With more than two thirds of digital display already being spent in programmatic and growth estimates in the 20%-25% range over the next two years, it's no longer a matter of whether or not programmatic is the right thing to do. Instead, it's a matter of how to do it right. On that front, the problem is we've been leveraging programmatic as a better way to buy media, when in reality, it's a better way to create great advertising. To all the creatives eye rolling at "media is the new creative," sorry, guys (and gals): The reality is, it's true.
The world of digital publishing is constantly evolving. Trends that are hot one minute seem to be passe the next, and the industry is always looking for the next shiny new development that will help grow audience, engagement and ultimately increase sales. Here are a few trends I'm currently keeping an eye on that I believe will stick around for the long term.
My discomfort with programmatic is driven by its similarities with the business model of legacy ad networks. The former was built on the premise of mistruths and arbitraging. By definition, arbitraging means someone is overpaying, someone else is underpaid, and the guy in the middle is overselling. Ad networks did this by using premium publisher logos to sell ad buys and then used garbage inventory from inferior Web sites to fulfill them.
Many have repeatedly warned of the imminent demise of Facebook - whether as a social media network, media company or ad-tech firm. However, time and again, these naysayers have been proven wrong. Whether you love him or hate him, Mark Zuckerberg continues to steer a company that has become a chameleon in what I call our "neo-media" world.
It's no longer feasible to be a premium online publisher without a programmatic offering. The mistake, however, is an over-reliance on private marketplace or open exchange revenue to be successful. Direct-ad deals sold are your "Tom Brady" -- they march you toward your quarterly goal line. Programmatic is your kicker.
The problems with programmatic are well-covered and greatly ignored. Reported growth in spending continues to fan the frenzy, while sweeping significant problems under the rug.
Now is the time for publishers to figure out what they need to stop doing. There is structural damage that needs to be fixed if this business wants to remain standing. Publishers need to rebuild their entire sites from the ground up. If the idea of starting from scratch sounds impossible, or you wouldn't know where to start, there is a new publishing ray of hope to follow: Axios.com.
"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Those words are part of the foundation on which this country was built, what defines us as Americans. But that was before social media gave all citizens the ability to send their words out to millions just by clicking a button. Our founding fathers wanted a country where people had the right to question their government. A free press was critical in ensuring that. But a free press has led us to a world of fake news, where that right extends to allowing citizens to say ...
It's a new year, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau is churning out the same old BS: "Digital Ad Market Soars 20% in Q3, Approaches $18 Billion"
It's been an exciting and dynamic year in the sports world. We saw the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series since 1908, LeBron bring home a championship to Cleveland, the drama of the Rio Olympics and the Rams' return to Los Angeles. Alongside all of these industry highlights, the sports media world continued to adapt, as digital evolves and new players like eSports emerge as perhaps the next major "league." Here are four areas I'm watching for this coming year: