here: How Should We Think About the Digital Age?.
Contemporary academics tends to think of the digital age audience as being composed of individuals who have a lot of control in creating and distributing media products. But the author focuses on another sector; the advertising industry’s media buying sector.
Right now, media-buying businesses are lucrative options for financial statisticians and software engineers. These professionals create new methods of thinking about audiences, trading with them, and knowing what it means to be successful in this endeavor.
Digital marketing firms are engaging in buying and selling of online individuals data without their knowledge or permission. Media buying agencies apply these data to send personalized advertising messages, coupons, and prices, raising concerns that there is social discrimination in this digital arena.
Media, Audience and Community
Nicholas Negroponte, author of 1995 best-selling book “Being Digital,” predicted that in the digital age, the individual will be hugely popular. Negroponte’s insight was that the new media will disregard the interests of the governmental or commercial spheres but focus on the individuals preferences. Another author, Benkler (2006), saw that the Internet will allow individuals to create a “new freedom” which has a lot of practical promise, including a more self-reflective and critical culture.
In contrast, Henry Jenkins, author of “Convergence Culture,” is concerned that our culture is not yet prepared with the fact that anyone can now be a publisher, because many are not yet aware of the responsibilities and consequences of being makers of media. Digital technologies have in fact given individuals greater capacities to reach out to even more people through tools that make creating media relatively easier.
Media Buying and the Exercise of Power
There are three general events which may explain why the maturing digital industry pushes firms to profile people without them knowing, shares these profiles to other websites and marketers, and reduces the options of the audience regarding entertainment, news, prices and advertising.
First, individual marketers construct a flow of information and inferences about individuals and increasingly tailor ads and offers to them. Second, websites, data providers, and marketers, create widening profiles for people that may affect the choices they receive from marketers at various locations. Finally, in accordance with personalization in advertising, publishers are beginning to personalize editorial matter based on profiles they created or they bought.
The Long Click, Reputation and Audience Power
Personalization and targeting technologies have been adopted by other media aside from the Web. For example, brick and mortar retailers are starting to create digital media into the core of their sales services. Supermarkets are experimenting regarding knowing the identities of its shoppers through shopper cards and others. There are also “smart” shopping carts which provide customers with ads and discounts based on their shopping history.
Another example is location-aware advertising, which appear in mobile devices of users as a different kind of user profiling to present them with prizes and discounts related to stores and restaurants close by.
When people here about this brick and mortar targeting stories, they think about privacy implications. Members of the public, editorial writers, Congress, and advocacy organizations have scraped layers off firms that use behavioral tracking that aren’t transparent.