Digital publishers have largely recovered from the stresses of 2020, judging by MediaAd Sales Trend Report 2021, a study by Boostr.
Of the publishers surveyed, 67% say their revenue
rebounded in the fall of 2020, and 94% claim it was stable by the end of the year.
Moreover, the top 25% performers experienced 26% revenue growth for the year, compared to 2% for
the median group and a decline of 21% for the bottom companies.
But publishers faced challenges, including aggressive revenue targets (19%), working remotely (18%) and
selling amid the cancellation of in-person events (16%).
The top tactics used to address these challenges were:
- Increasing operational
- Added value—44%
- Channel optimization—42%
- Bundling products—41%
- Reducing costs/tech
Among advertising categories, travel suffered a 56% revenue decline and utilities a 32% hit. In contrast, tech and telecom had a 31% growth rate and produced a 16%
CPG generated 25% of revenue and retail 15%. Both were flat.
The factors driving revenue recovery for publishers
- Our ability to be nimble and react quickly—37%
- We are in a category that lent itself to the changes in behavior brought on by the
pandemic (increase in streaming activity, interest in news, etc.)—33%
- We had offerings for election advertising which allowed us to gain revenue during the election
Overall, 32% of publishers sold 51-75 products defined as “unique media ad placements or sponsorship sold via IO or
programmatically,” the study states.
The media types sold were:
- Online (desktop, mobile, web, video,
- Streaming audio—47%
- Digital Out of Home—45%
- Linear TV—35%
- Linear Radio—30%
The most successful buying methods for advertisers were:
- Open Auction—20%
Looking forward, here are the products they want to sell in
six months not available today:
- Digital Audio—47%
- Linear TV—38%
Meanwhile, 48% of publishers are very satisfied with
client retention, and 25% are somewhat so. In contrast, 15% are neutral, and 10% somewhat dissatisfied. A minor portion are not at all satisfied.
On the sales front, 36% have
a two-month cycle, with a 29-day spread between top and bottom performers.
Boostr analyzed 54 primarily digital U.S.-based media companies within its platform from January
2019 to December 2020. In addition, it surveyed 200 media executives across sales, ad operations, revenue operations, finance and marketing functions.