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What I Saw Happen -- Q4 2017


2017 Recap

  • 2017 was a tough year for MOST ad supported companies not named Facebook or Google

  • Of course Google and Facebook stole more share with Amazon gaining traction

  • Facebook is having issues and they are not the darling of the internet anymore

  • ​The success of the TV upfront hurt Digital

  • ​It became harder for publishers to get traffic as Google and FB continue to constantly adjust their algorithms

  • ​Though Programmatic remained strong in 2017 for most publishers though fewer partners

  • Direct advertising continues to hurt in Q4 2017 and publishers still need to evolve to better help marketers

  • ​Marketers moved back to safety and better attribution metrics provided by FB & Google

  • ​Publishers started to ask themselves some new questions about their future

  • Agencies are still in flux and looking to reinvent themselves as advertisers go in-house and require more transparency

  • Ad tech saw the beginning of some fire sales and others start to decline -- clean up starts

  • ​Though, Ad Tech saw some positives like Moat and The Trade Desk

  • ​Digital Sales organization changes are starting to happen/evolve across the industry

2018 Thoughts

  • Hard to be a non-endemic publisher in 2018 with so many issues to think about

  • Publishers need to go beyond ad sales -- diversify with subscriptions, commerce and/or branded content

  • ​Podcasts and all things audio/voice take a big chunk out of publishing readership

  • Viewability was improved by Publishers but marketers did not really respond with increased spend

  • ​GDPR & ePrivacy will impact publishers 2018

  • ​As they always do, Agencies will evolve again in 2018 with a real focus on data and analytics

  • ​Ad tech will also have a hard 2018 with blockchain looming in the distance

  • Google, Facebook, Amazon continue to distance themselves from the rest of the ecosystem

  • More stuff that needs to be figured out in 2018

  • Marketers have much to do while focusing more on DR metrics and lifetime value of the customer

  • ​Triopoly -- Google, Facebook & Amazon continue to grow; though some think that Facebook has peaked

  • ​TV upfront will be down after a successful 2017 forcing marketers to reevaluate their marketing mix

  • ​Marketers are still seeking full funnel attribution across the entirety of their spend

  • ​Desperate mid-major publisher look aggressively for Other Than Advertising (OTA) revenue streams

  • ​Google is well positioned in 2018

  • Blockchain is coming, but not for a while


How do Publishers make it actionable

  • More conversations need to happen between publishers

  • ​More collaboration ideas need to happen between publishers

  • Publishers need to speak out more and more

  • Publishers talk other companies in the ecosystem -- consulting houses, Wal-Mart and brand safety as three examples

  • Publishers need to diversify and create Consumer-centric experiences