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Publishing Insider Summit Introduction

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MC Steve Smith's introduction to MediaPost's Publishing Insider Summit in Austin Texas, October 2019

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Publishing Insider Summit Introduction

  1. 1. What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in increasing company revenue? ● An overall lack of resources. We have so much room for growth but we can’t hire enough talent to maximize the opportunities – particularly in design and development. We are constantly making choices and having to re-prioritize things, or set some things aside until we can get to them. ● Lack of technical resources (funding for development / people)
  2. 2. What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in increasing company revenue? ● Current political cycle is great for traffic and gaining new users from social referrals. That said, our editorial strategy is greatly op-ed, and their stance has caused some of our power users and subscribers to become alienated. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to appeal to a greater base, but we're potentially sacrificing our subscription revenue stream. ● Cultural change within the organization and evolving the sales organization
  3. 3. What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in increasing company revenue? ● Migrating revenue to PMPs ● Content loading faster than ads affecting bidding process and ad viewability scores ● Building scalable operational procedures behind it in a scaleable way ● Creating the volume of video necessary to keep up with advertising demand for it
  4. 4. What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in increasing company revenue? ● Diversification. direct and programmatic monetization is being restricted with forthcoming cookie disablement, ad blocking, tighter advertiser KPIs and transparency, monopoly/walled gardens stealing budgets, etc. pubs need to find new revenue streams. ● Commoditization of content, lack of transparency and poor environments in the marketplace
  5. 5. What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in increasing company revenue? ● Distributed platforms, i.e. reaching our consumers on a never ceasing broad array of platforms, which requires a multitude of agreements, complexity in building a campaign and revenue sharing. It’s ultimately a good thing as if consumption grows in both breadth and depth, then the overall health increases, but we’ve got to look at ways to reduce friction to have advertising/sponsorship dollars follow. ● Lack of knowledge from executive level management, and internal support from product/dev teams
  6. 6. What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in increasing company revenue? ● The loss of direct advertising revenue to Facebook, Google, and programmatic due to their ability to hyper target advertising resulting from their huge volume of big data ● Staying ahead of the duopoly and constantly adjusting our distribution tactics ● Crowded Marketplace. Duopoly sucking up money. Creating a unique product that scales.
  7. 7. ● Unique and creative ad units that contain content ● Our premium subscription product has grown at a rate of around 30% MoM since we launched it a little over a year ago. We're trying to continue to innovate in terms of our marketing strategies and use all the capabilities of our CDP ● Custom content What is your fastest growing revenue stream in the last year?
  8. 8. ● Video (either branded content or short form pre or mid roll). ● PMPs ● Content marketing (partnership as a publisher for taboola) ● Affiliate / contextual commerce. ● Ecommerce. a lot of sites in our portfolio has been playing with affiliate partnerships (notably Amazon). we've had a lot of early success with Amazon ONsite program What is your fastest growing revenue stream in the last year?
  9. 9. ● Branded Content and large search/social/display buys ● Live streaming and Branded Content ● Editorial video ● Light touch content amplification i.e. amplifying content written in the clients voice to our audience with little consultancy ● AMP ● In-app, majority from Facebook What is your fastest growing revenue stream in the last year?
  10. 10. ● Direct Sales. Agencies and clients don’t have budgets in time, are under the constant threat of accounts changing hands, ever changing KPI’s and turnover at agencies makes it very hard to ever build on success a publisher might have with a given client and actually grow a relationship ● Partnerships with other publishers to extend our reach. The rev shares are horrible, and the cannibalization of our premium content has us rethinking this strategy. What has proven the most disappointing revenue stream in the last year?
  11. 11. ● Print subscription ● PMPs continue to be an extremely small revenue stream for us. We have the scale available, but because of all the Trump content that we publish, it's difficult to find brands who are willing to advertise with us right now ● Display. Most has gone programmatic or is now considered value add. ● Branded content What has proven the most disappointing revenue stream in the last year?
  12. 12. ● Video programmatic ● Data/audience monetization. Relies heavily on sellers/specialists who know the space and how to sell data and/or audience extension ● Magazines/Print ● PMP/PG/PD. We’re hoping to convert more open exchange dollars into private deals, but it’s not happening as fast as we’d like What has proven the most disappointing revenue stream in the last year?
  13. 13. ● Homepage promotion next to our blockbuster journalism ● Subscriptions to get off the ground. The strategy is cannibalizing what we receive in programmatic ● PMP, mostly due to our internal focus shifting to open market, but PMP will be a renewed focus ● Direct advertising ● Distributed pre-roll/mid-roll What has proven the most disappointing revenue stream in the last year?
