• It's An Arbitrage Media World -- Premium Publishers Just Die In It
    Market forces are funny things. They travel in the direction they want to travel, no matter how much they are told not to. Despite trying to reverse the direction of these market forces, they have not veered from their original flight plan. As a result, the turbulence they create is causing the premium publishing industry to crash and burn.
  • Is Mobile A Chimera For Publishers?
    The latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research includes a very interesting article by comScore co-founder Gian Fulgoni titled "The Rise of the Digital Omnivore: What It Means for Advertisers, Publishers, and App Developers," which reports some eye-opening numbers about Internet usage. The punch line, which was recently summarized in another MediaPost article based on an earlier presentation by Fulgoni, is this: Although, as a percentage, desktop traffic has shrunk dramatically relative to mobile in the last four years, the total amount of desktop traffic has actually grown in the same time span.
  • Thoughtless Publishers Drive Away Readers
    Sometimes publishers appear so desperate to increase readership that they overstep their bounds, to the point of becoming downright annoying. Without naming names, I have seen two behaviors in particular that I find annoying. First, some sites fail to use cookies, or simply ignore them, and bombard me with takeover ads or pop-ups begging me to subscribe to their newsletter even if I visit the same site twice within a short time span, and even if I am already registered on that site and already subscribing to their newsletters. Second, and even more annoying, I have found some sites that ...
  • Phaddiction
    In the fourth quarter of 2010, smartphone shipments increased by 87% versus the year prior - and for the first time, outsold personal computers. Consumer time spent on mobile devices caught the entire digital publishing industry off guard because the rate at which consumers spend time on their smartphones is driven by ramped-up addiction. The crack is texting and Snapchat. These two forms of mobile communication feed a hyper and constant physical need to connect, subconsciously inducing teenagers and adults to reach for their phones in a subtle panic every two minutes. As publishers, advertisers and tech platforms, aren't we ...
  • Why Publishers Struggle With Mobile Inventory
    Mobile use continues to grow unabated as a new generation eschews traditional consumption channels. This year, mobile search surpassed desktop for the first time, with no signs of slowing down. For advertisers, this growth whet an appetite to increase mobile ad spend. For publishers, on the other hand, it has caused as much headache as it has opportunity.
  • Two Ideas For Improving 'Most Popular' Posts Lists
    In an earlier post, I decried the dangers of "most popular" lists, which so many publishers use on their sites as a way of promoting clicks to content. I pointed out that this leads to a sort of winner-take-all effect, in which a few articles get tons of coverage, while the vast majority of articles get very little traffic, suppressing discovery and promoting run-of-site content. I recently realized that there is an even more pernicious problem associated with this sort of favoritism: once certain articles make it to the "most popular" widget, the single most important factor in driving clicks ...
  • Serving Native
    A waiter at a Michelin-rated restaurant returns to a candlelit table for two and asks, "Have you had time to look at our menu? Do you have any questions?" The gentleman, who is out to dinner with his wife, responds.s "Yes, we're wondering about this sponsored dish, the Visa Veal Scalloppini?"
  • 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."
  • Viewability Deficit Heavily Impacts Publishers' Bottom Line
    A year removed from the MRC lifting the advisory against transacting on viewable impressions (display), the discussion about viewability has reached a fever pitch. Yet to date, the conversation hasn't captured publishers' stakes in the issue. The pressure is on from brands and agencies that demand viewability to justify their spending, but publishers also need to ask themselves about the potential revenue they're losing from poor viewability.
  • Have Publishers Lost Their Minds With Outbrain?
    Sometime when I speak with a media salesperson over a beer or a burger, they share something that at first sounds benign, but then causes that moment to freeze as a market issue gets crystallized. This past week -- over a frozen Margarita, no less -- one of those moments occurred.
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