The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

by Paul Bannister for AdExchanger “The Sell Sider”
co-founder and executive vice president at CafeMedia.
FOLLOW Paul on Twitter @pbannist

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As we close the chapter on the last decade, congrats to the publishers that are still standing. Now it’s time to take a step in: A fundamentally different approach is needed to prosper in this new decade.

During the 2010s, premium publishers lost ground to the platforms, ad tech companies and low-quality content producers. Advertising revenue dried up for many publishers, as programmatic “pennies” overtook direct dollars. The platforms saw significant growth while many publishers retrenched, merged or went out of business. As marketers prioritized the cheapest impressions rather than the best ones, a window opened for fraudulent or low-quality content creators to flourish.

How did this transpire? Publishers largely sat back and let things happen to them, rather than rising up to control their destiny. To change this course in the next decade, publishers must lean in to actively influence the direction of the industry.

Let the 2020s be the decade where publishers take control.

Standards and trade groups

The first place where publishers need to lean in is with the trade groups and organizations that set industry standards. Ad tech firms and platforms play a large or dominant role in running the IAB, Prebid.org and other standard-setting groups. Publishers either didn’t have a seat at the table or abdicated their responsibilities and let others make decisions. Standards set by these organizations control the way auctions get conducted and dollars are spent, so influence is critical.

Publishers are already starting to join these organizations and contribute in material ways. In the last year, eight publishers joined Prebid.org, with more on the way. The IAB Tech Lab – the main standard-setting group within the IAB – is getting more publishers involved and making their voices heard. As more publishers commit the resources to become active in these groups, their needs will be better served and the standards and practices created will be more favorable for both ends of the advertising spectrum: advertisers and publishers.

Working together >>> READ MORE

The 2020s: Publishers Must Wield Their Powerful Tools For Cleaner Ad Experiences

by Sarah Badler for AdExchanger “The Sell Sider”
senior vice president of programmatic revenue and strategy at Dotdash.
FOLLOW Dotdash (@dotdashco) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter

With the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) at our doorstep and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) rollouts already roiling the industry, publishers and marketers alike must ensure they are in the best position to engage with their audiences and best serve their clients.

Publishers are still trying to figure out how to connect with their clients in the most efficient and direct way. We are all familiar with the current order of operations, which follows some form of the following path:

Client > agency > holding company > demand-side platform > supply-side platform > publisher

Clients, ever cautious of how their advertising dollars are being spent, are trying to figure out which players are absolutely necessary and how they can potentially simplify and align that antiquated path. However, programmatic buying remains such a complex, expensive and daunting concept that to many the thought of taking it in-house seems more like a 2025 idea, rather than a 2020 one. >>> READ MORE

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A lifetime serial entrepreneur, mentor, advisor, and investor. Obsessed with the infinite realm of possibility in the digital transformation of the world, digital media, marketing and the blockchain.