Building a Wide-Open Internet for Our Future Selves

The open internet represents the ideas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is now embedded in our daily lives. It is a place where businesses big and small can be heard, seen and discovered. This means new and existing independent content creators and small publishers can share their ideas and content, small business owners and emerging DTC brands can draw customers to their website , and users can access content freely and without restriction.

Without the open internet, consumers’ online experiences would be limited, including what they read, where they shop, how they buy, and so many other factors that could shaping the evolution of society in ways we do not yet understand. I see no boundaries when I think about the future of the internet. It is a human-defined open link source. It is an open internet based on consumer preferences.

Keeping the internet open has never been more important. As society moves towards Web3 and the metaverse, as well as shifting opinions towards data privacy, it is increasingly important to make daily decisions that maintain a vibrant and open internet.

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Invest in the open Internet

To ensure the success of the open internet, consumers and marketers need to invest in it — and in the case of commerce, that investment means their time and attention. This is something consumers are doing right now. For example, in our latest Criteo Consumer Sentiment Index poll, seven in ten (68 percent) consumers worldwide said they often read informative articles on the open internet before buying things they’ve never bought or important products.

A total of 43% of shoppers trust reviews on independent review sites more than those they see on Amazon, compared to 20% who say the . When consumers look for answers, they turn to the open internet – a trend we expect to continue in the future.

Apart from maintaining a level playing field, it’s just a logical business move for advertisers. According to a 2020 survey by The Harris Poll, the majority of consumers’ online time (66 percent) is spent on the open internet. However, 37% of ad spending by marketers is dedicated to the open internet, with the remaining 63% going to walls.

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This discrepancy may be due to the fact that the open internet is not always as effective for marketers as closed systems in walled gardens. The open internet can be a more difficult path forward when there are so many partners and scattered solutions. However, the best choice is not always the simplest. Marketers need to advertise on the open internet to fight for the future of the open internet — and to interact with their customers in environments they trust and spend time in.

improving the open internet

Our aim is to support and improve the open internet for both marketers and consumers. By connecting demand and supply across the Commercial Media Platform, the aim is to make advertising on the open internet the right and easiest choice for marketers. Streamlining advertising on the open internet in an addressable and privacy-safe way will help marketers and media owners create better experiences for all consumers.

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The time is now for all of us to be open internet activists — in 2023 and beyond — and we will keep that goal at the forefront as we continue to promote an internet where consumers can go anywhere they want, to buy wherever they want. and interact with whoever they want. No one can predict the future, but we can all lead the internet we believe in.


1Criteo Consumer Sentiment Index, Global (Australia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, UK, US), November 2021, N=3805
2Poll Harris and OpenX, “The open web vs. the walled garden”, 2020

(Mr. Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director of SEA and India is the author and the views expressed in this article are his own)


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