Ipsos research finds strong consumer support for ad-funded business model, but also a lack of understanding about the data exchange which supports it

On October 26, 2021 Media Releases

Highlights importance of industry education and transparency

 26th October 2021:  Ipsos today released its ‘Digital Data Exchange: The Consumer View’ report for publishers, agencies, and marketers at IAB Australia’s MeasureUp conference.  Significantly, the report found that 87% of Australians said they were supportive of online content and service providers making their money from advertising where access to content remains free for consumers.  However, 70% of respondents also indicated they were unaware of how online content providers make their money.

The Report provides robust local data to quantify the understanding that Australians have in relation to both the funding of their digital media and services as well as the data value exchange.  It has been released to help publishers, agencies and marketers understand what is required to communicate clearly and run their data collection operations transparently to enable trust, while also helping to educate audiences about the myriad of digital news, entertainment, information, and services that the $14.5B local digital advertising industry funds.

The importance of transparency and control were key themes in the Report – with 81% of consumers stating they want ‘more control and choice’ over the collection and use of their personal information, and 46% stating they wanted companies to stop sharing their information with third parties without consent as a high priority. 

The report noted that the most important levers for making consumers more comfortable about sharing their data included being more upfront with how the data collected will be used (47%) and collecting only the data that is needed (46%).  Unsurprisingly, consumers were also more comfortable sharing their data with brands they trust.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia commented “While it is great news that consumers are so supportive of an ad-funded model, this research suggests the industry has some work to do.  

“Trust with a digital brand, including openness to provide data, goes well beyond reading consent notices and extends across all their interactions with the brand online and offline.  To ensure the strength and sustainability of the industry, we need to build on existing levels of trust, and respect consumer’s preferences for more transparency and more control in relation to how their data is used.”  

Key findings include:

  • 35% of people said they (at least sometimes) choose not to deal with an organisation because of concerns regarding privacy.
  • Transparency on what data is collected and how it is used is the key driver to a high level of trust in providing personal information (43%), however sound corporate values (such as having a good corporate reputation, 40% and being ethical 39%) are nearly equally key trust drivers. 
  • Trust is top of mind when consumers are faced with consent notices. When presented with pop-up messages on websites and apps about that content provider using cookies or other tracking techniques and requesting consent to track their activity, 63% of consumers are evaluating these before deciding to accept or not, trust in the brand is a major factor in their considerations
  • 38% feel comfortable sharing their purchase history with a brand online if requested, 34% feel comfortable sharing browsing history and 38% personal details such as email, phone, or address. 
  • While nearly all Australians think privacy of their information is important when choosing digital content and services only 3 in 10 people feel their understanding of data protection and privacy rights is of a high standard.
  • Ultimately 8 in 10 people want more control and choice over the collection of their personal information, while 69% care about their data privacy but don’t know what to do about it. 

The ‘Digital Data Exchange: The Consumer View’ report is based on consumer attitudes to data collection and privacy from a representative survey of 1,000 Australian adults conducted in October 2021. 

Download the full report here