  14. 14. Fastest growing/most promising distribution or audience development channel? ● Live Video – It’s a chance to interact daily with our most loyal audience, and from a production standpoint it gives us a really efficient way to produce a lot of content quickly, which frees up other production resources for content more deserving of a higher production value ● SmartNews has really taken off for us. Also Syndicated video. ● We are big fans of Snapchat. Great partners, great audience, fair business terms ●
  15. 15. Fastest growing/most promising distribution or audience development channel? ● Search closely followed by social ● Brand partnerships ● Launched our OTT app, so expect this to help garner a new audience for our brand ● Unfortunately Facebook. We also do a lot of internal cross- site promotion of branded content and premium editorial content.
  16. 16. Fastest growing/most promising distribution or audience development channel? ● Out of market sales ● OTT ● YouTube ● Audio and newsletters ● Sports ● Pinterest
  17. 17. How has your video strategy changed most in the last year? ● Working on our “car wash”. Getting smarter about how we shoot and edit in order to create content that is optimized across all distribution platforms. Looking at views and engagement across multiple platforms and assigning different values to those views by channel so we can prioritize certain subjects on certain platforms. ● Not focusing on length of video, but of completion rate.
  18. 18. How has your video strategy changed most in the last year? ● Pivoting from exclusively branded content videos to accepting some sort of "roll" ● Considering an outsourced video player ● Major investments in higher quality production
  19. 19. How has your video strategy changed most in the last year? ● We're planning on tripling video content in the next 12 months - we have really high completion rates on site, ~90% even with preroll, but on subsequent video views the completion rate drops off by about half. By increasing the content that is created we'll be able to frequency cap each video so maximize overall completes. Right now we also utilize springserve as our ad server and primary mediation layer. We will probably go straight player bidding (JW Player) to maximize speed.
  20. 20. How has your video strategy changed most in the last year? ● We started our video section and have had to look at ad serving and partnerships completely from the rest of our stack. ● Launched our OTT app, so expect this to help garner a new audience for our brand ● A focus on high end content creation for integrated media plans ● Making longer form content (10+ mins) ● Moving towards limited series and long-form video content
  21. 21. How has your video strategy changed most in the last year? ● We've gotten some of our sites to ramp up hiring for original content creation which is paying off. We've also implemented a lot of tech upgrades with our video player to be more engaging while keeping up with advertiser/agency KPIs. ● Expanding distribution of content to emerging platforms— Xumo, Pluto, etc…to focus on getting both AVOD and Live Streaming available through as many services as possible
  22. 22. How has your video strategy changed most in the last year? ● Testing prebid for video has been interesting, but we’re still working out the kinks. ● Reduced emphasis from a year ago
  23. 23. ● Overrated – Still can’t believe ComScore is a thing ● Underrated – Newsletter open rates and CTR ● Grammerly is underrated as a newsroom tool ● Overrated has been Video Header bidding (too many technical challenges). Underrated affiliate contextual commerce. ● Overrated: podcasts; underrated: podcasts What Bright Shiny Object is the digital media field is most overrated? Underrated?
  24. 24. ● Blockchain and specifically smart contracts are pretty underrated right now. Real applications are starting to come out and once large enterprises invest more in them we'll be able to gain even more transparency in the industry. ● Overrated I'd say the whole "Pivot to ..." - different strategies are optimal for different publishers. Some publisher friends I have tried to invest in video (2-4 years ago) and never really saw a full return on the investment. ● Over: Facebook ----- Under: OTT What Bright Shiny Object is the digital media field is most overrated? Underrated?
  25. 25. ● Overrated: DMPs - because they are mostly tied to 3rd party cookies ● Underrated: Cookieless DMPs ● Most overrated is AR, most underrated is OTT ● Overrated: OOH. I think we are still some years away from seeing true revenue growth in that space. ● Overrated: Podcasts. Takes too much volume/scale for it to pay off. Publishers hear video-like cpms in the audio space so they are trying to pivot to podcasts. What Bright Shiny Object is the digital media field is most overrated? Underrated?
  26. 26. ● Overrated - Facebook. Underrated - Programmatic TV ● OTT Apps are overrated. TV is underrated ● Direct response. Underrated? Deep engagement. The two are inextricably linked ● Overrated = subscriptions. Underated = video content ● Over - Belief in third party audience measurement tools & under - the monopoly google & facebook have on our industry ● Underrated: Big Data and Premium Subscriptions: I hope I am underrating them but I may be overrating them What Bright Shiny Object is the digital media field is most overrated? Underrated?
  27. 27. ● Overrated: Obsession with data. Gives the illusion we are delivering "smart" marketing programs, yet the work is subpar and we celebrate incremental gains in performance. ● Underrated: Great creative. It breaks through and performs across platform What Bright Shiny Object is the digital media field is most overrated? Underrated?

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