Verizon Media's Ivan Markman Offers 2020 Media-Publishing Predictions

As 2019 comes to a close, Iván Markman, Chief Business Officer at Verizon Media, shares with Publishers Daily what he believes are the challenges for online publishing and advertising in the new year:

Content, Commerce is Key for Publishers 

"Consumers continue to evolve their media consumption and how they discover, engage with and transact goods and services. At the same time, media companies need to continue to diversify and find new sources of revenue growth. This is where commerce comes into play," says Markman. "For premium publishers, it’s a huge -- albeit untapped by many -- opportunity that can fit neatly into their existing business. Publisher news and lifestyle content attracts users seeking both information and inspiration.

"Each is a key step in the customer journey. Trusted publishers also have a built-in user base of in-market shoppers waiting to be activated. Next year, I expect more publishers to integrate commerce across content through native and shoppable ads, as well as other shoppable content programs. They will also look to the full spectrum of consumer engagement available, including experiential marketing, live events, games, immersive experiences and more.



The Evolution of Regulation

"A major component of 2020 will be privacy and data regulation as CCPA comes into effect. The U.S. is not alone in evaluating its approaches to regulations, and we’ll continue to see inputs from governments around the world. In tandem, the industry itself is evolving to support privacy initiatives and provide consumers with greater transparency and choice when it comes to their data.

Implementation will not come without challenges, but the greater focus will create new opportunities and allow for innovation. It's important for everyone in the ecosystem to act in a principled way and seek to build trust with consumers. In short, what’s good for consumers is good for us all.

The Need for Transparency is Changing Programmatic  

"Programmatic advertisers want greater clarity from publishers, UGC platforms, DSPs and agencies. There’s a growing expectation that partners will grant access and insight on a range of matters like media inventory; data provenance and quality; campaign attribution; and fees. Without proper transparency, advertisers will shift their investments elsewhere. There’s already evidence of it in the rise of in-housing. Similarly, I expect open exchange transactions to decline, with greater growth in premium programmatic marketplaces -- think programmatic guaranteed deals and private exchanges with high-quality inventory -- that tend to be more trusted and transparent.

The Future of Native Advertising is Emerging

"Native advertising continues to explode. Brands spent $44 billion on it this year -- and that number will climb as emerging channels deliver more turnkey formats for buyers. AR ad spend, for example, will go from $780 million in 2019 to nearly $3 billion by 2022. Investment is following consumer adoption as AR user growth surges. But one key to AR marketing’s success is the improvement in the native ad experience, with vendors and publishers innovating features and content.

"Innovations like a smoother user interface, adjustable overlays, and smartphone camera changes have attracted brand interest. Pottery Barn, for example, used native AR ads to help shoppers see home decor options in their actual home. Other brands like Chevrolet, Volvo, JCPenny and Home Depot are doing the same.

"In 2020, savvy brands will invest more in emerging native ad formats, like AR. Mobile connectivity advancements, especially 5G, will pave the way for more user-friendly and immersive experiences delivered and streamed in real-time and at scale."

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