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Jim Mullen on online gaming and publishing

On January 29th, AOP hosted a forum on how publishers can diversify their revenue streams from beyond the traditional ad-funded model. Ahead of the event, we caught up with one of the speakers, Jim Mullen, Head of Digital Commercial at News International, about opportunities in online gaming.

Q. Do you think online publishers have become over-reliant on advertising revenue?

I don't think it’s a question of being over-reliant. Advertising revenue is of
course relevant, but the question is how innovative online publishers can become to ensure that their revenue mix incorporates other revenue models.

Q. As an alternative (or supplementary) revenue source, why would a publisher choose to incorporate gaming into their site?

It’s a source of entertainment, it’s a growing market segment, it increases
dwell time and if the offering can be brand aligned and /or take into account
the welfare of the users then why not?

Q. What are the main types of online gaming offerings? How can publishers incorporate them into their sites?

Betting, casino, lottery and casual (arcade-style) games are the main and
relevant game types. How they are incorporated depends upon what each individual publisher wants from their game offering.

The important point here is that there is no product/integration model that works across all publishers.

More importantly, the question is what model works for that specific publishers
brand? Publishers should define their gaming strategy and set clear objectives
of what they wish to achieve first. Then they can decide which product and
integration model will deliver their objectives.

Q. What factors might deter an online publisher from incorporating gaming? What advice would you give publishers who are considering adopting the medium?

Always ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Do our readers want it? If so what product/s do they want?
2. Does it fit with our brand values?
3. Can our product be best in market and differentiate itself from the
competition?

Based on the answers to above then decide whether to pursue a gaming strategy.

Jim spoke at the AOP Forum: eCommerce and Diversifying Revenue Forum on Thursday 29th January.

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