The demand for digital video is immense, and continuing to gain momentum. Where TV was once the sole source for video content, consumers now have a plethora of options to consume video. And where consumers go, advertisers have followed. Despite such robust demand, the supply of video impressions continues to struggle to meet it. Publishers face challenges both in creating premium video content, and in transacting these impressions.
The rise of header bidding has been championed by publishers as a way to increase control and grow revenue. Server-to-server solutions take the process a step further, promising reduced page latency and increased access to demand. But as header bidding continues to proliferate, publishers are now faced with a new choice: Maximize yield or provide preferential treatment to select advertisers? That is, should publishers continue to use programmatic to maximize RPM, or should they favor their direct advertisers over those bidding in exchanges? Or do they need to strike a balance - and if so, how?
Advertisers are throwing money at Facebook, while publishers fight it out against one another for the leftovers. What's more, publishers rely heavily on Facebook's ecosystem for traffic and revenue, at the risk of ceding their connection with advertisers completely to platforms like Facebook, Google and Amazon, where media buying is easy and scalable. Realistically, publishers must build a series of stairs that can lift them out of their predicament. The right way to safety is to put the pieces in place to connect more transparently to advertisers, and to make it easy for advertisers to buy premium media at scale.
The struggles of the publishing industry come down to three things, according to Hola! magazine publisher Sylvia Banderas: over-saturation, over-complication, and what she calls "shiny-object syndrome."
The timing of the push for longer video content is significant, as Facebook is also poised to introduce new mid-roll video ad products, which may be more suitable for long-form videos.
For all the attention they have garnered over the last few years, distribution partnerships with big tech platforms like Facebook and Google still contribute a relatively small proportion of total revenues for a number of big publishers, per a Digital Content Next report first publicized by Business Insider.
When vetting various partners, we considered various criteria, especially fees, features and reporting. Publishers should evaluate partners across these elements and ask probing questions.
Having an "onmichannel" channel does the "heavy lifting in terms of brand-building," according to Domino CEO Nathan Coyle. It's about having diversified initiatives and platforms. They give back in spades on the brand side and when you do it well and keep doing it, then you start to build meaningful business and revenue as well."
As publishers seek out new revenue streams, from native advertising and paywalls to mobile apps, live video, and programmatic, first-party data has become increasingly important. Forrester predicted in its trend report that 2016 would be the year publishers take control of their data, and to a large extent, they did. Amid this shift, however, sits an often-neglected element of the publisher ecosystem that could become the next monetization frontier: the content management system, or CMS.
Header bidding has become the new obsession of the fast-changing advertising industry. This advanced technology has presented a slew of new opportunities for both advertisers and publishers, but there is a learning curve involved.