This past week the 33Across team attended Digiday Publishing Summit in Key Biscayne to connect with publishers and learn more about the challenges they face on a day to day basis in today’s digital media ecosystem.

The “Challenge Board” from the conference shows today’s publishers face no shortage of issues and while the spectrum of their concerns varies, a couple of themes emerged from the conference.

As you can see from the conference’s “Challenge Board,” today’s publishers face no shortage of issues and while the spectrum of their concerns varies, a couple of themes emerged from the conference.

Privacy

First it was GDPR, and now the enforcement of CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is right around the corner. Privacy has become more important to consumers and with these pieces of legislation in play, most publishers are scrambling to address the upcoming challenges these new laws create. Legal requirements will force publishers to provide records of collected consumer data even though most will not have the necessary compliance or technical resources to adhere to the evolving regulation.

These laws and potential future federal legislation will change how data is collected and used by publishers, advertisers, and ad tech vendors. User data is a crucial component of how real-time bidding auctions operate and there are concerns that these laws will negatively impact the performance publishers see in the open auction. Combine this with increasing limitations on 3rd party cookies, and you have a lot of questions regarding how media organizations will compensate for lost revenue.


Diversification

Should we create a new video/OTT product? Should we look beyond Facebook for traffic acquisition? Should we prioritize expanding our newsletter or social presence? These were some of the diversification-related questions that were asked. Unfortunately, the answer for all were pretty similar: it depends.

Publishers need to evaluate their priorities and ensure they are finding the correct balance with their content and monetization strategies. While creating an additional CTV/OTT product might make strategic sense for a video-centric publisher, that same approach may not be the best idea for a social arbitrage web publisher. As an organization, define your core competencies and determine what additional revenue streams make the most sense for your business. Whatever actions you are going to take, ensure they are being effectively communicated to all relevant teams who will have a hand in their success. Having clearly defined KPIs and a roadmap for how to achieve them will ensure you aren’t flushing resources down the drain.

Overall, the Digiday Conference was a great way to connect with partners and learn more about the challenge that publishers are facing. As we know, this industry is ever evolving and these events allow our industry to stop and address both challenges and wins.

By: Nick Coté | Director of Publisher Development at 33Across