Genetic testing will drive new luxury advertising market

June 13, 2013 - 

Biometric Research Group, Inc. expects that genetically-driven personal advertising marketplaces will emerge and become a popular luxury offering to consumers in advanced economies by 2020.

The research firm expects that solutions will become available by 2015 which will allow consumers to provide their DNA profiles in order to be directly marketed products based on genetic profile.

Consumer magazines have recently chronicled the emergence of the first company that is pioneering the space.  Minneapolis-based startup Miinome has been described as the first “direct-to-consumer” provider of genetic data management, storage and brokerage solutions.

The firm’s platform allows its consumers to quickly find product recommendations based on genetic traits. Miinome is positioning itself as a safe and secure platform that allows consumers to share genetic traits with marketers, researchers or even relatives and friends.

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The firm describes itself as an opt-in platform and notes that full control over data is always retained by its owner. The firm’s business plan is to provide consumers with free or low-cost genetic sequencing by providing a kit that extracts epithelial cells for the mouth. Miinome would then use this DNA material to sequence a consumer’s genome.

The firm has made very clear that once the genome is sequenced, it would use measures to ensure that the data, in identifiable form, is not disclosed to any third-parties.  Miinome notes that many other sequencers don’t actually assure that data will not inventoried for sale to other firms.

The company’s customers, which ultimately might include food providers, retailers and even online dating services, will pay Miinome to market directly to its clients.  In such a scenario, Miinome customers can elect to share their data based on a genetic trait, such as gluten intolerance, and then can be directed marketed to by food vendors.

As an additional example, firms selling a baldness treatment could use Miinome’s services to target customers that are genetically predisposed to baldness.  According to press reports, the firm’s customers will be able to pick which universities, marketing firms or pharmaceutical manufacturers can look at specific genes.

In order to enhance security, Miinome will only provide access to select portions of its customer’s personal profiles and will anonymize the data.  The firm will make revenue every time a genetic trait is accessed by an advertiser.  The price that Miinome will charge for that data will depend on demand.

Biometric Research Group, Inc. believes Miinome has excellent prospects due to its unique revenue model, strong management and advisors.  The firm’s financial model creates not only a novel service, but a new marketplace for biometric, and more specifically DNA services.  The firm has also proposed integrating their DNA services through an open, opt-in only API that links to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

“We believe we can make your genetic information useful every day, not just when you’re sick,” Miinome Co-founder and CEO Paul Saarinen said in an article published in Wired.  “We’re the first member-controlled, portable human genomics marketplace.”

The startup firm counts geneticist George Church and futurist Andrew Hessel as advisers.  Church developed the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984 and helped initiate the Human Genome Project.  Hessel works to encourage industry and academics enhance biological technologies and is widely recognized for encouraging the development of open source viral therapies for cancer.

The Biometrics Research Group, Inc. expects that the genetically-driven personal advertising marketplace could generate between US$30 million to US$50 million in revenue by 2020.  That being said, the group also expects that the majority of genetic testing marketplace will still be driven by the primary medical sector (hospitals) and law enforcement (state and federal police forces).

Biometrics Research Group provides forward-looking and systematic data about the global biometric market, allowing industry stakeholders to calculate political, economic and investment risk.

Read more Biometric Research Notes.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at BiometricUpdate.com and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.