GDPR has left a trail of destruction through large swathes of the ad tech ecosystem, with companies specialising in the trade of third-party data left scrabbling to comply with new rules and regulations.

Many predicted that publishers would be the primary beneficiaries in this new era, given their direct relationship with consumers and ability to gain the all-important consent required. Yet publishers still face a mammoth task convincing advertisers of the benefits of their mostly cookie-based user data, which lacks the scale provided by the likes of Google and Facebook.

To help it develop a more compelling narrative, German publisher Axel Springer partnered with Swiss-based data management platform (DMP) 1PlusX, which claims to use machine learning to fuse disparate data sources and create three-dimensional “maps” clustering users around likely interest groups.