• 'Tis The Season For...?
    I have always loved the holiday season. But, despite all the joy and merriment, many studies show that anxiety and depression spike during this time of year -- kind of strange, right? But when you think about it, this dichotomy makes sense. Many conflicting emotions come out in December. For online publishers, it's no different. Rushing to finish strong in 2014 is accompanied by trying to thoughtfully plan for 2015. And, perhaps nothing is more confusing or conflicting for publishers than their programmatic business. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? How will the year end? What ...
  • #BlackandWhite
    Last week I had an afternoon meeting scheduled with a new colleague. We had planned to meet at the Equinox cafeteria at Rockefeller Center, but because of all the police security in place for the tree-lighting ceremony that night, we relocated to a restaurant opposite Grand Central Station instead. As we wrapped up our meeting, I looked at my phone and learned that the Staten Island grand jury had not indicted the police officer accused of killing Eric Garner.
  • Native: Three Digital Steps To Avoid Print's Mistakes
    Native is the way forward for brands in communicating messages with engaged consumers. Trouble is, all the issues that have plagued print "advertorials" are threatening to turn a gleaming promise into a poisoned chalice.
  • The Risks Of Promoting Popular Content
    These days, nearly every publisher site promotes content that is most popular based on measures such as "most read" or "most shared." Whether this process is automated or manual, the idea is to give preferential visibility to those articles clearly of interest to the site's readers. The reasoning goes something like this: If a lot of people are liking - and sharing - this article, then let's make sure more people see it. Presumably this results in a greater number of clicks and a lower bounce rate. But the practice of promoting a publisher's own popular content can have a ...
  • The Oatmeal Doctrine
    I judge a restaurant by the quality of its oatmeal. Earlier this week, I had oatmeal at Pershing Square Caf, where I enjoyed an exchange of ideas with a very talented publishing executive -- and of course, a very solid bowl of oatmeal. The oatmeal at Pershing Square Caf costs $14. I can find better oatmeal at Scotty's Diner on 39th & Lexington for four bucks, but at Pershing Square, you pay for more than a bowl of oats, you pay for the environment.
  • Ad Blocking: Can Publishers Catch A Break?
    Publishers and the advertising industry have long tried to sweep the topic of ad blocking under the rug. Their idea has been that the fewer consumers who know about it, the better off everyone else is. Their efforts have met with little success. According to a report released by PageFair and Adobe in September, ad blocking is no secret. The report found 27.6% of Internet users in the U.S. use Adblock software, with that number as high as 41% for 18- to 29-year-olds.
  • Solving The Unsold Inventory Conundrum
    Publishers' yield optimization strategies run the complexity gamut. From leveraging multiple yield optimizers in tandem to none whatsoever, this variance is largely driven by the evolving marketplace of the digital world. Still, all publishers are focused on the same end goal: generating as much revenue as possible from their available inventory. Within such a complex marketplace, however, this is no easy feat, particularly when it comes to unsold inventory. Today's technology has allowed publishers to address this issue, but often at the expense of cost per mille (CPM). Thus comes the challenge of addressing unsold inventory while maintaining quality pricing.
  • The Mobile CPM Train Wreck
    Before the start of the 2011 Academy Awards show hosted by James Franco and Anne Hatheway, Franco was tweeting live video clips of himself from backstage. Right before the show was set to begin, Franco turned to the camera and said, "This could be great, or this can be really reallybad." It was an epic train wreck, of course -- one that still haunts the actor today. At just about that same time period, executives at premium publishers were sitting around conference room tables reviewing site traffic numbers, and were likely surprised at the steady rise in the number of ...
  • Metrics Are Great, But Don't Forget Your Readers
    Online publishers have begun to rely increasingly on quantitative methods to help them run their businesses. On one hand, statistical measures such as time on site, click-through rate and bounce rate can help publishers assess the health of their sites. On the other hand, some publishers become overly focused and dependent on metrics, and they forget that behind those metrics are individual readers.
  • Why Digital Advertising Is Anything But 'Creative'
    Several years ago, when people really cared about Windows vs. Mac OS, I heard a joke that went something like this: "If cars were designed by Microsoft, we would constantly have to stop to reboot them." Today, I am compelled to make a different joke: "If our highways were designed by advertisers, billboards would jump in the middle of the highway whenever we tried to drive by."
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