BERLIN: Some of the largest publishing companies in Germany are joining forces to pool consumer data across a shared exchange as they seek to ramp up their challenge to US tech giants Google and Facebook.

Axel Springer, Gruner +Jahr, Bertelsmann Group and Der Spiegel are among eight of the ten largest publishing groups in Germany that are taking part in the data-pooling initiative, according to a Digiday report.

Raw data from nearly 1,000 websites, including Bild and other major titles, are sent to a single platform called Emetriq, which sifts through the data to create high quality audience segments useful for both publishers and advertisers.

These audience segments are then checked against online consumer panels from research firm GfK while Deutsche Telekom, which owns the Emetriq platform, also adds data from its own resources.

The aim is to provide publishers with an enhanced capability to target ads more effectively and they pay a flat fee ranging from €4,000 to €15,000, depending on the number of page impressions they have as well as how many ad impressions the data is used for.

By pooling their data, the German publishers aim to create a relatively large alternative to the likes of Google and Facebook, although Daniel Neuhaus, CEO of Emetriq, is under no illusion about how far they still have to go.

"Nobody is suffering more than publishers and sales houses in Germany, because they don't have enough data, and their data silos will never be able to aggregate enough to come even close to Google and Facebook," he said.

"Even now we're pooling it; we're still nowhere near but we're getting closer in quality and quantity of data," he added.

Stefan Kroetz, CEO of AdAudience, another joint venture between German publishers, explained that the benefit for them rests in being able to access high quality audience data that can help to boost CPMs.

"The real benefit is to create better quality segments that clients really need, in parallel with high reach," he said. "It's not so complicated to create good quality on small reach, or high reach with bad quality data, but putting them together – that's the challenge."

Data sourced from Digiday; additional content by Warc staff