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In addition to the coronavirus-fueled downturn, the mobile ad world is facing industry-specific challenges that will reshape the industry in the coming years. As public and private sector privacy measures make it harder than ever to process consumer movement data, the ad tech landscape will be defined by leaders who can innovate creative ways to obtain and process meaningful consumer insights.

As we’ve examined, that’s sometimes a matter of network effect. Foursquare has taken that approach by continuing to build the sheer size and variety of its data sources, partly via M&A activity. With similar network effects in mind, Tapad applies a co-op model to assembling a meaningful corpus of mobile location data.

“Our model in its essence is really a co-op model,” said Tapad CEO Sigvart Voss Eriksen on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast (listen above). “Clients contribute to the graph, and we procure some data to fill the gaps. So the network effect of our customer base is the main source of the data.”

This is also notable in that most of the regulatory scrutiny around consumer ad-targeting (GDPR, CCPA) isn’t really about using data but sharing and selling it. That makes first-party data even more valuable than it was before. A co-op approach is one way to scale that data generation in creating a larger tent for first-party data.

Looking forward, Eriksen is excited about the direct-to-consumer (DTC) segment. Comprised of companies like Casper and Dollar Shave Club, this continually- growing segment is hungry for consumer insights, given that DTC companies act as their own sales channel. Also, all things e-commerce have been boosted by the current pressure the pandemic is putting on brick-and-mortar stores.

We discuss these directions and the ins and outs of the Tapad Graph on the latest episode of Heard on the Street. Listen above, find out more about Heard on the Street, and see our episode archive hereContact us if you’d like to sponsor an episode, and check out Street Fight’s media kit for the full slate of visibility options.

Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local, and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at