2020 Media-Publishing Predictions: Privacy, CPMs And Cultivating Connections

As 2019 comes to a close, innovators and leaders from across the media, advertising and technology worlds share their 2020 predictions with Publishers Daily.

Today, Freestar president Kurt Donnell, global CEO of EMX Michael Zacharski and Kyle Lelli, general manager of The Tylt share what to expect in the year ahead. 

Kurt Donnell, President of Freestar:

“As we move into 2020, the privacy landscape will continue to become more confusing for publishers. With CCPA and other privacy regulations being crafted on a state-by-state level, compliance will continue to be more of a burden.

"We also will see continued shifts in targeting of advertising to address a potential cookieless world, including the likely growth of publisher alliances to combat the scaled first-party data already held by GAFA.”

Michael Zacharski, Global CEO, EMX:

“There are always competing forces at work, some of which will work to push CPMs up for publishers in 2020 and others which will work to push them down. CPMs should benefit from the significant efforts undertaken to improve supply path optimization (SPO) – including Sellers.Json, ads.txt and the growing realization by media buyers that lower prices do not necessarily result in better quality inventory and may, in fact, detract from a ‘cleaner’ ad stream.



"Publishers should, at the same time, be wary of the unknown effects of greater scrutiny and regulation regarding data targeting in the form of CCPA and the mid-to-long term effects of the mortally-wounded third party cookie— both bring uncertainty to the marketplace and may bring down CPMs.”  

Kyle Lelli, general manager of The Tylt:

“In 2020, the trend of media companies consolidating into ever-larger entities is appears likely to continue. The creation of scale is poised to help these larger publishing entities compete, but for the smaller and startup media companies to compete, the key is to build a meaningful connection with an audience and own the data.

"Third-party cookies are unlikely to make a comeback, and while programmatic advertising is a real source of revenue for many publishers, the margins aren’t going to allow for arbitraging cheap traffic to a website at the scale needed to grow a sustainable long-term operation.

"This continuing shift will favor media companies that have taken a bold approach to differentiate their product, voice and brand, and that can deliver the goods on providing real value for brands and advertisers beyond just a glancing view at an ad. The consumers that most brands are keen to reach have grown up digital-first. Their BS meters are extremely attuned to the barrage of untargeted and uninteresting advertising being shown to them constantly.

"Media companies that can deliver genuine insight into consumer trends, preferences and motivate their audience to engage more deeply with a brand’s messaging and offerings ,will cut through the noise and stand up to the scale of larger publishers and media companies.”

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