Last week, leading publishers from Europe and abroad gathered in Nice for Digiday Publishing Summit Europe.Header bidding, ad blocking, and audience building were among key topics discussed throughout the three day event.  I learned of the challenges and pain points that publishers throughout the EU face. I also witnessed the value that European publishers have for both their advertisers and viewers. Here are my takeaways from the event.

Audience is everything
Publishers shared successes in expanding their audiences and creating deeper engagement.  They also noted that reach is simply not enough, and that an audience-centered approach is crucial. Overall the balance lies within developing a global reach with local relevance.  

Ad tech partners are welcomed
Publishers are receptive to new types of technology that will assist them in navigating their programmatic journey. More and more publishers are implementing header bidding strategies to help them optimize yield. For this type of implementation to continue to grow, tech partners must show their value. Publishers want visibility and transparency into the demand for their supply.  Ad tech companies that can show real insights into performance will be the most sought after partners for publishers.

Ad blocking is a concern
Over the past year, ad blocking has been a major concern for European publishers however it is stabilizing. With this, publishers have learned that they must continue to educate their audiences on the importance of serving ads. In order to prevent the growth of ad blocking, it’s imperative for publishers to improve the ad environment as well as user experience.

In summary, Digiday Publishing Summit Europe was an opportunity for publishers to reflect on the current state of ad tech while also preparing for the future. Innovation, content and staying abreast to industry trends is the most effective way to serve both viewers and advertisers alike.