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The first rule of online revenue: there are no rules

New Rules of Revenue EventMatt O'Neill addresses the panel at AOP's New Rules of Revenue event“Real time bidding is fulfilling the promise of delivering audience, not context”, AdMonsters President Matt O’Neill announced, introducing AOP’s New Rules of Revenue event this week.

The rules of online display are still very much being written, said MPG Trading Director David Katz, and the holy grail for him is now highly effective spot buys, rather than just reach.

From a publisher perspective, ad network buys have eroded some of the value of premium direct sales, but rich data can restore some of that value loss if we get better at collecting and managing it.

The agency world is effectively seeking to hoover up as much of this data as possible, while in the words of MediaMath’s Marta Martinez, publishers are sitting on a “goldmine” - insight which may be the most powerful in the entire ecosystem.

But, As Precedio Managing Partner Donald Hamilton pointed out - lose control of insight, and all you have is impressions.

“Some people are trying to get the entire cake”

Data taken without permission is one of the AutoTrader’s biggest concerns, its Head of Display Advertising Naomi Hahn explained. Trader is currently fleshing out its data strategy, and views it as a key area for growth. The agency speakers in the room responded that the onus is on publishers to make clear in contracts and ts & cs permissions on data use. On the other hand, added Criteo Business Development Director Steve Dorey, a good agency shouldn’t have to take publishers’ data.

On a consumer level, the onus is on the entire industry to be transparent around cookies, he said – “let the users take the decisions”, providing a clear opt-out. Hamilton drew the comparison between anonymised data collected via cookies and the very personal data collected by loyalty cards and retailers offline - far more intrusive in its way.

Both he and IAB Europe VP Kimon Zorbas stressed the need to continue spreading awareness – as ever, a lack of understanding, both from customers and politicians, is at the root of many online privacy fears.

Moving back to the subject of publishers increasing online revenues, O’Neill outlined the rise of demand-side platforms (DSPs - “really just sets of tools rather than platforms”) such as yield optimisers. Aiming to raise publisher revenues through real time network bidding, these companies exist to the benefit of all parties, both on the buy and sell side. However, as O’Neill emphasised, “publishers put in but can never take out,” - agencies should consider sharing their own data, he said, if they want to benefit from publishers’ insight.

Download presentations from the event - AOP Members only.

Read our interview with AdMonsters President Matt O'Neill

Read our interview with Precedio Managing Partner Donald Hamilton

'Zoom' image by Whatknot

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