‘It’s like starting a net new business’: Overheard at the Digiday Publishing Summit
Publishers looking to diversify revenues have discovered that comes with its own challenges. Publishers looking to improve their existing streams are finding they have to fight harder — and offer more — just to keep advertiser investment where it was.
During Digiday’s Moguls and on day one of the Digiday Publishing Summit down at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, attendees discussed the struggles they faced on both fronts. Both events are conducted under Chatham House Rules, which allows reporters to share what people say without identifying them by name.
Diversifying revenue is harder than it looks
“It’s like starting a net-new business. People look at it as, ‘You’ve got 10 million monthly uniques, that’s 10 million possible customers!’ But it doesn’t work out that way.”
“How do you identify talent who can move the needle on something you don’t have expertise in yourself? I don’t feel fully qualified to interview a VP of analytics because it’s not something I know a lot about.”
“It’s hard to get our editor in chief to sit in a room to talk about t-shirts when news is breaking.”
“We can’t get someone who’s just done retention or just done acquisition at a larger shop. We need someone who can come in and do everything.”
“Customer service was such an afterthought. ‘How many emails could we possibly get?’ we thought. We get a lot.”
“That’s one advantage to starting with an app. You don’t have to worry about billing because you don’t touch it. You don’t have as many issues.”
“You get to a place with some of this stuff where it just comes down to customer service: Who’s responsive, who’s easy to work with.”
“It’s hard to staff up for programmatic. There’s so many things that can go wrong because they’re not comped as much as they could be.”
Media’s middle class is getting squeezed
“The threat is not getting consolidated. The threat is competing with the companies that have been consolidated.”
“It’s getting harder and harder to be an indie media company.”
“We’re seeing a lot of deals happening where we know it’s not going to be profitable for the publisher. It’s hard for our sellers to go up against it.”
“Every year brands ask for more and more for the same price.”
“My biggest challenge is Google taking everything. I don’t like all my eggs in one basket.”
The death of the third-party cookie brings collateral damage
“We’ve been running hypothetical models on Chrome where [the loss of open exchange revenue] drops revenue 20-25%. You have to have a weird conversation with your CFO where you say, ‘I would take this number by 25%’ and nobody wants to hear that.”
“Every user research study we’ve ever done shows people are freaked out about why that shoe they bought two weeks ago is still following them around. And they blame us.”
“If you can entice great talent to come in, you truly have an advantage. A lot of your competitors are not doing that.”
How NBC’s News Group is shaping NBCUniversal’s commerce bets
The nearly 50-person group now oversees two shopping shows, commerce sub-brands across three NBC News properties and direct deal-making for a growing list of sister brands.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: How publishers with teen audiences are making their Instagram presences more inclusive
In this week's Media Briefing, media reporter Sara Guaglione reports on what Bustle and Teen Vogue are doing to make sure their Instagram accounts don't contribute to the platform's reported negative impact on teen girls' wellbeing.
‘Levers being pulled that are unseen’: Measurement errors inside Amazon’s OSP program setting publishers on edge
A series of reporting errors has become emblematic of a program that has grown increasingly frustrating for its participants over the past year.
SponsoredHow publishers can future-proof their contextual advertising strategy
Sal Cacciato, managing director, North America, video intelligence The discourse on contextual targeting has moved from “if” to “how.” Publishers are well aware that they need to be packaging their audiences in ways that enable contextual targeting, but many are still asking themselves what is the best way to achieve that goal. In a telling […]
Axios has made $1M in revenue from its eight-month-old software licensing business
Less than a year in, Axios HQ is bringing in more revenue than expected, but the challenges of a tech company are different than those of a media company.
Why The Telegraph thinks retiring some newsletters will actually help grow subscriptions
After shuttering a half-dozen newsletters this year and consolidating others, The Telegraph produces over 40 editorial newsletters, eight of which are exclusive to paid subscribers.